Kung Fu Rabbit Review (PS Vita): “A Charmingly Addictive 2D Platformer”

Kung Fu Rabbit PS Vita Wallpaper

Sony has really become a powerhouse of securing indie titles for their platforms as of late, and the Vita has a new indie game from the developers of Puddle, Kung Fu Rabbit. Originally, this title was released on iOS and Android devices last year by developers CTools, Cazap and Bulkypix. This Spring, Wii U received an enhanced version of the 2D platformer courtesy of Neko Entertainment, and has now been brought to the PS Vita. In an interview I conducted with them during the Wii U version’s release, Neko Entertainment stated that they thought it was something great, but the touch controls didn’t provide it the precision that it needed. The game certainly has a very charming, cutesy style to it, but how well does it play?

Kung Fu Rabbit starts off with a comic-book style story panel being displayed, showing your fellow rabbits being kidnapped. However, abductors left one rabbit behind…you. It’s up to you to platform your way through 80 levels to save all the abducted rabbits. While the story isn’t much to write home about, it’s there to give you the basic reason as to why you’re navigating the levels. Plus, while there may not be much story, the character designs are very appealing.

Kung Fu Rabbit Vita Gameplay 1

The gameplay is very reminiscent of old-school 2D platformers, as well as some recent indie ones such as Super Meat Boy. Each level has you running, jumping, wall jumping, collecting carrots and slashing enemies as you reach the goal to rescue a kidnapped rabbit. The game takes place within three worlds, each containing 20 levels to tackle. The controls are incredibly simple and responsive, as any 2D platformer should be. You’ll use the control stick or D-Pad to move, the X button to jump and the Square button to use items. Neko Entertainment wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted to provide proper controls, so you can use the X button, Touch Screen or Rear Touchpad to control jumping. Since this is a platformer, jumping is a tremendous element to the game, so precision is a must. Thankfully, controlling Rabbit is a charm, as his running speed and jumping feels just right. Even jumping off walls works the way it should with the right amount of physics applied. Rabbit can attack enemies, however in a non-traditional method. Instead of being given an attack button, Rabbit will be able to slash an enemy automatically by simply approaching it where their “Achilles Heel” is. Enemies will have a certain spot where they’ll have a glowing blue design, and it is here where you can attack them. If it’s behind them, then you’re going to have to run into them from behind. If it’s on their head, then you can give them the good ol’ “goomba stomp” that we’ve grown accustom to since the days of Mario. In each level, you’ll come across carrots. There are three regular carrots in every level, alongside a gold carrot that gives you extra. The carrots are used to purchase items for you to use, whether it be single-use, artifacts or unlockables (such as the Mexican Avenger costume). The single-use items vary from cleansing the area of enemies, activating checkpoints, deflecting projectiles, etc. Artifacts are essentially perks, which will enhance Rabbit’s abilities: “Carrot Juice” will let you run faster and jump higher, while “Death from the Sky” allows you to defeat any enemy by simply jumping on them (regardless of their weak spot), “Feet of Ice” will freeze breakable platforms so that you can pinpoint your jump better, “Claws” lets you slide down walls slower, “Feather” decreases your falling speed, and lastly, “Master of Arms” lets you run into any enemy and defeat them instantly (basically making you invincible against them). The catch with the Artifacts? You can only equip one at a time. If a level is giving you a hard time, you’ll want to figure out which Artifact to bring with you.

Kung Fu Rabbit Vita Gameplay 3

Kung Fu Rabbit’s platforming starts off very simple, allowing anyone to be able to dive into the game. However, as you progress, expect the difficulty to certainly ramp up, demanding for some spot-on platforming skills. Aside from the enemies, Rabbit will have to worry about the “dark goo” that fills some of the platforms. Whether you’re jumping over dark goo, or wall jumping precisely to avoid it on walls, it’s a big obstacle throughout the game. As a matter of fact, almost everything poses a threat to Rabbit, as he dies instantly when coming in contact with an enemy directly or the dark goo. Thankfully, levels are very short and the game rarely leads to frustration. The overall difficulty curve is actually nicely handled and never feels like it spikes dramatically. Aside from the 60 main levels, there’s also a bonus world with 20 additional levels. These will test your skills further and if you wanted more of a challenge, you can unlock the game’s hard mode called “Hardcore Rabbit”. Basically, this will have you revisit levels but they’ll have a plethora of extra obstacles and enemies placed around. This mode alone will double the game’s length and keep you coming back for more.

Kung Fu Rabbit’s visuals are really appealing to the eye. The art direction for the game is very charming, with nice color palettes and a smooth frame rate. The character animations are a bit simplistic but that doesn’t detract from the overall experience. The environments definitely have that “asian” feel to them, whether you’re in the forest, cave or indoor dojos. It may not be anything overly complex, but that’s fine, as the game’s aesthetic is certainly done right. Thanks to the Vita’s OLED screen, the colors really seem to pop out of the screen. Audio wise, there are a few music tracks here and while they capture the setting appropriately, they become a little repetitive. Also, there is some “voice-work” done for the characters. I use the term “voice-work” lightly because there’s no dialogue, mainly just chants from the creatures and Rabbit. However, hearing Rabbit cheer when he rescues a kidnapped rabbit is very catchy. Funny enough, when Rabbit would die, his shout reminded me a bit of the Rabbids from “Rayman Raving Rabbids”. One of the main issues I had with Kung Fu Rabbit was it’s menu design. There are images for each icon to give you an idea of what part of the menu you’ll be accessing, but it just feels somewhat off when navigating them. It’s nothing detrimental that severely hurts the game, but something that stuck out immediately and never really adjusted to. On the plus side, the menus provide for full touch-screen navigation or through regular buttons, so you have either option. Also, for trophy hunters, this is a game that contains 17 trophies but don’t expect a platinum trophy in this list. The trophies are very easy to get and but a fun set to get nonetheless.

Kung Fu Rabbit Vita Gameplay 5

Kung Fu Rabbit is a game that’s simple to pickup-and-play, yet challenging enough for gamers of all types. Don’t let the game’s cutesy appearance turn you away. This is no doubt a fun and addictive game that you’ll find yourself coming back to. For the $4.99 asking price, there’s a good amount of content to be found here and is almost impossible not to recommend. If you’re a fan of platformers, don’t think, just buy this game.

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10 = BUY IT!

A special thank you to Neko Entertainment for providing us a review copy for Kung Fu Rabbit!

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

Kung Fu Rabbit Review (Wii U eShop): “A Charmingly Addictive 2D Platformer”

Kung Fu Rabbit Wallpaper

The indie title trend continues on the Wii U, this time with an enhancement to a mobile device game. Kung Fu Rabbit is a 2D platformer that was originally released by developers CTools, Cazap and Bulkypix for the iOS and Android devices last year. Developer Neko Entertainment liked the game so much, that they worked with the original developers to get the appropriate access to bring the game over to the Wii U eShop. In an interview I conducted with them, Neko Entertainment stated that they thought it was something great, but the touch controls didn’t provide it the precision that it needed. While Europe has had the game for a few weeks, North Americans finally get the opportunity to try out the game for themselves. The game certainly has a very charming, cutesy style to it, but how well does it play?

Kung Fu Rabbit starts off with a comic-book style story panel being displayed, showing your fellow rabbits being kidnapped. However, abductors left one rabbit behind…you. It’s up to you to platform your way through 80 levels to save all the abducted rabbits. While the story isn’t much to write home about, it’s there to give you the basic reason as to why you’re navigating the levels. Plus, while there may not be much story, the character designs are very appealing.

Kung Fu Rabbit Gameplay 1

The gameplay is very reminiscent of old-school 2D platformers, as well as some recent indie ones such as Super Meat Boy. Each level has you running, jumping, wall jumping, collecting carrots and slashing enemies as you reach the goal to rescue a kidnapped rabbit. The game takes place within three worlds, each containing 20 levels to tackle. The controls are incredibly simple and responsive, as any 2D platformer should be. You’ll use the control stick or D-Pad to move, the A button to jump and B button to use items. Neko Entertainment wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted to provide proper controls, so you can use the GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Remote and Wii Pro Controller…and they all feel right for the game. Since this is a platformer, jumping is a tremendous element to the game, so precision is a must. Thankfully, controlling Rabbit is a charm, as his running speed and jumping feels just right. Even jumping off walls works the way it should with the right amount of physics applied. Rabbit can attack enemies, however in a non-traditional method. Instead of being given an attack button, Rabbit will be able to slash an enemy automatically by simply approaching it where their “Achilles Heel” is. Enemies will have a certain spot where they’ll have a glowing blue design, and it is here where you can attack them. If it’s behind them, then you’re going to have to run into them from behind. If it’s on their head, then you can give them the good ol’ “goomba stomp” that we’ve grown accustom to since the days of Mario. In each level, you’ll come across carrots. There are three regular carrots in every level, alongside a gold carrot that gives you extra. The carrots are used to purchase items for you to use, whether it be single-use, artifacts or unlockables (such as the Mexican Avenger costume). The single-use items vary from cleansing the area of enemies, activating checkpoints, deflecting projectiles, etc. Artifacts are essentially perks, which will enhance Rabbit’s abilities: “Carrot Juice” will let you run faster and jump higher, while “Death from the Sky” allows you to defeat any enemy by simply jumping on them (regardless of their weak spot), “Feet of Ice” will freeze breakable platforms so that you can pinpoint your jump better, “Claws” lets you slide down walls slower, “Feather” decreases your falling speed, and lastly, “Master of Arms” lets you run into any enemy and defeat them instantly (basically making you invincible against them). The catch with the Artifacts? You can only equip one at a time. If a level is giving you a hard time, you’ll want to figure out which Artifact to bring with you.

Kung Fu Rabbit Gameplay 2

Kung Fu Rabbit’s platforming starts off very simple, allowing anyone to be able to dive into the game. However, as you progress, expect the difficulty to certainly ramp up, demanding for some spot-on platforming skills. Aside from the enemies, Rabbit will have to worry about the “dark goo” that fills some of the platforms. Whether you’re jumping over dark goo, or wall jumping precisely to avoid it on walls, it’s a big obstacle throughout the game. As a matter of fact, almost everything poses a threat to Rabbit, as he dies instantly when coming in contact with an enemy directly or the dark goo. Thankfully, levels are very short and the game rarely leads to frustration. The overall difficulty curve is actually nicely handled and never feels like it spikes dramatically. Aside from the 60 main levels, there’s also a bonus world with 20 additional levels. These will test your skills further and if you wanted more of a challenge, you can unlock the game’s hard mode called “Hardcore Rabbit”. Basically, this will have you revisit levels but they’ll have a plethora of extra obstacles and enemies placed around. This mode alone will double the game’s length and keep you coming back for more.

Kung Fu Rabbit’s visuals are really appealing to the eye. The art direction for the game is very charming, with nice color palettes and a smooth frame rate. The character animations are a bit simplistic but that doesn’t detract from the overall experience. The environments definitely have that “asian” feel to them, whether you’re in the forest, cave or indoor dojos. It may not be anything overly complex, but that’s fine, as the game’s aesthetic is certainly done right. Even playing on the GamePad looks great, with barely any loss of visual quality. Audio wise, there are a few music tracks here and while they capture the setting appropriately, they become a little repetitive. Also, there is some “voice-work” done for the characters. I use the term “voice-work” lightly because there’s no dialogue, mainly just chants from the creatures and Rabbit. However, hearing Rabbit cheer when he rescues a kidnapped rabbit is very catchy. Funny enough, when Rabbit would die, his shout reminded me a bit of the Rabbids from “Rayman Raving Rabbids”. One of the main issues I had with Kung Fu Rabbit was it’s menu design. There are images for each icon to give you an idea of what part of the menu you’ll be accessing, but it just feels somewhat off when navigating them. It’s nothing detrimental that severely hurts the game, but something that stuck out immediately and never really adjusted to. On the plus side, the menus provide for full touch-screen navigation or through regular buttons, so you have either option.

Kung Fu Rabbit Gameplay 4

Kung Fu Rabbit is a game that’s simple to pickup-and-play, yet challenging enough for gamers of all types. Don’t let the game’s cutesy appearance turn you away. This is no doubt a fun and addictive game that you’ll find yourself coming back to. For the $4.99 asking price, there’s a good amount of content to be found here and is almost impossible not to recommend. If you’re a fan of platformers, don’t think, just buy this game.

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10 = BUY IT!

A special thank you to Neko Entertainment for providing us a review copy for Kung Fu Rabbit!

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

“Kung Fu Rabbit” Developer Interview with Neko Entertainment

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A few weeks ago, European Wii U owners were able to check out Neko Entertainment’s latest release, Kung Fu Rabbit. This Thursday (May 2nd), North American Wii U owners will be able to do the same (our review coming soon). We reached out to Neko Entertainment’s QA Manager, Sébastien Chipot, to provide us an interview about their latest release:

Marcello: First off, thanks for taking the time to provide us this interview. Kung Fu Rabbit was first released by CTools, Cazap and Bulkypix for the iOS and Android devices. How did you guys go about getting the backing to provide a Wii U version to the game?

Sébastien: When we saw the game, the first time, we found it to be great! The graphics are really cute, but the game is not that easy. It is a mix between beauty/fun and skills. The only thing we did not like was the controls (the virtual pad is not the best control to fit with this kind of game). So if could have the same game, but with a classic controller, it would be perfect! We realized the Wii U was the perfect platform!

Marcello: What changes (if any) were made to the Wii U version from the original mobile version?

Sébastien: We did not made a lot of changes. As I said, the game was already really enjoyable. We changed some Achievements, we added different controls (Wii U GamePad, Classic controller, Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Remote…) to be sure anyone would enjoy the game as they prefer, and fixed some issues already present in the iOS version.

Marcello: This is now your second title available for the Wii U via eShop. How was the conversion process for you guys to bring a game that was originally designed for the mobile devices to the Wii U? Was it fairly simple or was the Wii U architecture vastly different to adapt to?

Sébastien: It is never easy to bring a mobile game to a platform like the Wii U. But we have a strong experience now, and that’s true, developing Puddle on the Wii U first, helped us to know more about that console. So we did not have to face so many problems during Kung Fu Rabbit’s Project. The only main change was the interface, as we had to change some things, especially avoiding to touch the screen of the GamePad (the touch is a nice thing, but your hands hide a part of the screen, so we preferred to focus on simple but efficient controls : the Buttons and Control pad).

Marcello: It’s a fair assumption to believe you guys are finding the Wii U to be a strong platform to develop for, as this is already your second title for it within a few months. Are there any other projects in the pipeline for the Wii U?

Sébastien: We are waiting for the final approval from Nintendo for our game Cocoto Magic Circus 2. We also have other projects on the Wii U, but it is too early to talk about it. I will contact you later when we will have more information to share about it.

Marcello: The Miiverse has really taken off as an integral element to the Wii U. What has it been like for you guys, the developers, to be in tune with fellow gamers, seeing what they think of your games, as well as seeing fan art (I believe you caught my drawing of Kung Fu Rabbit the other day)?

Sébastien: Yeah I noticed your drawing (nice one). We really think it is a great “plus” for everyone. We, as developers, can see what players think about the game (not always nice things, but we have to listen everyone, every complaint to increase our game, and bring more and more quality in our future projects). But I guess it is most of all a nice reward, because you are directly in contact with players, and so you can feel their joy about what we work on: when you see a lot of posts telling people “buy this game, it definitely worth it!”, that’s the best reward you could get !

Marcello: Kung Fu Rabbit is an undeniably cute game, between it’s visual and audio representation, to the characters themselves. Any chance we could see you guys working with CTools, Cazap and Bulkypix to provide a sequel? Also, is there any chance the game could come to the 3DS?

Sébastien: For the moment we are focusing on Kung Fu Rabbit. But I can tell you we are already working on the PS Vita to port the game on that console. But definitely, depending on the success of the game, we would love to work on a sequel, with our partner and developer CTools !

Marcello: Any other info you would like to add for the fans and readers?

Sébastien: We really hope a lot of players will enjoy our games! The more they are, the more new games we will release, trying always to satisfy them!

Marcello: Thanks again for your time Sébastien. I look forward to hearing from you and your team in the near future.