Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus
Genre Action -> Fighting
Today's Rank 0
Homepage
USA
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
UK
Date 2003-05-09
From a few of the guys who gave us the 2-D classic Mortal Kombat comes Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, a gorgeous 3-D fighting game that dares to be a bit different from the norm. In the world of Tao Feng the Pacific Northwest is called New China. Two rival factions, with six members each, fight to gain two mystical tablets that grant awesome power. On the side of the Pale Lotus we have 90-year-old Master Sage, attractive Jade Dragon, a hothead appropriately named Fiery Phoenix, cat-like Fierce Tiger, level-headed cop-by-day Divine Fist, and the enigmatic and metallic Iron Monk. The bad guys, called the Black Mantis, are: Wulong Goth--looking crazy in a praying mantis costume, the mystical Fatalist, the alluring Divinity, the scary Geist, and a hulking brute named Exile. Each fighter has his own fighting style, powers, and core strategy, and the game design is such that you have to relearn the game with each new fighter. The slower pace of the fighting in Tao Feng might put off genre fans looking for something more frantic. The controls are simple and include a few innovations. For example: pushing back on the game pad blocks, but too much blocking might result in losing the use of your limbs. The rest of the buttons are two basic punches, two kicks, all modified by the direction you press and the use of the shoulder buttons and jumping attacks. You can even taunt your foe, which, like hitting them, charges your Chi bar. Chi can be unleashed in a devastating attack with the white button, and this attack is also modified by how you use the direction pad. The result is a fluid game of blocking, striking, and stringing combos, and occasionally taking advantage of your Chi powers to take out your opponent. There's a Quest mode that challenges you to beat the other faction one at a time for pieces of the mystical tablet. Survival mode has you trying to beat as many opponents as possible with a single health bar. Versus mode lets you stage a battle in any arena you like and for multiple players there's a tournament mode. The game looks great and features arenas filled with hazards and breakable objects. The only problem with the game is that some animation bugs didn't get squashed before the game shipped--when executing attacks characters sometimes instantly jerk into a new stance. Fortunately the underlying gameplay is strong enough that a player can forgive such faults, and concentrate on the gory action instead. --Bob Andrews
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Screenshots added: 2003-01-21