It’s been quite a while since Kung Fu Rabbit launched on the PlayStation Store, in fact, it’s been over 2 years and the game unfortunately we didn’t get round to reviewing it when the game initially launched. Thanks to the game being on PlayStation Plus recently, we’ve finally been able to get our hands on it – and it’s glorious.
Kung Fu Rabbit was developed by cTools Studio and was first released on mobile devices in 2012 before releasing on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 in July 2013 as a Cross-Buy title. The game seems to have remained under the radar until it recently was added to the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection.
You play as Kung Fu Rabbit – a rabbit who, as you might have guessed, knows Kung Fu. He awakens one day to discover that his whole tribe of rabbits have been kidnapped and their Carrot stash has been stolen. As Kung Fu Rabbit, it is your mission to rescue all of the kidnapped rabbits and carrots!
Now if you’re familiar with the PlayStation Plus line up of October 2015, you’ll be aware that Super Meat Boy launched as part of the line up, and this is quite relevant considering how similar these titles are in terms of game play and difficulty at times.
The game is a simple platformer that sees you having to jump over a series of obstacles and platforms while avoiding black tar like substances and enemies, instant contact with either of those will count as an instant death and you’ll have to start the level over from the beginning.
The early levels of the game start off as tutorial levels, allowing first time players a chance to get used to the mechanics and controls of the game. Just as you start to feel like you’re getting used to the game the difficulty ramps up, forcing you to have to time your jumps and think about situations before tackling each stage.
Every level will have a baby rabbit at the end of it for you to save, as well as 3 Carrots scattered around the level for you to collect. If you manage to collect the carrots you’ll be able to spend them to buy power-ups, which in turn will help make levels easier by either eliminating enemies or making your jumps more accurate.
While later in the game levels can become incredibly difficult, the controls are so smooth and accurate that you’ll never blame the game – 9 times out of 10 it’ll be the players fault, mistiming a jump or getting too close to an enemy. This can be enough to make you get angry at yourself.
Kung Fu Rabbit‘s graphics are actually incredibly pretty – as a port of a mobile title you’d think that the graphics would perhaps suffer. Fortunately they’ve converted nicely over to the Vita’s brilliant screen, with each character and environment looking both unique and fun.
One thing I can honestly say I wasn’t too fond of was the soundtrack, it can be quite repetitive and boring with only a handful of songs in the games library. After an extended play session I found myself muting my Vita and listening to my own music instead.
A plus for the Vita version of Kung Fu Rabbit is that instead of having to use the mobile version’s touchscreen controls, the developers added use of the Vita’s face buttons. I feel that this was a good decision as the touch controls would have made for less accurate gameplay and would’ve been more of an annoyance if anything.
A major dislike I have about the game is that it has a hard mode which you can unlock by completing the game, however you can also unlock the hard mode by using the Carrots you find in levels as currency, if anything I felt that this was more of a way to encourage cheating as well as discouraging players of unlocking the secret levels or improving their skills.
To summarise, Kung Fu Rabbit feels like more of a less fleshed out Super Meat Boy, which is absolutely not a bad thing, it’s fun, difficult and incredibly rewarding, and it’s packed full of some incredibly easy trophies to earn. Even if you didn’t get the chance to pick this game up as part of the PlayStation Plus lineup I’d absolutely recommend spending your cash on it when you can.