Review: The only game where ?bodacity!!!? is unfortunately uttered twice within two minutes.
Based on the Dreamworks movie of the same name, Kung Fu Panda the game stars a portly, martial artist-wannabe panda named Po. Despite his big belly, the game isn't full of a lot of belly laughs, but it is entertaining and relaxing to play through. It's especially ideal for kids and, though it doesn't break ground to be as ideal for older gamers, it'll raise your GamerScore rather easily.
Kung Fu Panda's 13 levels offer very straightforward gameplay, but there's enough variety among the stages to keep you interested in Po's rise as the ?Dragon Master.? In addition to linear action levels where you collect items, protect sacred relics and rescue non-playable characters, you'll shoot giant crossbows, fly through the clouds as a crane and fight bosses with familiar face-button sequence patterns. Adding to the assortment are RPG-like upgrades: 12 basic stats (from health and chi power to throw and jump attack damage), five panda techniques (like the heavily-used panda quake or iron belly) and powerless and overpriced Asian-style outfits.
Besides collecting gold coins to improve your panda skills and wardrobe, other level-specific items, like fireworks or relics, are essential to completing the mission 100%. Usually, you'll only need a handful of the available item to finish a level. In level two, for example, you'll only need ten of 16 fireworks to advance the storyline. However, to earn that 100% (and, in effect, 20 GamerScore points and another 30 points in the hardest difficulty), you're required to find all 16 fireworks. These optional objectives add some reason to go back into Kung Fu Panda a second and third time.
Levels are designed around the required and optional items, so Kung Fu Panda is all about searching every nook and cranny. See an item out of reach? You'll need to find out how to access it further in the level. Forced to panda stumble down a hill? You'll need to work your way back up to find an item right before you're forced to stumble. All of these item-filled levels are also rich in color. It's not to the same degree as the detail found in the Dreamworks film, but the in-game graphics and the even better looking cut-scenes accurately represent the lively CGI movie.
Four-player multiplayer extends the brief enjoyment of the single-player mode, with 14 stages for brawling, team survival, mini-game, teamplay and 2-on-2 teamplay. Playing locally is the only option, as there's no online multiplayer if you're alone. Strangely, you can play the most game types with one person, but there aren't any computer-controlled opponents added, defeating objectives like brawling against yourself, which amounts to trying not to jump in the water to score negative points. Player one wins at target shooter? again. ?Skadoosh!? Obviously, that wasn't thought out too well.