On the system that brought you the contemplative first person shooter, comes a contemplative platformer.
Originally a mobile game, Kung Fu Rabbit made its first appearance on a Nintendo Platform last May on the Wii U. Now on the Nintendo 3DS, Ctools gets back to its portable roots.
A “Universal Evil” has stricken the temple of rabbits, resulting in gooey, tar-like blob enemies and obstacles which Kung Fu Rabbit will have to avoid to save his disciples.This involves using his Kung Fu abilities to dodge obstacles and defeat enemies to get to the baby rabbit at the end of each of the game's 80 levels. Every level has four carrots to collect which can be used in the in game shop to buy upgrades and single use items.
Platforming is where this game shines. Kung Fu Rabbit is equipped with a Mega Man X style wall jump which gives the platforming a very vertical focus. Wall jumping and sliding must be done very cautiously as the game likes to hide pits and enemies at the bottom of walls. Levels require some time to think out a plan and to execute it properly. Finding the way to navigate part of a level after failing is quite rewarding. The controls are surprisingly responsive and the level designs seem well thought out, outside of some hiccups with difficulty progression.
Where the gameplay falls short is the combat. In the beginning of the game, taking down enemies requires sneaking up behind monsters, which will trigger an attack. About halfway through the game an upgrade can be purchased which allows Kung Fu Rabbit to instantly kill enemies just by touching them, making the enemies in the game pointless.
Kung Fu Rabbit’s visuals look beautiful, but lack variety. The game has around five level themes which are reused throughout its entirety. Assets are recycled so frequently that I often found myself wondering if I was replaying the same level twice in a row. Stereoscopic 3D is not supported in the game, which was a missed opportunity as the game’s use of layers to create depth of field sets it up perfectly for this feature.
Sound design is where Kung Fu Rabbit is at its worst. I found myself turning the volume off a couple levels into each play session. The tar-like pit obstacles in the game make a constant obnoxious bubbling noise, and most levels are filled with them. The music consists of bland loops lasting around ten seconds.
If you are looking for a challenging platformer that can be played in short sessions on the go, Kung Fu Rabbit for the 3DS is a great choice. The short levels are perfect for a portable game session and the control options of the 3DS should provide a much better experience than a touchscreen. For the most part, the gameplay feels just right; however, the presentation falls short.