GAME NAME: Kung Fury: Street Rage
DEVELOPER(S): Laser Unicorns
PUBLISHER(S): Hello There
PLATFORM(S): PS4 (reviewed), iOS, Android, PC
GENRE(S): Beat em up, Arcade action
RELEASE DATE(S): Augist 11th, 2015
To understand Kung Fury: Street Rage as a game, you need to be aware of the short film Kung Fury by David Sandberg. The entire film can be seen here on YouTube, and you can figure out what you’re in for after the first couple minutes. It’s an 80s style cop/martial arts parody that is made to look like the bargain-bin Steven Seagal knockoffs that TBS plays on Saturday afternoons. The repackaging of manufactured “nostalgia” is something I truly cannot stand – so I’m not personally a big fan of the short film.
Kung Fury: Street Rage is a different story.
There’s very little to explain without an accompanying video, so here’s some footage of me playing it.
The whole endeavor can be done one-handed. Left on the D-pad attacks to your left, right attacks right. You also scoot a little bit. You can absorb three hits, and then it’s game over. Rack up combos without missing to get your points levels up, and get your score as high as possible. That’s it. That’s the whole game.
This whole game, though, plays almost sublimely. The risk comes as your attacks have little range – to rack up a long combo, you need to have a lot of enemies very close. But when there are enough of them, the simple left-right attacks rack up quickly. Some enemies block, some teleport to your opposite side; you’ll need to be quick, but not too quick, lest you miss your attack and get hit. The reward is a high multiplier and the accompanying huge score, which is far more satisfying than a $2 game should be. The hyper-responsive controls follow your commands perfectly, and building a high combo number requires a zen understanding of where your fist or foot or gun will strike next. Don’t let people watch you play it, since you’ll look dead-faced and zombie’d out, like how Law & Order thinks people who play video games look.
The graphics are a simple throwback to arcade cabinets. There’s a gimmick that gives the screen the look of a glass bend in the old CRT games, complete with odd reflections. The screen is emblazoned with those tiny black dots, like when you would take a picture of your Super Mario Bros 3 screen with a disposable camera to show your friends you beat the game. If that sentence makes you feel old, then you know what I’m talking about.
The music suits it perfectly as well. It’s basic generic action game music, with those over-the-top grunts and sound effects straight out of Double Dragon. The sound is so dead-simple, it’s impossible to get it wrong.
The whole package of Kung Fury: Street Rage is great. Small, cheap, excellent in short bursts but can be played for the long game too.
Listen, I play a lot of these quick beat-em-ups and faux old school nostalgia pixel art throwback buzzword games, so take it from me. Kung Fury: Street Rage is the only one you need. It’s the best $2 you’ll ever spend at the Playstation Store.