Top Critic Average
By all accounts, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn should have been a disastrous failure. However, it ended up as a surprisingly competent beat-em-up, and its passionate charm and fun gameplay make up for its uneven humor and short replay value. Put on some Gold Bond and head to the court, because it's time for a Shaq Attack!
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn is a fun button masher that brings Shaq back to the world of video games – you know, outside of a proper basketball game that is. The original Shaq-Fu was a fighting game, and now Shaq enters the beat ‘em up genre with a fun release that, while a bit repetitive due to its genre, is certainly fun.
While I suggest picking it up for the comedy factor and some of the stylish game play, I would still recommend you wait for a slight price drop for now, but when it does happen, pick this one up.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a game by any normal definition should not exist. It is a game I am truly surprised people wanted and funded. To those of you who took the leap more than four years ago; I say thank you. I sit here with a rough diamond, most certainly not perfect, but memorable and hilarious at every chance it gets. While short, this is not a game to be overlooked—Shaq is back.
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn is a solid side-scrolling brawler. We were unsure of what to expect from this whole 'Settle the score of '94' tagline, but were pleasantly surprised with the amount of fun it offers. While it lasts, it serves up a fun-filled ride with silly dialogue, politically incorrect humour and excessive amounts of 'Shaqness'. You might even be entitled to get this game for free but those who must part with their money and are on the market for some mindless brawling, you could do far worse than this Shaq attack. It's official then: Shaq-Fu: A legend redeemed.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is everything the first game should have been; it doesn't have to be “so bad it's good,” and it features some good honest fun at its core. A Legend Reborn is definitely one to pick up if you've missed the beat ‘em up genre and are fancying something with a modern twist.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn accepts and understands it's a novelty but is too heavy handed in it's approach. With a couple references to the other silly things Shaq has done in the past (Steel, Kazaam), countless TV appearances (Static Shock), other endorsements (The General Car Insurance) or even his delightful NBA 2K18 commercial this approach might've worked, though in its current form it just isn't there. If this is enough to amuse you, something that certainly gave me more than a couple laughs, especially at some of the delightful animations, then you'll likely enjoy it.
A Legend Reborn is a safe entry to the beat-em-up genre. It’s pretty basic but the writing is phenomenal. It’s also safe to say people might get offended with some of its humor. Not to mention the whole game is an apology letter for Nintendo Switch owners who purchased last year’s NBA Playgrounds before an online update was released. And in my opinion, this is the best way to play the game – for free.
We are not facing a failed production, but misses the opportunity of recovering the genre with new stuff. It stays in a known field, with a graphic section that does not stand out, but has a wild style we really love.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a run of the mill brawler, which just happens to feature pretty good boss fights. This game is really funny and is certainly worth playing for that alone. I had plenty of fun with this, despite its many shortcomings. Still, given the choice, I’d go with classics like Streets of Rage 2 or TMNT: Turtles in Time.
If you're a fan of side-scrolling beat 'em ups, have an open mind when it comes to humour, and don't mind the odd bout of tedium, you'll probably like Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn quite a lot; just like me. Technical issues do pull it down a little though; just be aware of them, and its ability to offend, before you buy into it.
I enjoyed the humor for what it was, and it doesn't take an overly long amount to time to clear. It's one of those games you can spend a day playing and not feel like you're being cheated out of anything if you never play it again. Shaq Fu's return won't earn the horrible reputation of its predecessor, but will probably be easily forgotten before the year is over.
What you’re left with, in the end, is an adequate brawler that tends to vary between too easy (while the enhanced Big Diesel and Shaq-tus modes are cute they’re not very challenging) to tough for the wrong reasons (control issues breaking out of stuns). Through each of the areas you visit enemies can be cosmetically different, and have some nuance, but they’re still a bit cookie cutter and all come from roughly the same 5 core types. This makes for finding patterns you’ll follow to success and, for the most part, there’s not much of a need for more than some basic strategies to stay alive until you get to the boss and need to figure out their patterns. The result is just a run-of-the-mill beat-em-up that seems to be using its “humor” to compensate. If that all sounds great to you, enjoy.
Congratulations Shaq Fu apologists, your sequel game delivered. We’re working on monkey paw rules however, so that means Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn only delivered on being a competent game instead of a good one.
A great experience for classic 16 bits fighting games fans. Simple but organic, enjoyable and fun. A great option if we like action but also a very simple game with repetitive mechanics.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
For a game that was in development for years and was funded as much as it was, it is pretty disappointing. Barely takes 2 hours to beat and that is on top of the repetitive gameplay stretching it out.
Unfortunately it ends up being a lot less memorable and significant, due to a rather generic audiovisual component and to its simplistic combat system, which does not try to make this experience any more poignant or worthy of praise.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Simply a missed opportunity and another proof you should be wary of crowdfunding games. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn pales in comparsion to the 30 year old Double Dragon. Add in the ridiculous price tag and short length and you'll end up with something you shouldn't buy outside of sales.
Review in Czech | Read full review
I wanted this game to be a success, I wanted it to be as fun as the trailer made it out to be, but I don't know the last time I played a game which made me prefer the option of turning off my console and going outside.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn manages to do things at such a basic level that it numbs us to the idea of anything entertaining happening ever. A product from the past that lacks in every department, one has to wonder why they even bothered?
From being a technical disaster and unfunny self-aware piece of software, Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn is an embarrassment to Shaq-Fu's 16-bit legacy. The original may not have been much, but at least it was not made ironically. The original was made by a talented team that did the best it could with what it had. A Legend Reborn is made with current technology and it somehow looks uglier and plays worse than the game that was coded in the '90s with pixels. Shifting the genre to a beat 'em-up was a logical choice, but this execution was a terrible miscalculation. Compounded with the overall poor quality, this is an extremely short game that clocks in at about two and a half hours. Not much value in Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn at all. Better stick with the 16-bit original.
At the end of the day, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a cautionary tale. Jokes are not funny just because you say them. Nor are they funny just because they raised over $450K. But being not funny isn't a cardinal offense for a video game. Being dull and soulless mechanically is.
The plot of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is, as Shaq says himself "convoluted and full of holes". A poor Chinese orphan, Shaq Fei Hung, is forced to face up to his destiny when it becomes apparent that some of the world's biggest celebrities are actually demons plotting to keep the people in a state of moronic subservience. As dictated by The Prophecy, Shaq must use the skills taught to him by his kung-fu master, Ye-Ye, to travel the globe, take down the celebrities and save the universe.The game itself is a simplistic scrolling brawler. As Shaq, players take on wave after wave of drone-like enemies. Mashing attack builds up a combo, before ending it with Bayonetta-style giant boot finisher, Shaq also has a shoulder charge, a ground pound, and a fairly useless jump-kick. Various weapons can be gathered from the streets or dropped by opponents. Once you reach the end of a stage, you face a celebrity boss, who must be defeated to progress.The problem is, the game is just so numbingly repetitive. Despite the fact it is a mere six stages long, and can be completed in about three hours, it becomes so drawn out, due to the endless waves of villains - non of whom put up a decent fight - and tiresome sequences designed for variety, but are just tedious. For example, one stage has you push boulders down a hill onto enemies for what seems like an eternity, before you move to another hill and do the exact same thing again. Occasionally a stage will lock you into an area, power you up (such as with the "Big D" Mech suit) then force you to defeat, literally, 200 baddies before you can move on. Even though you can mow through them with ease, it's just really boring to do so.
Whether or not the developers didn't have faith in their product or it was just trying to be clever, the meta-jokes about how silly everything in the game is entirely accurate. The game is only a couple hours long, and unless you are trophy/achievement hunting, there isn't any reason to return to the game. Even then, playing through the game feels like a chore, as levels overstay their welcome. Time will tell if the original promise of co-op makes it into the game, but that doesn't change anything concerning the borderline racist and offensive style of comedy used throughout.
"People crowdfunded this crap?" Yes, they did. And seeing the finished product, they probably kick themselves for giving its developers so much money. Time and nostalgia had transformed Shaq Fu, the bad 16-bit game, into a funny joke. And unfortunately, the joke has now gone to far. Shaq Fu : A Legend Reborn is a terrible game that manages to be very short and too long at the same time. If you aren't one of the game's backers, you truly should spend your money elsewhere.
Review in French | Read full review
This is a bad game. It's not worth $20 and, in my opinion, not worth $5, unless you're the kind of person that would get a kick out of Paris Hilton slut jokes in 2018 and can't get enough lazy, casual racism. A lack of cooperative multiplayer outright dooms the title, forcing it be be endured alone by those unlucky (or stupid) enough to buy it. I'm honestly shocked that Shaq lent his name and voice to this turd pile. My guess is that he cashed the check and hasn't seen the game. A disclaimer opens the game stating that the events depicted don't represent Shaq's views or opinions and that those who take issue with the content of the game shouldn't bother him. It's almost like the developers knew ahead of time that all of this was a bad idea and expect backlash to be directed towards O'Neal. Nice work, guys. 2/10 low-effort dick jokes.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a misfire in just about every way. The gameplay is dull and simplistic, the art and sound design are low quality, and the story is not only unfunny, but also surprisingly offensive. In other words, it's exactly what you would expect a Shaq Fu sequel to be like.