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Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game

For: Mobile

Fighting unfit

Product: Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game | Developer: Kaboom | Publisher: 24MAS | Format: Mobile | Genre: Fighting, Film/ TV tie- in, Party/ mini- games | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 601KB | Version: Europe
Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game Mobile, thumbnail 1
Rare are the times when I'll get excited about the prospect of playing a movie tie-in on mobile.

Games based on films have always been rather hit and miss whatever the format, with studios often zeroing in on the most banal element of a franchise and running with it.

Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game makes no attempt to break the mould on this front. In fact, it sinks to new depths both in terms of scope – or, rather, the lack thereof – and design.

Lights, camera, no action

Though developer Kaboom has tried to present the game as one smooth linear experience (complete with the kind of rudimentary plotline that goes hand in hand with licensed lumber), Kung Fu Panda 2 actually comprises a series of fighting-based mini-games, with the film's lead Po naturally stealing most of the limelight.

The main attack in most modes is assigned to the '5' key (the odd high or low attack mapped to '2' and '8' accordingly), with your introduction to the mini-game at hand coming via a tutorial.

Once you've been formally introduced, Kung Fu Panda 2 throws a couple of bona fide challenges in your direction. But as straightforward as that might sound, the setup is undermined by the absence of any enjoyment derived from the games themselves.

Kung Fu Panda 2's delivery and execution are deplorable: you're charged with honing your reaction times within an environment where a sense of timing is an alien concept.

Step by misstep

The first mini-game on offer, for instance, focuses on combining attacks to take out foes approaching from all sides. Your job is to hit the '5' key while a gauge at the bottom of the screen slowly fills up across five compartments.

The idea is to press said key just before each block is filled to the brim. Orange squares fill at a slower rate than red, with your attack only registering if all five presses are pulled off at exactly the right moment.

Problem is, Kung Fu Panda 2 makes a habit of ignoring a good portion of your presses, and even those made at exactly the right moment inexplicably result in failure.

In short, it's an approach that isn't fit for purpose, but, unfortunately, it's entirely indicative of the game as a whole. This is an unforgivably lazy release, and, more importantly, a broken mess of a game that damages the credibility of the overall franchise.

An insult to the very intelligence of the film's adolescent audience, Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game is notable only for taking the crown for worst movie tie-in on the platform.
Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 4 August 2011
One of the worst film tie-ins you're ever likely to come across, Kung Fu Panda 2: Official Mobile Game fails to do the movie any justice, and fails in its attempt to serve up gameplay of any merit
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