Kung Fu Rabbit

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Kung Fu Rabbit features a square-shaped rabbit that wears a belt which makes him a Kung Fu Rabbit. It’s a common theme in platformers these days to make your character a square – I guess it simplifies hit-detection. He jumps further sideways than he does upwards, and he jumps exactly as high as you hold your button down for. It was this mechanic used in Super Meat Boy that made me really despise that game in the end, since it creates challenge that is more on a par with learning to play a musical instrument than the sort of challenge we expect from a videogame.

Kung Fu Rabbit Screenshot 1

If I want to spend so much time mastering absolutely exact timing of how long I press a button then I will do something other than make a rabbit jump across Asian-themed rooftops. I want to have fun running and jumping, not get annoyed that I didn’t time that button press absolutely perfectly and so touched that piece of goo that is for some reason on the side of a wall somewhere and so died, even though I know kung fu.

Kung Fu Rabbit Screenshot 2

I couldn’t bring myself to play Kung Fu Rabbit for very long, I am sorry to say. I like the graphic style; it’s pretty. But the world itself doesn’t have a lot of atmosphere, and things that can kill you don’t stick out enough from their surroundings. The Rabbit himself moves painfully slowly too. We have tight button-based controls on the Wii U, why make things so slow? If you collect enough carrots through playing levels you can purchase things that will speed you up, but you have to play for a good long time before you get that, and in the meantime the levels are really easy and the rabbit is slow.

Kung Fu Rabbit Screenshot 3

I firmly believe that games ported from mobile platforms should be thoroughly adjusted when moving to a gaming platform that has button-based controls, and where people are used to sitting down and really applying themselves rather than just getting some game time in while they’re waiting in a queue at a bank. On top of the rabbit being slow (did I mention he is slow), the jumping is just not intrinsically satisfying. The rabbit has no momentum and he feels like he has no heft.

Kung Fu Rabbit Screenshot 4

My other complaint is simply this: I’d rather play Super Meat Boy, and I don’t much like Super Meat Boy. Kung Fu Rabbit feels remarkably like it’s taken inspiration from that game, from the long jump to the variable height jump, to the little square character, to the wall climb, to the goo that covers walls and kills you, to the wall slide, to the big collectible in each stage. I understand that Super Meat Boy is not on the Wii U, but even in this console’s rather small library there are options far better than Kung Fu Rabbit.

Kung Fu Rabbit Screenshot 5

I really can’t recommend Kung Fu Rabbit unless you’re the most die-hard platforming fan that has ever lived and you’ve already exhausted the Wii U’s great platforming line-up like Runner2, Trine 2, Super Mario World, Kirby’s Adventure or even New Super Mario Bros U and the upcoming New Super Luigi U (not to mention the massive number of great platformers available on the Wii itself). It’s not broken, it’s just stale, and it doesn’t carve its own niche successfully enough.