Xbox 360 Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Is Po a sad panda?

The first Kung Fu Panda game was your average platformer to tie in with the film, but it was fairly enjoyable. The sequel chucks all that away and uses Kinect to make you pull off fighting moves and play mini-games, but is this a change that will bring shame?

Kung Fu Panda 2 isn’t a terrible game, some of the time it’s actually quite enjoyable to be punching and kicking enemies, but it does seem to have a problem detecting certain moves like blocking in a few directions as well as choosing your fighting style and finishing moves. Another problem is that there are far too many cutscenes and not enough action, which doesn’t help when the game is painfully short.

Combat is straightforward; you simply punch, kick and jump to make Po do those moves. Enemies will block some of these moves, so you’ll need to mix things up a bit to hit them with devastating moves. There are also mini-games such as racing and serving noodle bowls to customers, all of which can be played in the story or separately for high scores. Kinect still seems to have problems in these areas as well, sometimes a block will work and others it won’t…it just seems to be purely random if it does, which is annoying as it can make the difference between victory and defeat in an event.

Visually, Kung Fu Panda 2 is pretty average and I honestly think the first game looked better, plus it was much more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, it can be fun…but it’s a flawed and very brief experience. Voice-acting is a mixed bag, though fans should enjoy it.

The Verdict

Kung Fu Panda 2 takes a risk by dropping the platforming and changing it into a fighting game with mini-games and it almost works. If only the game was longer and Kinect could detect you properly all the time, then it would have got a slightly higher score, but as it stands it’s a quick bit of fun that doesn’t last.