Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on a PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Kung Fury is a short movie that made some waves when it was released, mostly thanks to its impressive fight scenes, love of all things 80s, and fun dialog. It’s no surprise that Kung Fury: Street Rage would keep up the 80’s aesthetic, but does it also manage to capture the fun of the movie?
There is none. I’m not joking here, you just fight Nazis until you die. Moving on…
The love for the 80’s is really obvious with Kung Fury: Street Rage. For starters, the whole game looks like its being played on a CRT arcade monitor. Along with that, the game features sprites that I would expect to see on an SNES or Sega Genesis console, and easily remind me of other beat ’em ups like Streets of Rage. Yet where the presentation fails is in its lack of making it clear where Kung Fury can attack. One Finger Death Punch (which Kung Fury: Street Rage is heavily based off of) has bars on the bottom of the stage that clearly show where I was able to attack. Lacking this, I often found myself missing enemies in Kung Fury: Street Rage, and having to guess where Kung Fury’s strikes would actually land. One Finger Death Punch also made it so enemies could only attack one on each side, making it obvious who my attacks were aimed for, yet Kung Fury: Street Rage allows enemies to gang up on me and made it difficult to tell who Kung Fury was going to attack next. Some very simple presentation errors make this game difficult to play. Also I can’t help but feel slightly slighted that Hackerman, Barbarianna, and Triceracop are hanging out in the background but aren’t playable.
As I mentioned before, Kung Fury: Street Rage is heavily inspired by One Finger Death Punch. This means there’s no movement of any kind, instead I just attack to either the left or right and hit whoever is in range. It’s almost a little too simple: there’s no variation on the basic gameplay outside of enemies that may switch lanes or take multiple attacks. Where One Finger Death Punch had items or extra modes, Kung Fury: Street Rage has nothing other than a single survival mode. At least this can sort of be excused by the game’s low asking price (only $2), but it still hurts replayability.
As Kung Fury fights through waves of Nazis special enemies pop up from time to time. Officers require two hits, robots require four, while white Nazis and red ninjas switch lanes when attacked. While One Finger Death Punch put clear markers of how an enemy would respond when you go to attack them, Kung Fury: Street Rage does no such thing. Discovering new enemies means slowing the game down to a crawl as I had to figure out how to attack them before I could take them on. And even then, I had to memorize their patterns and remember what phase in it they were in, as screwing up cost me my multiplier and would drastically reduce the amount of points killing an enemy would be worth.
I’m struggling to think of anything else to write about Kung Fury: Street Rage, but really there’s just so little to this game. This game could have been just as fun as the movie itself, but it just doesn’t get anywhere close to those heights.