I’m Not exactly sure how this abomination came to be. My guess is it involved a cauldron full of neut eyes, virgin blood and Hitler’s middle finger. Seriously, Shaq Fu is downright un-American. For anyone to say it ain’t that bad would be the equivalent of vomiting on Old Glory after eating Chinese food. Trust me, Shaq Fu IS that bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Shaqzilla. As a NBA fan, I respect the big fella and his dominance on the court. Shaq is not the problem, it’s the developers fault this game is horrid. Ever hear of Delphine Software International? They made Motoracer, a motorcycle series for Playstation and PC. Decent game, too bad Shaq Fu and everything else they created was atrocious.
Delphine filed for bankruptcy In July 2004. While There is no solid proof, I think Shaq Fu played a part in this companies downfall. Shaq Fu was released in late 1994 as a fighting game for Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Super Nintendo and Game Boy. The only draw and hype surrounding this game was cover boy, Shaquille O’neal.
When a sports star wants to bring out a video game, most people assume it will be related to whatever sport they play. Ken Griffy Jr. had a series of baseball games, and they were good. Charles Barkley had 2 street ball games. While Barkley’s games played like trash, they involved basketball. Bottom line: These games are related to their profession, thus they make since.
I’m guessing Shaq wanted to be different. That, or someone talked him into letting Delphine slap his name on some random product that just happened to be the spawn of Satan. To say Shaq Fu qualifies as a game would be like saying getting punched in the face with brass knuckles is a game. While the puncher may have fun with it, the victim is in for a very painful experience.
Speaking of painful experiences, lets talk about Shaq Fu’s storyline. O’neal is in Tokyo for a charity basketball game. Shaq walks into a Kung Fu dojo to invite an old man to said game. The geezer declines and shows O’neal a portal, telling him to save some kid named Nezu. Weak story? You bet, but the games dialog makes it seem ten times worse.
Character designs range from unimaginative to comically bland. You are forced to battle an Aladdin wannabe, Mummy with spiked elbow pads, a big red dude without skin and other forgettable combatants. Pre-fight dialog consists of cheesy Kazaam style insults and warnings sent from Shaq to his foes. Remember Kazaam? This entire game is on that level of suck.
Hit detection can make or break a fighting game. Shaq Fu demands players to attack the center of their opponent. Basically this means you will end up using all clock time to defeat your enemy. Best possible strategy(other than playing a good game) would be to kick a lot. It’ll still take forever to beat anyone, but cheapness is your only hope.
Surprisingly, there is something nice to say about this game. Shaq Fu features beautiful backgrounds for the bland characters to fight in front of. Maybe its a good thing these levels are good looking. You will have a lot of room to view them in battle as the characters are tiny compared to ones found in better fighters.
Another plus for Shaq Fu is it’s sound. Characters yell and grunt like actors in old Kung Fu flicks while fighting. Background music falls flat on it’s face while attempting to give that fighting movie feel, but it wasn’t the worst possible choice. Delphine could have used music from one of Shaq’s albums. If that happened it would have brought about the apocalypse.
Perhaps I am a bit too harsh in criticizing this game. In my unpopular opinion, Mortal Kombat was a bad game, but a lot of people loved it. The difference is I have grown to like the MK series for what it is. Shaq Fu on the other hand remains as one of the biggest steaming piles of dog excrement passed off as a game I ever played.