Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn

shaq fu a legend reborn box art review
4.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 5/10
Controls: 5/10

Simple gameplay and throwback feel

Doesn't do enough to be reflexive and comes off more as lazy

Game Info

Game Name: Shaq Fu:  A Legend Reborn

Developer(s): Saber Interactive/Big Deez Productions

Publisher(s): Mad Dog Games

Platform(s): PS4/Xbox One/Switch/PC

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 5, 2018

ESRB Rating: T

shaq fu a legend reborn shaqtus cactus gameplay screenshots

Now it is time for Shaq-Tus!!!

Shaquille Fei Hung was found in a river by his mother who raised him and as he grew to immense size.  Mocked by the other children, Shaq found a teacher in Ye-ye and learned the art of Wu Xing.  Now, Shaq is out to stop a worldwide takeover by celebrities who are manipulating their followers and it will take all his skills to stop them…and it could lead him directly to his origin!

Shaq Fu:  A Legend Reborn is a fighting adventure game developed by Saber Interactive and Big Deez Productions.  The game is a loose sequel (more of a parody) to 1994’s Shaq Fu and was released on multiple platforms.

Shaq Fu was a joke.  What made Shaq Fu worse was that it wasn’t treated like a joke.  With tons of other (aka better) fighting games out there, why would you get a game with Shaquille O’Neal fighting?  It felt like an ego trip.  Shaq Fu:  A Legend Reborn was treated like a joke…and it makes it better?  It is debatable, but Shaq Fu:  A Legend Reborn does have its moments (the PS4 version was played here).

shaq fu a legend remore seymour prophet michael moore shaquille oneal

Ok…a Michael Moore whale? The way it is presented, is it social commentary…a joke…an honor? I vote for “just weird”

The game is essentially something like Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Final Fight.  It is pretty short and has simple controls.  The fighting gets tiring at points and you start to question if playing through Shaq Fu is worth it, but the game and the levels wrap-up quick enough that you push on.  There are some jokes about the repetitiveness of the game, but it doesn’t really change the game or the fact that it is repetitive.  It is a weird “I know it is repetitive…so?” type of moment.

I actually find the controls on this game kind of obnoxious.  Shaq doesn’t move very smoothly for all the advances in video games, he doesn’t have many moves, and the character seems to get “sticky” around objects on the ground and other characters.  While it is trying to emulate a throwback game, it feels like the game shouldn’t necessarily emulate the bad parts of a beat-’em up game and should modernize it.

shaq fu a legend reborn boss battle graphics screenshot gameplay yen lo wang shaquille oneal

The best part about the final boss? That it is the final boss…

The graphics easily could have been better, but that doesn’t fit the theme of a throw-back game.  There aren’t enough characters and the characters are relatively generic.  Shaq doesn’t have many attack and the characters don’t have many attacks…as a result, it feels like you are playing through just to play through.  It doesn’t develop the game.

Shaq Fu:  A Legend Reborn is sometimes problematic.  It takes a bit of a South Park meets The Jerk storytelling approach which doesn’t feel as introspective as either of those examples so it comes off as a bit racist and even homophobic at points (and the intentional product placement jokes wear thin)…which I guess is also supposed to be part of the throwback charm, but it felt more cringe-worthy.  A free download allows you to continue the game for a few short levels as Barack Fu:  The Legend of Dirty Barry which places a Barack Obama character in a Blaxploitation type of game trying to defeat Con-Ye…like Shaq Fu, it has its moments, but both Shaq Fu and Barack Fu are only worth getting if they are dirt cheap.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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