Monday, 14 July 2014

Shaq Fu (Megadrive)


Umm... Ego much?


Shaq Fu, it's been said that this game is monumentally bad. I however had never played the game until recently and decided that maybe it'd be worth taking a look and seeing what redeemable features (if any) this game has. Ever one to support an underdog and play Devil's Advocate in such circumstances, I picked up a copy for the Megadrive (....Genesis.¬.¬).

My brain hurt itself with the level of sophistication shown

30 seconds in and I'm ready to shut this off and throw it out the fucking window into a wood chipper with acid-coated blades. The music is like listening to something I'd expect a 5 year old to generate on a synth when they're doing it just to be annoying. The tones and shift of the music are painful and I'm still yet to press the Start button on this bastard. Not really setting itself up well at the moment.

I envy Shaq, I wish I was knocked out for this game.

Oddly, it proudly touts Delphi Software as a developer, the same group that brought us Another World, Flashback, Operation Stealth... Future Wars... Fade to Black... Ok, starting to see a trend now. Though games were made after Shaq Fu, it certainly helped hammer a few nails into the coffin it would seem.

The setting, detail and backgrounds look stunning, but then so did Rise of the Robots

Shat Fuqup however is a beat-em-up for those who don't know. Featuring Shaquille O'Neal, though barely recognisable when in game, the game focuses on Shaq decided to pop into a shop while sight-seeing, get accosted into the back room and ends up in a world where some mummy has kidnapped a kid. A mix of The Mummy and The Golden Child if we're taking film references for inspiration.

I won't be back, Mummy Boy, and return the Legion of Doom's shoulder pads.

The story mode has Shaq running around a central hub/map and going to locations and fighting someone there. There's no build up in story other than "Here's Shaq, arse will be kicked" or at the very least, something might happen. There's no real reason for the fights from what I can see other than "Shaq turned up, now we must kung-fu fight" which makes far less sense than say, Street Fighter which is about a tournament and justifies why people are fighting. Here it's Shaq running up to someone's home, knocking on the door and then punching them in the mouth and running off until he finds the right door with the kidnapped kid behind it and punch the kidnapper in the mouth before running off.

Fight and already taken damage, seems fair to me...

However, the fighting... Well... Where do I begin? The AI tends to start the fight before you even do, "Begin" you're told and already you've gotten a boot to the face. Combat is a series of single attacks from kicks and punches with the directional control modifying the attack slightly. I.e. Towards and Kick is a lunging kick, while Kick on its own is a standard straight kick and back with kick is a round house. Each character has 2-3 moves that barely can be said to be moves for some characters, while other characters have such overpowered attacks with little cool-down after that makes them effectively death-on-legs, assuming you can time the move well enough to pull it off.

No life... Ironic really...

The responsiveness of the controls is shit-and-miss at best. Jumping and attacking is... A lottery at best of who wins which attack and how. The special moves are almost impossible to pull off without inadvertently doing another move instead or just standing there and back flipping into an oncoming attack. 2 player duelling is just a hammer fest of buttons and good luck trying to counter any attacks or time it well enough to hit someone after they've been blocked before they hit you again.

Shaq ignores the metallic body gear however.

Graphically speaking it's a mixed back. The background and setting look impressive as one might come to expect from Delphine Software, but the characters in fighting are tiny by comparison to games like Mortal Kombat and it's as if they reused their own Point and Click engine to make this game, where in each command is just another command you'd find in something like Flash Back or Future Wars. It just doesn't work and makes the game unbearable to view, even less so with that annoying music in the background that doesn't fit but seems more at home in a hospital on a life-support machine while I'm reaching for the plug!

Thank God, it's nearly over. Yes that few pixels on the bridge is YOU.

It still seems to me that this was originally going to be something else and the fighting was thrown in at the last minute, then someone up top decided that the fighting was going to be the ONLY thing. Before this pile of abuse was hurled to players around the planet. Avoid it, steer clear as I wish I had.