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Shaq Fu – SNES

Shaq Fu – SNES

shaqfu-coverPlatform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Delphine Software International

Release Date: October 28th, 1994

Genre: Fighting

Nerd Rating: 3.5 strips out of 10

Reviewed by Rhutsczar

If there is one person who definitely doesn’t need a game, it’s Shaquille O’ Neal. Sure, you might think “But Rhutsczar, celebrities and athletes endorse and appear in video games all of the time!” While that may be true, how often are they in a fighting game of all games? Not often mind you.

Gramps v Shaq

Gramps v Shaq

In Shaq Fu, the player takes control of NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal while he is visiting Tokyo for a charity basketball event. Shaq decides to check out the local shops and happens upon an old dojo run by a man who believes he is the warrior sent from the stars (an all star)! The dojo master follows up by stating Shaq must enter through a portal to find a lost boy named Nezu. Without any second debate or inquiry for more information, Shaq just walks right through and enters the Second World.

Once you reach the Second World is where the real fun begins. Shaq has to fight through six different opponents to reach Tombstone Island and save Nezu. The final two battles are the only ones that should be cared about. You fight against Beast, the most loyal servant of Sett-Ra (the mummy that is revealed to have kidnapped Nezu) who is actually a force to be reckoned with. Once you reach Sett-Ra, it is only a quick defeat to rescue the young boy.

All Star vs Beast Mode

All Star vs Beast Mode

So, why did Sett-Ra kidnap Nezu? I have absolutely no idea. It is never explained, as the game just ends with Shaq returning Nezu back to the dojo, then reaching his charity basketball game to find none other than Beast on the opposite team. I guess he figured he could ruin humanity with just a simple child. This is why mummies don’t make decent antagonists. In a game like this, the story isn’t ever important, but this one is particularly bad.

Alright, lets start with the only good that existed in Shaq Fu, the sprite animation. During each individual battle, the character sprites, particularly Shaq, are extremely well detailed and are very fluid. I actually recognized Shaq’s sprite from my M.U.G.E.N. days. I always wondered where that sprite came from, as it seemed just too decent for it to be fan made. I didn’t find any problems even when the sprites performed the heavier animated moves. These sprites are definitely the best element of Shaq Fu.


Beast about to tear Shaq apart!

So much for everything that was tolerable. The hit detection was so inconsistent that simply landing a hit on an opponent would have made this game infinitely more fun! For example, during my battle with Beast, I jump-kicked and hit him square in the head, but it didn’t register at all. This ramps up the difficulty, which the game does desperately need, but it is the completely wrong way to do it. If I can’t even hit my enemy, then why the hell would I even fight?

Control wise, Shaq Fu is as bare bones of a fighting game as you can get. The characters do have special moves, like Shaq having a “fire kick”, but beyond that there are two punch and two kick buttons. These will hardly be used, as you can basically jump-kick your way through the game. That is though if you can actually hit your enemy. Quick question, since you have Shaq in a fighting game, wouldn’t his special be something basketball related? No? Okay just give him that generic “fire kick”.

I do just want to make a quick note of the soundtrack. It does consist of some basic hip hop beats, but it is highly uninteresting and forgettable. If you don’t want to take my word for it, listen for yourself. Below is the game over music used during the game.

Do you want to play an absolutely horrible fighting game? Maybe just because you are a fan of Shaq? You may be disappointed, but if you can look past all of the faults, you will still be disappointed. If you want to check out a decent fighting game, check out The Watchman’s review of Tekken 3 or LifeShowChris‘s review of Punch Out!! Also if you would like to read more from me, be sure to check me out over at Media in Review and Neon Vision Entertainment!

Written by Rhutsczar

Hello everybody! Thanks for reaching the end of whatever my newest/current addiction is above me. I’m pretty sure it’s an RPG, since it’s my favorite genre I try to find the most underrated and niche games possible. Anyway if you like what you read and would like to check out more, follow the links below. Also be sure to check out the RBG over on Beyond Bacon!.

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One Comment

  1. Steroid Gamer
    Steroid Gamer says:

    Didn’t Shaq say awhile back that they were making a sequel to this? lol hopefully it’s better than this one.


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