The mafia has been known to do seedy things to exert control over people, but even it would be ashamed of the line it crosses in Kung Fu Rider. Sharply dressed assailants leap from behind parked cars, jump down from scaffolding, and emerge from shadowy tunnels to physically attack the protagonists: an ordinary man and woman riding atop everyday office chairs. Your goal is to make it down the streets of this dangerous city while riding whatever wheeled contraption is handy, and the ridiculous premise does lead to a number of funny situations. But once you get used to the sight of a man being kicked in the face and turning into a limp rag doll, any bit of fun is quickly drained from this exhausting racing game. The Move controller is required to play, but the convoluted controls don't always respond. The preponderance of wipeouts is even more troubling, either from cheap enemies or unpredictable physics. Kung Fu Rider is a lackluster addition to Sony's Move launch lineup, neither showing the potential of the new peripheral nor providing an enjoyable experience on its own terms.
6274792Good thing that shopping cart doesn't have wheel lock.None
The setup is explained during the title screen but never fleshed out beyond the flimsy premise. For some reason, Toby and her boss Karin have angered the mafia, and they must make it to the safety of their mobile office van before extreme harm is done to them. Unfortunately, they don't have access to a car, motorcycle, or any other vehicle that would easily transport them through these winding streets and past the thugs who are hunting them. Instead, these adaptable heroes use whatever wheeled device they happen upon at the beginning of each level, ranging from an office chair and a vacuum cleaner to a baby stroller and even a drum. Each makeshift ride has its own set of attributes, so you can choose the durable but sluggish drum if subtlety isn't your specialty or the fast and nimble stool if quick reactions are more to your liking. It's a preposterous situation that gives this game a wacky, anything-goes charm, but that goodwill is quickly destroyed once you start playing.
Controls are the first hurdle you have to leap over if you're going to extract any enjoyment from this game. All of your actions are triggered by using the Move controller, whether it is with a specific gesture or button press. To keep your character rolling at a respectable speed, you must shake the controller up and down in a smooth rhythm. Not only does this become repetitive and tiring before long, but it also gets mixed up with your jump command, which requires you to flick the controller up. Because of this confusion, you frequently find your character missing jumps or crashing spectacularly, where more responsive controls could have easily averted the crisis. To perform a speed burst, you thrust the controller forward, but this often isn't recognized, which once again leads to troubling crashes when it engages later than expected. To further complicate things, all six of the motion controller's buttons are used. Ducking, attacking, grinding, and making quick lateral movements require a button tap (sometimes in conjunction with a gesture), and trying to corral your many actions while keeping your eyes peeled on the dangers ahead is far too complicated for its own good.