Alright, I’ll admit that the majority of people who experienced Shoeless Joe, MLB 2k9, and Space Jam enjoyed what was presented to them. My intentions in the Piss Fumes series is to point out these atrocities and expose what they really are. Shoeless Joe is often forgotten to have been a book before a film, MLB 2k9 had so much promotion that led people to think that it was a truly great baseball video game, and Space Jam brainwashed minors with it’s flashy colors, animations, commercials, and merchandise. I’ve dissected each of these crimes, and openly criticized them with my writing.
However, letters on a computer screen sometimes aren’t enough to convince people that these different forms of sports media are as bad as I say they are. So, it’s not news to me or anyone else that there will always be people who will enjoy all three of them. As a matter of a fact, I’m sure the majority of the people who experienced these three things actually think positively of them. I mean, like I said, Shoeless Joe was turned into a film, MLB 2k9 was a high-grossing video game that thickened the wallets of those at 2k Sports, and even satisfied a choice group of gamers who bought it. And Space Jam? Well, I KNOW that there are people out there who don’t just respect this film, but love it and call it their favorite. For many, it still has a lasting impact on their childhoods that simply can’t be matched by any other film.
Makes me wonder what kind of crack you people are smoking.
Point is…Piss Fumes has been more about exposing the phonies, rather than just pointing out the obvious.
So, as a treat for the readers, I’ve decided to take a detour and head towards a more obscure form of sports media. One that isn’t hiding in the shadows, but rather one that sticks out like a black sheep and has permanent status as being one of the very worst of it’s kind. What I’m about to review is worse than Shoeless Joe, MLB 2k9, Space Jam, and Bob Cunningham’s taste in film all put together. If you can even imagine such horrors. So……read at your own risk…….it’s the legendarily awful video game the world has come to know as………
Yes, Shaq Fu. The Super Nintendo game released in 1994 that will be forever remembered as one of the worst creations in the history of mankind. This game is so bad, that there’s a website devoted to finding and destroying each and every copy of the game. It’s so bad, there’s even a conspiracy that the creation of the game has led to the downfall of society over the past 15 years. No exaggerations, temper tantrums, or bizarre similes necessary. I have simply stated facts only. It is so bad…………..for god’s sake it’s called SHAQ FU!!!
And that’s the first problem with this sinister creation. What the hell is SHAQ FU??? Is that a name that even needs to be made fun of? This is simply the stupidest title I have ever seen on ANYTHING. I mean, they take the main character in the game, Shaq, and just throw “Fu” at the end of it to show that it’s a martial arts fighting game. That leads me to believe that you can throw “Fu” at the end of any word and it automatically falls into that category. This is an embarrassment to human knowledge. Future generations will look back on this think that people from the late 20th century still hadn’t fully evolved from early primates. Wait a second…we haven’t even started to talk about the game itself…we’re talking about a title right now. This is going to get painful.
So, what is Shaq Fu even about? Well, like I said before, it’s a martial arts fighting game starring NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. Makes sense, right? When you start the game, you have the option of playing a “Duel” mode, so another human player can suffer the deep wounds, a “Story” mode, in which you take on the role of Shaq, and you advance to different levels by defeating random opponents in one-on-one fighting matches. There is also a “tournament” mode, in which you can create your own “bracket” of fights, and custom match-ups. I’d like to acknowledge that there are only 2 rounds in the tournament, and there are 8 slots for different fighters…but only 7 characters to choose from. What the hell? Last time I checked, 8 was bigger than 7. I’ll have to do some research, but with time I can prove that the number 8 is larger than the number 7, being a genius and all.
To fully explain my experience with Shaq Fu, I’m going to go ahead and guide you through the opening screens of the Story Mode, just so you can understand what is going on here.
When the Story mode begins, you are greeted by a picture, and some text beneath it. At the time, this was the modern cut-scene for 16-bit consoles. But even this first screen raises questions to the gamer…and I’m talking about questions like “Who the hell thought of this??”
It depicts Shaq standing on a street corner of Tokyo. There’s a shameless plug for Pepsi right above his head and the usual “Kung-Fu” street sign that points down another street. Oh that’s not stereotypical or anything. A “Kung Fu” street sign in Tokyo……
Shaq: “It’s downtown Tokyo and I’m checkin’out the local sights on the day of my all-star charity game when……I stumbled upon a small Kung Fu dojo with an old man inside.”
All-Star charity game in Tokyo? Well, good for you Shaq.
We then see the old man inside the “Kung Fu dojo”
Old man: “Greetings big warrior. You are the one from the stars, I presume? I thought I’d never live to see the day!”
Shaq replies, “I’m an all-star, if that’s what you mean? We have a game tonight…..would you like to come? It’s going to be quite a battle even though it’s for charity.”
Hold on a second….. “Even though it’s for charity”?? What is he saying here? That it’s less important because it’s for charity? How self-centered is Shaq in this game? Sadly, let’s continue.
The old man replies; “Oh no, young warrior. I’m too old to be fighting! But I wish you well….you must hurry now if you are to save the little boy, Nezu. That is, if you are really the magic one?”
Wait a second……what? Shaq says something about a charity basketball game and asks him if he wants to come watch….and his reply is “I’m too old to be fighting,”??? And who the hell is Nezu? Where is he? What danger is he in? Why does SHAQ have to save him? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?
Shaq replies: “I’m not sure what you mean? I’m just sightseeing before my game? What are you talking about?”
The old man then states: “No time to explain! Go through this portal- and find Nezu
- and save him before it’s too late.”
Shaq replies: “F*** you, old man. I’m an NBA superstar and a human god. I’m ‘bout to go play this charity basketball game and get laid tonight……see you in hell.”
Naw, he just gets in the portal and the game starts. But that actually makes less sense….why in the world would ANYONE, let alone an NBA Superstar just go along with something like this? In comparison…. if you walked into a gas station, and the clerk asked you to enter a “portal” in which you had no clue as to what was in it….to save a kid you’ve never heard of, and never seen before in your entire life, would you just go along with it?
So Shaq enters the “Second World” (real creative, by the way…..kudos to the writers) and this is FINALLY when we can begin the game. So, we’ve already suffered this much up to this point……how much worse can it possibly get? Oh, you have no idea.
So you walk around a map screen that has a few different places you can interact with. You walk to an area, hit the “A” button, and the fight begins. Personally, I chose to begin with the “Vagabono Temple”. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help to laugh when I wrote “Vagabono”. We then see a screen that shows Shaq and some other green guy who looks like an Arabic version of the Incredible Hulk pointing at each other. Shaq says,
“Be careful, Prince! You might hurt yourself with those swords!”
What swords? Clearly the picture of this “Prince” that we see isn’t holding any swords…he’s just standing there. The “Prince” replies:
“My swords will make you think twice about that comment!”
Okay, the dialogue in this game makes Shoeless Joe look like the work of Shakespeare…….and I still hate Shakespeare, just for the record. Wow, I can’t wait to actually start playing this game! And that is where things go from being horrible to just effortless and a waste of my time. All we have for the fight is a simple 2-D side scrolling presentation in a small confined fighting area, just like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter 2. I should probably be put in jail for comparing Shaq Fu to either of those great games, not to worry however, as the actual gameplay distinguishes itself from those two so that it’s barley even considered a fighting a game.
Now, let me ask you a question. What’s the most important thing about playing any game? Being able to play it, right? Well, whoever made this trash clearly didn’t get that memo.
The control is AWFUL. You move so slow that you’re better off standing in one spot and letting the opponent just come to you directly. Each fighting move, whether it be your punch, kick, jump kick, quick kick, block, or whatever else cannot possibly be executed with any satisfaction whatsoever, seeing as how there is at least a 1.5 second delay between the button push and the actual attack. It may not seem like much, but trust me, when you play any game that has that type of delay in control, it will frustrate you to the point of thinking something s actually wrong with your controller. Imagine if in Madden, when you threw the football, there was a 1.5 second delay when you hit the button of your wide receiver. Unless you had perfect protection, or just no pass rush at all, you would be sacked on every single play. And this is a fighting game we are talking about…..this is absolutely crucial. The hit detection is probably one of the worst in video game history. You can’t punch the head, kick the legs, or hit any part of the other fighter unless it is the exact middle. So, in conclusion, how does the control feel?
I’d say somewhere along the lines of getting punched in the testicles by Wolverine.
So this “Prince” that I’m fighting doesn’t actually have any swords, unless he uses his special move in which he just throws two swords at him. When you defeat him, he says:
“You may have gotten past my swords, but voodoos will teach you a lesson, fool.”
Great, thanks buddy.
From here on out, you just do the same thing, but with different characters to fight. You meet a grim-reaper type of character who claims he will “Slap you silly”, a “cat-woman” named Kaori who literally tells Shaq she is going to do some “serious damage to his body”. Wow, they really ran of ideas early in this one.
Alright, at this point I said screw it and that I’d had enough of this torture. Nothing else of importance actually happens in the game, so I’ve given all I’ve got. Not only is this game too hard to finish, but it’s too much of a disgrace to even continue talking about it.
Shaq-Fu, unlike Shoeless Joe, MLB 2K9, or even Bob Cunningham’s beloved “Space Jam” is hated by anyone who ever experienced it that has a legitimate opinion. This isn’t one that I’d expect to see any mercy for. The only question that remains about this game is……who made it…..more importantly….who the hell allowed this thing to be released to the public? Well, if you aren’t already in total shock at how bad the game is, then get ready for this..
Shaq Fu was published by Electronic Arts. Yes, EA, my friends. Believe it. So next time you’re in conflict between buying an EA game or not buying it because you’re afraid it will suck….remember the two words that will forever haunt the minds of those who played it: Shaq-Fu.
So, that’s it. That’s got to be the very worst in terms of sports video games, right. I mean, what kind of world would have something worse than this? Who could even make a game worse than this or one even equivalently bad? Probably no one, right?
Well, actually there is this one…..
And I’ll tell you all about it.
Post-note: All statements are satirical, and do not reflect the opinions of any other writers at SportsFullCircle.