Kung Fu Rabbit review for PS Vita, Wii U

Platform: PlayStation Vita
Also On: Wii U
Publisher: Neko Entertainment
Developer: cTools Studio/Neko Entertainment
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Enough iOS games have been brought over to the PS Vita that it’s become clear what makes for a good port, and what makes for a lazy one. Games like Burn The Rope and Jetpack Joyride: good, because they make use of the Vita’s features in ways that differentiate them from the originals (they let you rotate the rope using the touchscreen and fly your jetpack using the rear touchpad, respectively). At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s ports like Draw Slasher, that add nothing to the original experience, but still charge a Vita tax.

I’m pleased to report that Kung Fu Rabbit is one of the good ones. Admittedly, it doesn’t need to do much to earn that distinction — as a platformer, just having buttons instead of touch controls makes the game immeasurably better. But still, my point stands: as you play through the game, it’s clear that when the developers decided to bring it over to the Vita, they did so because they saw how the game could be improved by the transition, not because they just saw more wallets to be exploited. (Further evidence of this: the iOS version’s micro-transactions are nowhere in sight here.)

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Of course, it’s not hard to see why the developers might have thought this way: Kung Fu Rabbit is incredibly hard in some places, and I can’t imagine trying to achieve some of what you’re expected to do here with only touch controls. It’s easy enough to breeze through the early levels, but by the time I hit the middle of the game I was regularly dying around a dozen times per level. The jumps call for new-perfect timing, and if you’re just a little bit off in one of your movements you go right back to the start of the level.

(As an aside, it’s a little surprising more iOS developers haven’t tried porting platformers over to the Vita — it’s not as if the system is swimming in them at the moment, and, of course, the vast majority of those on Apple’s platform would be greatly improved by having the more precise controls. But I digress.)

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Of course, the game isn’t worth getting just because it has buttons. No matter how frustrating it may be to die for the nth time because your platform suddenly vanished beneath you, the levels are short enough and their solutions obvious enough that it’s impossible to not get sucked into the “One more time…just one more time…okay, once more” pattern. Couple that with Kung Fu Rabbit’s bright, visually appealing visuals and a perfectly reasonable price tag of $4.99, and you’ve got the recipe for a fun game.

Grade: B+