A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kung Fu Panda 2 (Kinect) has a lot of martial arts fighting, all of which is performed by the player throwing actual punches and kicks. It is a game based on the movie of the same name. While definitely physical in nature, none of the violence is graphic, but there is a lot of it. Make sure that kids have a clear, safe area to play in, as it would be all too easy for a player to accidentally hit a nearby friend or younger sibling who is watching him play.
What's it about?
The game, KUNG FU PANDA 2 (KINECT), picks up where the movie sequel leaves off. After having brought peace to their village, Po and the Furious Five are called to action once again, as former henchmen of the movie’s vanquished villain show up and begin menacing the townsfolk. As Po, you will track down baddies and defeat them in martial arts combat, calling upon members of the Furious Five for the occasional assist. In addition to the fighting sequences, there are also rickshaw races and noodle-bowl-balancing challenges, both of which also use Kinect motion controls.
Is it any good?
Kung Fu Panda 2 (Kinect) is a game very well suited to the full-body motion controls of the Kinect system. There’s a great visceral thrill in swinging your arms and legs around to make Po perform cool kung fu moves. Granted, your motions aren’t nearly as complicated as the fancy, fluid maneuvers that the panda pulls off onscreen, but there’s still a lot of physical fun as you block, sweep, and jump. The cart racing and bowl balancing bits are very enjoyable as well, and will have you bobbing and weaving with glee. And being able to yell out the name of an ally and have them show up to help you is just plain cool. The story is a bit slow-moving, and the cinematic scenes can go on long enough to annoy impatient players, but the plot is secondary in a game like this. Overall, this is a very high-caliber movie tie-in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fighting in the game. Does the cartooniness of the game decrease the impact of the violence? What about the fact that the characters are animals?
Does the physical aspect of the Kinect system increase the impact at all? Does it make kids feel aggressive while playing? Or can it actually be good exercise?
Does playing this game make you want to learn more about the martial arts?
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