Admittedly, I’ve never seen this movie. I think I’ve heard about Kung Fury once on Kickstarter, but only once. Either way, it turns out there’s a video game tie-in on digital stores for consoles and smart devices. Kung Fury: Street Rage is a homage to ’80s arcade beat ’em ups in a similar way to how Kung Fury seems to be a homage to cheesy ’80s action B-movies.
Simply put, there’s an arcade machine that came to life and is chaotically invading the streets with minions. It’s up to our four heroes to put an end to the madness. The only problem: The player will have to suffer atrocious writing and voice acting to get to that point. I get the idea, but there shouldn’t be a reason to play this straight without any irony. It doesn’t even feel like Street Rage is making fun of the aspect; it’s just re-doing what it notices some other works of decades past do.
While the voice acting could have not been a thing, the sound effects Kung Fury: Street Rage does provide aren’t too shabby. I just wish there was a bigger soundtrack; things get same-y quick with only one track to complement the city street theme.
The visuals are the pixel art gamers have come to expect from throwbacks like this. What makes Kung Fury: Street Rage a bit more identifiable from the crowd is that its art style is very inspired by the Streets of Rage series, as well as the monitor effect that makes the game look like it’s being played on an arcade cabinet.
Not that it plays like Streets of Rage, though. Kung Fury: Street Rage is a rather minimalist beat ’em up when it comes to the core gameplay. All the player can do is attack left or attack right as hordes of enemies creep in on the character being controlled. On one hand, it makes for a surprisingly addictive (if a bit repetitive) setup. On the other, the game goes over its four playable characters in its short story mode, and one of them maneuvers in a way that creates more trouble than hinders. It doesn’t help that the game kicks you back to the beginning of the level if you lost all of your hearts. Fortunately, you can pick which character you want to play as in the endless mode.
Kung Fury: Street Rage is a fine distraction, but I feel like there could be more to it. The difficulty can come off as somewhat cheap when things get too busy; some fine-tuning would help make things feel more fair. Even if you do manage to plow through everything fine, the story mode is over too soon, leaving the endless mode to be the only other feature to explore.