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Wu Tang
"'Thrill kill' gets re-named, re-themed and beefed up a little to become one of the most original fighting games out there." Image Loading...
Developer: Paradox
Distributor: Activision
Game Type: Fighting
Review Date: Dec 99
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Playability:
 
Image Loading...       Many readers may remember a little game called Thrill Kill that never saw the light of day due to EA canceling the Paradox developed title because of the extremely violent and sexual content. The game boasted a game engine that allowed four players to complete on the screen simultaneously via the use of the multi-tap device.

Along comes Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style…developed by, you guessed it…Paradox. Sporting the same (albeit tweaked) 4-player game engine as Thrill Kill, Shaolin Style manages to be a surprisingly awesome fighting game.

There are several types of gameplay options waiting for you on this disc. You have the customary Practice Mode where you can perfect your selected character moves. As you dish out your brand of destruction the move list is displayed at the bottom of the screen so if you get lucky and pull off some mysterious Shaolin move you can see what you did to get…as long as the combo hasn't scrolled off the screen.

Image Loading...The Versus Mode is sweet as it can be played by two, three or four players. You can elect to have a free for all, play 2 on 2, 3 on 1 or partner with a bud and knock the crap out of the computer. You can select from any of the characters and arenas that are available including those that you unlocked from the single player game.

Speaking of the single player mode…Paradox has developed what they call the Story Mode, I simply call it the "Damn good game" Mode! In Story Mode you select someone from the Wu Tang Clan and participate in the rescue of your Shaolin instructor, Master Xin. You see Xin knows the secret art of Wu-Tang and an evil Warlord named Mong Zhu is out to get it so he kidnaps Xin and figures he can torture the secrets of Wu-Tang from him.

From the menu screen it is now time to select your character…the one that you feel is able to endure all of the battles and hardships a journey like this one entails. As you scroll throw each character a nice little bio is displayed for you to read through, giving a decent snapshot into each clan member's life and each of their specific battle specialties. Choose wisely, because the road that lies ahead is a treacherous one fraught with a multitude of challenges. If you are not able to squeeze the last drop of skill from your combatant you might as well not even bother stepping into the fray.

Your adventure will begin a vacant courtyard with connecting alleyways in a ravaged part of Staten Island. Its dark and barrel fires are burning away, probably started by the homeless to keep themselves warm. This definitely isn't the type of place to be unless you can take care of yourself. Luckily your selected character is a disciple of Wu-Tang and ready for any eventuality. You notice four alleyways; three open, one barred from entrance. You decide to see what's behind alleyway #1…

Image Loading...The game will take players all over the worlds jumping from Staten Island to Chinatown and then Jet Setting to China. Each battle that you fight is unique as each area is different and the number of fighters and their skills continue to change. The theme is also different for each fight. Some fights you are required to survive for a set amount of time as a never-ending sea of foes attack you. Another challenge would be to protect a wounded friend and defeat the enemies before your buddy croaks. Early on in the game you will face opponents where you need to learn certain skills in order to defeat them. Learn to block, to counter, to sidestep and most importantly…learn how to string together combos! Each character has a veritable arsenal of moves that you can learn and learn them you must. When you face three opponents with similar skills and must fight them all at once you had better have your shit together folks.

Image Loading...To add an additional twist on things, as you progress you gain Chambers (coin like tokens). At the end of each match you are brought to a chamber screen and awarded a number of Chambers for that match. Chambers can range from simply unlocking a new character or arena to new Fatalities learned. There are slews of things that can be opened, unlocked and gained. The nice part is that a lot if not all of this neat stuff can be used in the Vs. mode.

Wu-Tang is certainly a game that has some serious attitude going for it. Each of the characters finishing moves are just plain brutal and in some cases would make the fatalities of Mortal Combat seem tame in comparison. Crap man, if this is what it's like out there in the "Hood" then the big master "D" (Darwin) was a friggin visionary because it is certainly survival of the fittest out there.
 
Game Options:
 
      This is a 1 disk game for 1 to 4 Players when a multi-tap is used. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the analog stick controls of the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Tom: "Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style is one hell of a fighting game. The Wu-Tang clan makes for some truly interesting characters to play and the settings and opponents are borderline exotic in nature. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth and gameplay contained in this title. The sheer number of moves that each character has alone will keep gamers busy for weeks trying to figure them all out.

The Story Mode is totally awesome with some phat gameplay and stylin' action. The music is some of the best in its genre and the graphics are above average throughout the title.

If you are looking for a good, deep fighter that also throws in a little something different than look no further…Wu-Tang: Shoalin Style is a winner! "
Graphics: 18/20
Playability: 46/50
Sound: 9/10
Lastability: 17/20
Overall: 90%
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