GAME REVIEW | "Kung Fury" Delivers a Triple Threat of Retro Fun
Back in 2014, a short film Kickstarter caught my eye thanks to its awesome visuals and hilarious callbacks. That film was Kung Fury, and to this day it’s still a short that captured the absurdness of 80s action movies perfectly. With its big-screen sequel due out on November 17th (finally!!!), now is the perfect time to get reacquainted with the likes of Kung, Hackerman, Barbarianna, Triceracop, and — yes — the Hoff. And while just rewatching the short will do that no problem, its video game counterpart Kung Fury: Street Rage will also be a solid — albeit quick — guide.
Released as an Ultimate Edition on both current and last-gen consoles, Kung Fury: Street Rage features three game modes to experience. The first is the original Endless Mode, where you take control of Kung Fury and beat up Nazis, ninjas, and robots to no end. “The Arcade Strikes Back” takes the endless mode, and features a story about a rogue arcade machine wanting to destroy Kung Fury and the gang. Lastly, there’s “A Day at the Beach”, where the crew try to take a breather, only to be transported to different worlds and fight the purest of evil.
It should be noted that both Endless Mode and “The Arcade Strikes Back” are pretty much the same game. The only difference between the two is that, well, the latter has a legit ending. (I mean, it’s all in the name.) However, the difficulty is surprisingly a lot higher in the story mode than Endless Mode, with the combo attempt aspect being a lot more trickier. Both have their fun aspects, but they can suffer from being too repetitive in the long run.
“A Day at the Beach”, on the other hand, is where the real spirit of Kung Fury thrives. A side-scroller akin to Double Dragon, you spend seven levels beating up enemies, glitches, and even the occasional dinosaur or two as you make your way to the ocean. While combos aren’t necessary here, getting enough can unleash an awesome special attack that can rid yourself of many — or even all — of the enemies on-screen. A personal favorite of mine is Hasselhoff’s, who takes to the mic and unleashes his golden voice to the sights of violent carnage.
Where all three of these games shine is in its meta humor. Like the short film it’s based on, Kung Fury: Street Rage is chock full of visual gags and one-liners that’d be a perfect fit for a Schwarzenegger-starring action romp. The fights might be seriously tough, but the comedic aspect will make it difficult not to crack a smile any time. With both story modes having co-op mode, getting a friend to play alongside you will alleviate the tougher elements enough to just enjoy the craziness on-screen.
“The Arcade Strikes Back” will take you roughly half an hour to beat, whereas “A Day at the Beach” is just over an hour long. However, getting a "Game Over" during the former will send you back to the beginning, whereas the latter will require a Hackerman code to get back to where you last left off. So have a pad of paper ready to recreate the code when the time is right. (Just don’t share it with others. The glitches might be watching, after all.)
- Captures original humor of Kung Fury
- Easy to play
- Fun combo mechanics
- Repetitive gameplay
- Short campaign
- Two of the games are basically the same
The wait for Kung Fury 2 is finally nearing its end, and Street Rage is a fun way to be reminded of the madness of David Sandberg’s world. Although both Endless Mode and “The Arcade Strikes Back” has its repetitive flaws, “A Day at the Beach” shines as a fantastic arcade throwback. Kung Fury: Street Rage is good dumb fun, with enough silliness to explode the head of any Kung Führer.
Promotional consideration provided by Jim Redner of Render PR. Reviewed on the PS4.