Fist of Fu Preview: Kicking Butt Kung Fu Style
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Fist of Fu is the latest action game from the company who brought us games Fiesta Online and Secrets of the Solstice, Outspark. The game is an over the top kung-fu themed cell-shaded semi-side scrolling beat em' up that hails back to kung-fu movies of old.
Upon entering the game you are welcomed into a Chinese town getting yourself acquainted on the game controls that are pretty easy to grasp. Being a big fan of beat em ups, it took me less than a minute to get the controls and get my kung-fu on.
The game's background and BGM are very perky and vibrant that it seemed I was transported into a kid's show. Moving through the town is easy enough because you only have two directions to move to. For a game that's just started you can see a lot of people milling around the town which is pretty packed specially on peak hours.
Not Your Usual Kung Fu
Before I continue, I think I have this responsibility to dispel the idea that when you hear the word Fu you'd expect martial arts, especially on a game that incorporates the other half of Kung. Fist of Fu doesn't circle around the different martial arts techniques in kung-fu, in fact, the characters in the game have weapons, and you have the archers the swordsmen and the magicians.
The classes in fact remind me so much of another MMOG beat 'em up, Grand Chase. The similarities are there however, Fist of Fu gives you a choice on which character class you'll be using and you're stick with that character till you create a new one, unlike in Grand Chase where you have the freedom to switch the character class you're using.
The game has no character customization features. In fact you're stuck with the look of your character till you grow tired of it. The only thing that varies visually is the clothes and the weapon your character uses. The clothes vary from making your character look cute to killer armors that can make you drool a river. However the game is not just about the items but also of the your skills with the keyboard or pad depending on your control device.
In every instance you finish, you are graded on your performance in the instance. Similarly to Devil May Cry being able to execute the numerous combos the game has helps you get those high grades that can translate to better experience and money rewards. The moves themselves are not pretty hard to do specially for beat 'em up veterans however it's figuring when to use the combos at your arsenal is where you need to have a harmonious combination of wit and reflexes.
Battling with your dexterous fingers and sharp wit!
This is where I can say that the game is not just a "who gets a stronger weapon" wins MMOG. There will be moments where a wily player will outlast and even beat the better equipped ones because he has used all his wit in winning.
Keeping players on their toes is the one thing I like about Fist of Fu. There will be moments that you'd think the stage is as easy as pie, and I admit it will come. However there will be instances where you'd have to be careful. You can't get too complacent in some of the instances especially those instances that are as easy as pie on the easy levels. I've experienced the sad realization of that during one run when I forgot that the level I was set in hard. My character got his butt handed to him when I was flocked and eventually knocked out.
With that in mind, I'm placing all my bets that the game's PvP is going to be pretty exciting and hardcore PvPers will definitely sport an injured wrist. However the PvP is not yet available when I logged in so it's still under speculation if I am accurate or not, however based on my experience I may not be far off from that assumption.
There's a nifty game system that's in place in Fist of Fu and normally you wouldn't see it in this type of game. Fist of Fu has a title that doubles as an achievement system in place. You can earn titles after achieving acts of feat such as finishing a series of instances or killing a certain amount of monsters. Earning these titles would give your name a cute graphic that's corresponding to the title you've earned.
I like the idea behind the titles because it gives players a good goal to reach especially if you don't like PvPing or PvEing without any reason.
Fist of Fu is a pretty fun game to play, the mix of over the top characters and an easy to grasp game control system makes it a game everyone can pick up and play after the first few minutes. However, this game is also the type where your skills will be tested and if competitive players will definitely enjoy the challenge. The thing is the game is still open to players who are just looking for a game that's easy and fun to play. You can just keep on PvEing without any problem because the game's PvP system is only ingrained in as much as earning more items and titles.
I strictly believe that Fist of Fu has a lot of potential in being a hit of an MMOG. It'll be a bigger game when the PvP system comes out. One of the things that bug me about the game though is the obvious delay in terms of acquiring the drops which can pretty much offset my pace. Fist of Fu is solid enough of a game not to be noticed by the public, just as long as out spark deals their cards right then they have a winner in the form of Fist of Fu.