There are far too few arcade brawlers nowadays, and the popular ones in the 16-bit era like the Final Fight and Street of Rage series keep getting ported over with the same pixilated graphics. Fortunately, game publishers such as Klei Entertainment (think Shank franchise) and 7Sixty offer some refreshing experience to bring out the dated genre into the next generation.

Considering the major portion of gaming is heavily focused on multiplayer shooters, we all could use a break from the endless combat of modern warfare – that sometimes strain our eyes from too much sniping! We need an old-school beat-them-up to calm down our trigger-happy fingers, and Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is just the antidote we are looking for.

In Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise, you take the role of General Loh, who is seeking revenge for the murder of his father. In your quest for justice, you will fight against highly-skilled Kung Fu masters set in the backdrop of ancient China. One of the aspects we love about this game is the simplicity of the controls.

You can just press one button to handle all of your attacks, instead of having separate buttons for punches and kicks. The best part of the control scheme is that it supports your Xbox 360 controller, which is way more comfortable than the traditional non-ergonomic keyboard.

The response time of Xbox 360 controller is very fast and accurate, even if we were using it wirelessly. This is a definite huge plus since your enemies’ attacks are quick as a lightning and you need to counter them just as fast.

Kung Fu Strike’s action sequences are very impressive! There are tons of over-the-top moves infused with incredibly fast punches and speedy shaolin kicks. But you cannot always rely on offense alone to get through enemy stronghold.

The game is deeper than just smashing your attack button all the time. You need to learn varying degrees of counter measures, which include evading and deflecting maneuvers.

This is a critical part of defense in that if timed right, you can recover some of your energy. The screen is so full of devastating combos that the fight sometimes continues into the air! You can even hold just the attack button and watch your character turn Chinese strikes into an art form of terrible beating.

The combat system is very fluid and seamless that maximizes the flow of combos in limitless fashion. So don’t be surprised to pull off a combo that reaches into the 20’s or even the 30’s mark!

Super Moves are the main catalyst of Kung Fu Strike. They are flashiest and certainly the most entertaining part of the game. After each fight, you would want to grab as many coins as possible.

You will need these coins to purchase additional techniques and power-ups. That’s the beauty of Kung Fu Strike – it allows you to expand your collection of Super Moves so you’re not stuck with just one arsenal in the game.

In fact, each Super Move you purchase is readily accessible any time during battles! In the old arcade brawler such as Final Fight, you are restricted to just one.

Super Moves like Taichi Sweep, Tornado Kick, Dragon Rage, Shadow Flash, Falcon Shot, and Dragon Claw really help turn the tide of the battle. And when you combine them with certain power-ups, you are virtually unstoppable!

The game also features some of the most interesting equipment for your character. For instance, you can add Break Blaster, which imposes a 30% extra damage upon breaking the enemy’s guard, or outfit your fighter with Light Boots, which enable you to perform four-jump combo attacks in mid-air!

In dealing with its single-player mode, Kung Fu Strike is a very difficult arcade brawler. Without any strategy guide, you will probably lose your manhood in frustration. Thankfully, the game gives you the ability to summon backup warriors, ranging from dart-throwing ninjas to enchanted underground soldiers.

But the greatest support you can have is from a friend. That’s right – Kung Fu Strike has a cooperative mode! You can have twice the fun serving up a hot recipe of dragon kicks that end with a Buddha stomp.

In the graphics department, there is nothing much to celebrate about, but the developer did an excellent job with the animation and rendering of stages that’s supposed to reflect ancient China.

The sound effects are okay for the most part and music fits the echoes of a place torn by warring factions. So far, Kung Fu Strike has demonstrated a lot of potential as a great arcade brawler.

With 28 levels of seamless fighting sequences, combined with the ability to unleash a kamikaze of finishing moves and local coop, it’s definitely a must have title!

However, the developer needs to add some online components and tone down its difficulty to increase its mass appeal to casual audience. With today’s lack of classic brawlers, Kung Fu Strike definitely sends a strong statement to the legacy of arcade fighting genre.