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Kung Fu Panda 2 Preview

Josh_Laddin By:
GENRE Action 
E10+ Contains Cartoon Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Somehow the most active and fattest panda ever.

I'll spare you the "fists and fur-flying" taglines—that's stuff for the movie posters. You already have a pretty good idea what you'll get from Kung Fu Panda 2: big fluffy animals beating each other up, outlandishly choreographed Kung Fu moves, and Jack Black doing his usual job of chewing the scenery like a pro. If you're in the target demographic for the film, chances are you'll be interested in the video game.

click to enlargeBut to play the 360 version of the movie tie-in, you'll need a Kinect, some space, and a lot of energy. The fights are pretty simple, involving a variety of different moves to beat down your enemies. You can punch or kick with either hand or foot, jump to do a double barrelled flying kick, and shout commands at your Kinect to summon your animal buddies to help when prompted. In defensive phases, you'll hold up your arms to block and duck around to dodge.

There are also some short mini-game levels to spice things up. Rickshaw levels challenge you to steer the runaway wooden cart to dodge obstacles while occasionally smacking objects back at the bad guys you're chasing. My favorite level was the noodle shop, a fast-paced Kung Fu-ie version of Diner Dash in which you're required to grab the correct bowl for the type of noodles your patrons want and fling the food out to the appropriate customer, scoring points for long combo chains.

As with many other movie games I've run into recently, Kung Fu Panda 2 follows a different story than its big screen counterpart, at least for the first part of the game in the preview build. Po's task is to put down the threat of a gang of komodo dragons threatening the Valley of Peace. You'll be able to kick, punch, and jump your way through the adventure when it launches with the movie at the end of the month.

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