â€˜Everybody was Kung Fu Fightingâ€™, itâ€™s one of those famous tunes you just can’t shift once it starts playing over and over in your head. It was time to become a ninja as I headed over to meet up with Managing Director Teemu and Chairwoman Pirjo from Virtual Air Guitar, who are a Finland based independent game developer and computer vision specialist. These are the clever people that have created â€˜Kung Fu Liveâ€™ which will be released onto Playstation Network later this autumn.
Kung Fu Live is a real time and body motion game that allows the player to become part of the game by incorporating their image, using the Playstation Eye, into a fast paced action Ninja title. This gives gamers the chance to interact with all of the various ninja opponents and bosses with a range of different attacks. Using your body, you have the chance to perform a selection of special moves. The free motion technology actually replaces the more traditional game controller for consoles and offers a whole new way to play video games. The idea is that everything is hands free, allowing players to adopt a more physical game play style as their image is projected onto the screen.
As I prepared myself for some heavy Kung Fu fighting with â€˜Kung Fu Liveâ€™, I soon became aware that you really need to know a series of special attacks in order to do some decent damage. Initially you do feel a little bit strange, jumping all over the place with your arms and limbs flapping around, but itâ€™s actually a lot of fun. Itâ€™s certainly a new concept when it comes to game play and in a way gives gamers the chance to do some exercise at the same time, rather than sitting there redundantly with a controller. You can kick, flip, punch and roll yourself through most of the levels using simple body movements. Youâ€™re always aware of the Playstation Eye, because it sends out a warning on the screen if youâ€™re out of the vision range. Itâ€™s quite a strange experience, seeing yourself within a game, and I should imagine those who havenâ€™t played it will be intrigued. You need a fair amount of space in order to really do some serious ninja kicking.
The story is based around a series of comics and the beginning of each level you can attempt a pose that is selected for you or randomly make up your own.Â Either way, you do end up looking ridiculous, but this isnâ€™t a game that takes itself seriously. Once your image has been taken by the camera, it is then projected into the comic. The game was very responsive as I jumped around looking like half ninja and half idiot, and my punches and sidekicks were instantly projected against the virtual ninjas. Progressing through the game, you soon learn various special moves such as the lightning bolt that shook out of my hands when I pointed my arms at a 90 degree angle. Holding both my arms up I could slow down time, which proves valuable when trying to overcome enemies. Holding both arms up and slightly behind me allowed me to vault up into the air and backwards over enemy heads. Once I had broken into a sweat trying to defeat some enemies, I was then shown the end of level boss, who was seriously bigger than my player.
Overall the game is going to have you breaking into a sweat and likely breaking various pieces of furniture within your living room. Itâ€™s a beat ‘em up type game at the end of the day, incorporating your own body motions into the game. Players can even use their very own items to battle it out against ninjas, as the camera picks up everything you hold and even changes the background. Whether this game has the longevity to entice players to continuously play, Iâ€™m not so sure.Â My concern was that it had enough novelty factor to establish an exciting new concept in the way we play games, but Iâ€™m not sure if it has the durability to last.