I’m sure many of us remember those Saturday Afternoon Kung-fu flicks. It’s difficult to look at films like Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, Dance of the Drunk Mantis, and Five FIngers of Death and not see the inspiration for modern day fighters such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat. Hell, look at Fei Long and all the other Bruce Lee look-alikes you see in various fighters. Kings of Kung Fu and Shaolin vs Wu-Tang is a pair of fighters from jae Lee productions that pay tribute to these old movies. For a pair of independently developed fighting games, these aren’t half bad.
Kings of Kung-Fu
Kings of Kung-Fu features a cast of characters inspired by martial arts actors from the 70s and 80s. A mysterious fighter known as Red Ronin (who looks suspiciously like Sho’nuff from The Last Dragon, and even has a red ‘glow’ when doing attacks) has challenged a series of well-known martial-arts stuntmen (and women) to a tournament to determine who gets to star in the studio’s next film. The fighters are inspired by everyone from Joe Kelly to Enter The Dragon-era Chuck Norris. The soundtrack features a fusion of hip hop and martial arts soundtracks, not unlike what you would hear on a Wu-Tang Clan album. The game isn’t exactly Street Fighter 3 third:Strike, but it’s fun, and Bruce Lee fans will get a kick out of it.
Shaolin vs Wu-Tang
Shaolin vs Wu-Tang, which is still in steam early access, is inspired more by the movies themselves. It contains a cast of several fighters, each inspired by a classic martial arts fighting style. The game contains several weapon-based styles, the Mantis style, and even the Drunken Master! Even in its unfinished state, the game looks impressive, and does a great job of doing justice to those martial arts films of old. Hopefully the developer sticks with this game and we eventually see an indie fighter being featured among its triple-A peers in the e-sports scene.
Both of these games can be found for under $20 each, and they’re both fun tributes to martial arts cinema. They go on sale all the time too, so if you’re not sold on them at full price, just wait until they’re marked down in the next weekly sale.