Shaq Fu, if you haven’t heard of it like me, was a game released way back in 1994 on the Genesis and the NES. When I saw the footage of the game about Shaq O’Neal it definitely caught my attention. Shaq is a cool guy, no doubt about it, and his sense of humour is definitely up there so I thought, a game made about Shaq, why the heck not. After a little bit of research, I realized this is actually a sequel to an original game.
Of course, with playing a sequel I had to catch up with the original game to get prepared for the sequel. In all honesty, it didn’t sound appealing. Maybe when I was a kid and used to play on the NES but right now it didn’t really pull me in. A very farfetched story, but after all this game is based on Shaq.
On to the game and the main reason why you’re here, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn. The sequel was actually funded through an Indiegogo campaign and not brought from the dead by a studio. I had already seen clips when jumping into this so I knew what I was prepared for, a bit of a 3D side-scroller. I watched clips of the original and saw just how far gaming has come yet the game look extremely similar.
You begin with jumping back into the role of Shaq. Shaq is an orphan that was raised by a peasant and yet also a master. There was once a prophecy about a Chinese warrior and here he is. You will stand in anyone’s way who comes to destroy the earth. You actually fight some of the biggest names in modern history with the likes of Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and others who you will be well aware of.
I will put it out there. If you are a millennial that is easily offended this game will punch you all over the place. There are so many references you could turn around into racism, sexism, and others. There is a big twist in these A-list celebrities. I’m going to spoil it for you. Madonna is in the game, oh yes, and she is your mother.
The gameplay itself isn’t great, it’s very clunky. It can be easy but the hitboxes and other factors making it extremely poor and very dated. The jokes are very dated also, you can see why they would throw these types of jokes in there with it being a sequel to the last game released in 1994, but really, we’re in 2018.
I expected something decent from the game, especially with the footage I had seen. I expected to play this on the Nintendo Switch to be able to kill some time here and there, on the bus etc but it actually began to feel like a chore to play the game. The only decent thing I could pull from the game was the cinematics, they are well done. But other than that, I couldn’t really explain a lot on what was going on, beginning to end, it was just a big mess. Oh Shaq, I really hope this doesn’t hurt you, I like you and you were the only reason I stuck through the game.
The review is based on the Nintendo Switch version. The publisher provided the key.