Kung Fu High Impact (Xbox 360)

Game Review

Kung Fu High Impact (Xbox 360) Review

USA Wed, 07 Dec 2011 by Joe Walker

Kung Fu High Impact Screenshot

The fight of your life

Okay everyone, you can stop saying that there are no hardcore games for Kinect, because Kung-Fu High Impact is as hardcore as they come.

Kung-Fu High Impact, the awesomely-named video game from the equally awesomely-named developer Virtual Air Guitar Company, casts you as the hero of a comic book, pitting you against hordes of dastardly henchmen and otherworldly monsters. Oh yeah, also ninjas.

Kung-Fu High Impact takes the basic idea of Photo Dojo on DSiWare and expands on it a hundred fold. Rather than using images of yourself as sprites in this 2D beat-‘em-up, Kinect places you right in the middle of the action on your screen. You’re not controlling a premade character or your avatar; you yourself are the star of this show. Your attacks are only limited by your own physical abilities, as any punch and kick you perform in your living room is effective against your opponents.

Kung Fu High Impact Screenshot

The story of the game is basic comic book fare, but the appeal of the campaign isn’t the story: it’s seeing yourself in the comic’s panels. Before each chapter, the game gives you certain poses to perform, then will place you right in the cutscenes. It’s better in theory than in practice, unfortunately; if your skin tone doesn’t sharply contrast with your surroundings, parts of you will be cropped out. Still, it’s a good way to make you feel more involved in the story.

The gameplay itself is incredibly frenetic and will give you a workout that will rival any fitness game. You’ll have lots of enemies coming after you, so you’ll be throwing plenty of punches and kicks. The best offence is a good defence, however, and you’ll be ducking, jumping, blocking and flipping as well. Later on you earn special powers, like the ability to shoot lighting and cause an earthquake by punching the ground, that you activate with special motions.

You will get tired. You will get sweaty. You’ll probably wind up breaking things in your living room. Despite the physical demands of Kung-Fu High Impact’s gameplay, you’re going to have a great time. Any slob can hit a button to throw a punch; it takes a real man to step into the game and throw those punches himself.

Kung Fu High Impact Screenshot

Aside from the story mode, there are also various survival modes themed around certain enemy classes, as well as a multiplayer mode that lets up to four of your friends grab controllers and take control of the enemies while you try to outlast them. Asymmetrical gameplay is always fun if done right, and while multiplayer is rather stale with only two people, throwing more into the mix will ramp up both the difficulty for the main player and the fun for those with controllers.

Kung-Fu High Impact isn’t all punching ninjas and monsters in the face, though; while the gameplay mechanics are incredibly fun, they don’t necessarily work all the time. Sometimes you’ll desperately try to do a backflip to avoid danger but the game just doesn’t interpret your movements the right way. Several of the enemies are also extremely problematic; the second level introduces enemies with spears that must be jumped over, but you better make sure you’re actually jumping high enough otherwise your life bar will deplete very quickly. Flying enemies and some of the giant bosses are a pain as well, as you don’t really have a whole lot of aerial attacks in your arsenal.

Kung Fu High Impact Screenshot

Video games are all about having fun, and despite the occasional problems with motion detection, Kung-Fu High Impact is simply a blast to play. It’s a big purveyor of “one more level” syndrome, which is quite impressive in a game as physically demanding as this. Despite the aches and pains, you’ll endure them to keep playing.


Kung-Fu High Impact combines a very unique and fun gameplay mechanic with a great sense of humor and enjoyable presentation. Don’t let the wacky look of the game fool you, though, because this game is HARD. HardCORE, even. Anyone looking for a Kinect game with an edge will certainly walk away from Kung-Fu High Impact feeling satisfied, and probably more than a bit sore.


Scoring Policy
Review copy provided by UTV Ignition

User Comments


1. mastodona United States 08 Dec 2011, 08:37 GMT

There seems to be a lot of games being reviewed these days that have somehow slipped under my radar, and this one actually sounds like its worth a look. I still find It hard that we just have to "accept" poor detection by kinect but I guess we should accept that its not going to get any better perhaps until kinect 2! Anyway I'll give this one a go.


2. PerttuH Finland 09 Dec 2011, 07:13 GMT

"Sometimes you’ll desperately try to do a backflip to avoid danger but the game just doesn’t interpret your movements the right way."

Sorry to hear that! Does the backflipping work for you when there's no enemies close? By design, you can't backflip or do anything right after an enemy has hit you, but it's maybe not that obvious. Thanks for the review! (I'm one of the developers).


3. Chupanibre Germany 09 Dec 2011, 09:47 GMT

On PS3 the game is available as a download title. Are there any differences/enhancements in the Kinect version?


4. PerttuH Finland 09 Dec 2011, 11:58 GMT

Kung-Fu High Impact continues from where Kung-Fu Live (PS3) left off. There's a new story, levels, enemies and powers/abilities like blocking, supersize and magic bow. Most importantly, the game works a lot more reliably than with PS3 Eye.


5. Chupanibre Germany 09 Dec 2011, 13:42 GMT

: Thanks for the information.

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