Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus is a blend of fighting realism and over-the-top special effects for the XBox console gaming system. The game delivers a storyline of the classic battle between good and evil as two ancient Chinese clans of superfighters, each seeking to uncover the secrets of immortality, battle for dominance. Hand-to-hand combat is the name of the game with amazingly realistic fighting and stunning special effects. The arenas that the opponents fight in are highly interactive and destructive. When the fight ends, players will witness the devastation of battle in the form of broken bones, destroyed environments, and other interactive ways of destroying anything that stands in your way.
Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus was developed by Studio Gigante, which was established by John Tobias in 2000. John Tobias was the co-creator of the highly successful “Mortal Kombat” fighting series.
Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus offers several features never before seen in a fighting game on the XBox console:
Bone-crunching realism in the form of clothing tears, blood spills, bruises swell and bones break.
Completely interactive and destructive worlds as players can punch holes in walls and throw opponents through glass, or make acrobatic attacks by swinging around poles and flipping off walls.
Powerful Chi attacks create “superpowers” for awesome attacks that have awesome visual special effects. Each fighter has the ability to unleash awesome special attacks, inflicting devastating damage on the enemy and the surroundings.
Gamers can rip their own music to create a personalized soundtrack for the game – who can’t resist putting in “War – Hueh- what is it good for?!” in the game soundtrack!
Ever play any of the Mortal Kombat games? Sure you did – and this game is a throwback to the classic fighting games of the mid-1990s. Tao Feng, however, blends in the powerful graphics engine of the XBox by creating amazing over-the-top special effects associated with “Chi” attacks, otherwise known as fireballs or other such destructive psychic attacks. If you’re a glutton for a billion moves with each fighter, you’re in luck, as each character has over 100 unique moves and each has a distinctive style of fighting that gives the characters a nice distinction over the others.
If you want to button mash, go ahead. You won’t have too terrible a time mashing away to fighting glory against the CPU or against your buddies. Nevertheless, the combos in the game as well as some of the harder fighting moves are difficult to pull off, but have a high-risk/high-reward association when they are attempted. Fighting in this game won’t be too draconian for people accustomed to the newer generation of fighting games on consoles these days, but combat-game purists will appreciate the throw-back style of gameplay. There’s a nice depth to the game that includes “limb damage” that will take away from your attacks if you try to punch someone with an arm that is broken. It’s a nice level of “realism” (loosely used, I mean come on – how real can these games be) that you don’t see in other products.
A problem with the game itself when playing the campaign mode is that the CPU, even on regular and easy settings, is pretty difficult to defeat. Many gamers might be easily frustrated at the level of competition that the CPU offers.
The bread and butter of this game is the high level of graphics and special effects thrown in, as well as the interactive environments. The characters themselves are rich and detailed, and the environments look great and can be affected by the fighting that occurs on screen. This game definitely taps into the potential the XBox has, and is a great game to show off to friends on the big screen.
The cuts, bruises and gashes that appear on your characters as they get their asses whooped on is in “real time” and not between rounds as other games generally live by. If you get punched in the face enough (I was especially adept at this against fellow reviewer David Pfannenstiel), you’ll start bleeding right there in the middle of the round as it happens. The gore isn’t gratuitous, but cool enough for a few “ooooh!” moments between you and your friends.
The fact that you can bring in your own soundtrack into the game is a nice little feature that brings a little bit more fun into the equation. The sound effects for all the special attacks and bone breaks are pretty cool, and the Dolby Digital support allows the game a nice rich detail level for you power Xbox users out there.
There’s no denying that fighting games are great for parties and long nights of stress-relieving. Tao Feng is a game that can last you long into the wee hours of the night if playing with a group of friends. If playing by yourself, you might find the game to be a little frustrating due to the high level of difficulty, but otherwise gives off a rich and fun fighting experience. The level of detail given to the graphics and the fighting system (broken bones do less damage when used to attack) give the game a nice appeal where others lack. The game should be one you pull out to play more often than not.
One important question every reviewer just has to ask of any game – is it fun? Fortunately here, the answer is yes. The game is best suited for those of you who enjoying having a group of people over and like beating each other up on the tube. Gamers looking for a fighting game with some great graphics and sound effects will also do well by checking this title out.
Overall, Tao Feng is an enjoyable title and one that does the XBox console some justice in the form of graphics and sound effects. The familiar Mortal Kombat” style of gameplay will send throwback gamers into a bliss of bone breaking fun.