I don’t remember actively buying this game so I’ll assume I got it through a bundle at some point. I buy bundles all the time, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
So what do we have here? An action beat-em-up? About a disgraced warrior proficient in kung fu? From a royal family? Where at some point this warrior will be ‘killed’ and join a tournament for their replacement? Which they win? What? Have you seen this movie before, because I… actually don’t watch those sorts of movies now that I think of it. I don’t think I’ve ever really sat down and watched a kung fu movie outside of maybe Rush Hour. But even then, that’s not really what I’d call a kung fu movie. So I don’t really know where I got all of the tropes from. Probably anime. Anyway the game infuriated me so I think I’ll just sum up the story in a poem to cool off.
You play as a dude named General Loh
Good friend to a monk named Master Mo
To his temple you must go
And a display of skill you must show
To display your skill you kick his ass
Dude’s all talk, got a jaw made of glass
After which he gives you some sass
Then he tells you to go to a tomb under grass
Far across the land you rode
To an underground tomb, with dudes that explode
With their fat little faces with which they goad
You into destroying their humble little abode
If you thought the tomb levels were shitty
Wait til you go back to the city
And I’m sure you’ll think this next line is witty
You fight female assassins with nice paris of … eyes
You get poisoned and run
And I’m sure it’s fun
To fight with a health bar short a ton
Against several women with the era’s gun
They think that you’re dead but you survive
You go into training and come out alive
A tourney to replace you? They didn’t wait five?
So you set off for a bit of a drive
In the tournament you fight
Every boss until then, this just ain’t right
With only one health bar 9 foes you smite
In a fierce display of your terrifying might
You then storm the palace, where your brother await
He’s the king (emperor?) and it’s him you hate
Rebels join you, after you smash down the gate
Go tell him that there’s a funeral to which he is late
IT’S HIS OWN DAMN FUNERAL, HE GONNA BE TOAST
He got several bitches guarding him, they gonna be roast
After you finish kicking them coast to coast
Your brother sits down ready to talk the most
He blames his wife, typical man
But she takes the blame, says it was her own plan
To get revenge on your brother’s clan
The embers of war she would then fan
You take her down but our story ends here
Sequel bait for another game, or so I fear
Ain’t no way I’m playing it, let me be clear
That my hatred for this game is incredibly sincere
So when I started the game it seemed adorably bad. Sure, it seemed like Dynasty Warriors without the strategy. Sure it made my computer (my Pentium i7) chug every now and again. And sure, it seemed a little campy. The developers put a lot of effort into making it so bad that it was adorable. I kinda felt endeared to it. But as time went on, and the levels progressed, the game got harder. The game’s way of scaling up difficulty is to throw more attacks at you that you can’t block. And to throw more people at you to simultaneously do them. And I played the game on normal difficulty all the way through! The way you learn moves? You buy them. You get a bonus for completing a level for your first time but I wound up using that bonus gold to buy resurrection potions more often than not. Which are only good for one level. So while it’d be nice to use that move you just picked up, you’re going to have to grind for it. And good luck finding good grinding levels early on.
I should also mention that you’re being graded by your adherence to the martial arts or something.
And I wouldn’t be so frustrated with the combat if I could use these new moves without having to buy them. I wouldn’t be so frustrated with the game if it was consistent on what you can block and what you can’t block! The game says you can’t block enemies once they look red. Alright, but apparently you can block the monk with the staff’s spinning attack despite him being red? The only thing I found really consistent about the combat is being unable to block low sweeps. These are terribly annoying, especially when they’re the first part of a combo to take away a third of your health. Hit and run doesn’t often work especially well either, because the game will decide which enemy you meant to hit and if the RNGods are not with you that day, perhaps you forgot to offer your weekly
virgin Hearthstone player they will instead have you move towards the thing you were running from and begin an attack which cannot be interrupted by you which will in no way hit that target. Bullshit.
Every now and again you’ll see prompts above the enemy’s head, either X or A (well I did anyway. I use a Steam controller) and if you press these you can break a block. One small problem. A happens to be the jump button. If you are in the air, you cannot jump. So you wind up being forced to take a counter attack despite your efforts to press the damn button because of game mechanics.
You know, this game doesn’t have to be that bad. The problem is that it’s way of scaling enemies up is to throw more of them at you. And sure, it takes some skill to fight multiple enemies at once and there were several times where I had to fight multiple bosses at once and it’s fine. What’s not fine is the sheer number of unblockable attacks coming your way in such a way that if you take the first one, you take all of them. Also! If you happen to block the first attack in a combo, THE COMBO JUST KEEPS COMING. I’m not sure if you can block the other hits in the combo (not for lack of trying). If you block the first strike in a combo, you should end the combo! There’s no point to blocking a combo of three hits if you can only block the first and be forced to eat the other two! When I figured that out, I started just dodging combos. Better to take no damage than some.
All in all, the game is terrible. It doesn’t scale well. It frustrates me to no end. At some point through the game I remember telling myself that this game is no longer adorably bad. Now it’s just terribly bad. But I was too invested, I had a page of notes for this review. So I stuck through to the end to finish it for myself (can’t let a game beat me) and for this review but I did not have fun for the latter half of the game. This is a solid no from me.