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A.P.I Review: T'AI FU
Developer: Activision OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: DreamWorks Interactive 1 Player
Game Type: Fighting/ Adventure Memory Card
Review Date: April 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

T'ai Fu is the first game to meld free roaming action with fighting/ adventure gameplay. Developed by DreamWorks Interactive, the game features rich graphics, has more than 100 character movements, authentic Kung Fu fighting actions, film-quality animation and a charismatic character.

It is ancient China, the mystical land of bamboo forests, and you are T'ai, the lone survivor of the Kung Fu fighting Tiger Clan. The Temple of the Panda Monks has just been desecrated and you have been blamed.

You must defeat and master the Kung Fu styles of numerous Chinese Animal Clans in order to reach unmatched strength and unparalleled spiritual growth to defeat the Dragon Master and restore world harmony and your good name.
Let's see how you do…

Sound & Vision

DreamWorks developed T'ai Fu using their Morph-X technology, also seen in Jurassic Park: The Lost World, which allows for real time lighting and particle effects. T'ai features many different character representations and I was impressed with the seamless animations during fights and while traveling around the 20 different levels. T'ai, and his opponents, flow from Kung Fu move to Kung Fu move without any hesitation or choppiness. That's quite a feat when you consider there are over 100 character moves to choose from.

The only real problem that I had with the graphics was the cinematic camera angles coupled with the level backgrounds. Most of the time the real life camera feel makes for great effects and gameplay. However, I felt that many of the level backgrounds were a little lacking in detail and when you add the different camera angles into the mix you get some seeming and clipping as well as some confusion. Occasionally I found it difficult to figure out where I had to go and this caused the loss of life more than once.

T'ai Fu also features some very nice CG movie sequences that add to the enjoyment of the game.

The background soundtrack is acceptable but nothing to get too excited about. The music is there but it does little to grab your attention and many times I found myself not listening to it at all.

T'ai Fu's fighting sounds are good. All one hundred moves seem to fit well with their corresponding sounds and even sound good when strung together in a long line of Kung Fu mastery.

I liked it when T'ai would taunt his opponent with trash talk too. Although it doesn't happen a lot, it added a nice real life nineties feel to the game and helped me get into the fights a bit more.


Let me start this section off by saying I had a lot of fun playing T'ai Fu and found it very easy to get into. For the 20 different levels and one hundred different character moves, T'ai Fu was surprisingly easy to play. I don't mean it is an easy game to beat, it has several different difficulty levels and takes time to finish. But it doesn't take a lot of time to master the different Clan styles that you acquire throughout the game. This kept me from getting frustrated and allowed me to concentrate on beating the Dragon Master instead of mastering the different moves. Even though you control T'ai with all four buttons, the D-Pad, and the shoulder buttons, none of the moves involve an extremely complicated string that is impossible to remember. On the contrary, almost all of the moves consist of only two button sequences.

As you progress through the levels you can collect different types of power ups and power tablets including extra lives, Chi Orbs, invincibility, and stealth. The Chi Orbs restore your Chi Meter to full. Chi Power allows T'ai new Kung Fu abilities as the game progresses and can be a big help when you find yourself overwhelmed by an enemy attack.

The basic premise of the game is to defeat an enemy Animal Clan and harness their Kung Fu style and wisdom. Each Clan defeat affords T'ai with new abilities that help him defeat the next enemy and ultimately the Dragon Master. Altogether the game has ten clans including T'ai Fu's Tiger Clan.

As I mentioned in the Graphics section, moving around some levels can be a bit confusing at times but that doesn't detract too much from the overall fun and excitement of the game.

T'ai Fu is worth the money. With so many levels, enemy clans, and different moves, I don't see how T'ai Fu can get boring quickly. If you somehow find the game too easy and progress through the 20 different levels too fast, you can always change the difficulty and make it harder.

GRAPHICS: 17/20 I liked T'ai Fu. I had a lot of fun learning and playing. The 3-D fighting/adventure gameplay together with the free roaming action makes this game exciting and fresh.

I know I'm not going to stop playing for quite a while and I hope that this is not the last time we will see T'ai starring in his own game.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 18/20


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