Kung-Fu LIVE

[PAX Prime 2010] Kung-Fu LIVE Hands-On

We sharpen our Wu-Tang swords for some on-camera shenanigans.
Author: J.D. Cohen
Published: September 9, 2010
The crazy Finns at Virtual Air Guitar Company are just about ready to release Kung-Fu LIVE, and we got to check it out at PAX. By check it out, I mean make idiots out of ourselves. Kung-Fu LIVE is a brawler that utilizes the PlayStation Eye camera along with an impressive software library, dubbed FreeMotionģ. Obviously, weíre dealing with a hardware setup thatís far less advanced than the depth-sensing Kinect system from Microsoft, but the result yielded by this software tech is far better than what you may remember from the PlayStation 2 EyeToy era.

Kung-Fu LIVE takes a live video feed of the player, cuts out the background (intelligently and on-the-fly) and slaps him into the game world. The effect is surprisingly good, plopping you into the game with a minimum of fringe, and reacting pretty quickly to your actions. The game itself consists of moving around a series of stages (accomplished by flicking oneís limbs around and lunging and things) and beating up enemies. The combat is totally free-form; if the game senses something that looks like a limb flailing around, itíll register as an attack, and strike anything in its path. More advanced manuevers include power punches, which are performed by winding up and thrusting two arms out, and things like lightning attacks and back flips, which have their own particular demands.

Itís not the most precise control system in the world, but the game makes no real pretension to the contrary. Itís all presented as stupid fun that will make you work up a sweat and look like a fool in front of your friends. Speaking of friends, there is a multiplayer mode, though due to the obvious dangers of having more than one person thrashing around, it has the rest of the crew using controllers and teaming up against the one proper camera-driven kung-fu master.

To get an idea of the kind of public shame we got down to, peep these sweet action shots of yours truly and sidekick Aram Lecis. To see what the game looks like in motion, watch the absurd trailer below. Itís... more accurate than youíd think.

Look for Kung-Fu LIVE to hit the PlayStation Network in November.