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     " It'll have you screaming, 'You must die! Only I am best!' "

      Title: Kung Fu Chaos by Microsoft

      Format: Xbox Brawler

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: With the re-emergence of Hong Kong kung fu movies into the mainstream, games capitalizing on the popularity were inevitable. This latest fighter from Microsoft attempts to capitalize on the trend with a party style button-mashing brawler. But will move gently over rice paper or serve lunch to its brothers? Read on, my monkeys…read on.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: Though deceptively cartoonish at first glance, the graphics for kung fu chaos are actually pretty damned sweet. The small bobble-head looking characters all initially seem under-defined, but as you play through the various levels of the game and see the depth of lighting, level detail, and modeling you'll actually be surprised at how lush they really are. Of course, the format remains very mini-game-esque and so the graphics never really cross into impressive, still they're a nice showing of action, color, and chaos. 3.75 out of 5

      Playability: Part button masher, part fighting strategy, Kung Fu Chaos (KFC) plays like the fighting game you've never seen but always knew you wanted. Often compared to other party fighters like Super Smash Bros., KFC delivers an enthralling mix of classic fighter concepts (including blocks, throws, counters, and combos), strategic play, and good ole button mashing fun. Primarily a fighter, KFC is based around the idea of pummeling your opponents until they are no more. To do this, you will use a reasonably wide selection of single button and combo moves to inflict insult on their fathers and declare your kung fu the best. In truth, this is much the same both button mashing and mid-level technique type play we've seen in a dozen other games…but fortunately, KFC doesn't stop there. To add a real sense of excitement and, well, chaos to the fighting levels, moving environments, numerous interactable items, activateable traps, and edges to be thrown off are all interwoven with the combat, and it all does a wonderful job of keeping things intense and raucous. And just in case that, too, would get old for you, interspersed within the combat levels are a healthy number of strategy-oriented mini-games that really break up the monotony. All in all, it's a great play experience and a whole lot of fun. 4 out of 5

      Story and Drama: The story, amusingly enough, is that the playable characters are all potential stars of a new kung fu movie and the director is unleashing them all against each other to fight to the death over the headlining position. To keep things even more interesting, hundreds of b-list stuntmen are employed as ninjas for you to trounce and destroy, with the entire event captured dutifully on film. Okay, so it's not the most involved plot ever, but it's surprisingly more involved than the story in most fighting games. 3 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: As I said, diversity is one of the strong suites of KFC, and so with it's up to four player ability you can be guaranteed of dozens of hours of poop flinging fun. But just in case you're some kind of inbred shut-in without friends to play with, there's also some pretty entertaining single player modes for you to chew on. Sure, they all basically devolve into one of three or four concepts, but they're a good time none the less. My only real gripe, and how this game could be released without it's inclusion continues to astound me, is the lack of Xbox Live support. Why Microsoft would release a party/multiplayer-oriented game and not take advantage of their voice capable on-line community is baffling and almost unforgivable. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Kung Fu Chaos is a wonderfully lighthearted game and one that I've gotten a whole lot of play value from. It's a great mix of button mashing and moderate strategy, is filled with a nice amount of variety, and makes a great party game. I definitely recommend you give it a try.

      The Good: It's filled with all the slapstick goodness Hong Kong kung fu movies have to offer.

      The Bad: It's not Xbox Live compatible! What the hell were they thinking?!?

      The Overall Ugly: It'll have you screaming, "You must die! Only I am best!"

      What it's Worth: Market

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