Wu-Tang: Taste the Pain
As things go, pop groups that move into computer games usually come a cropper. You’ve only got to look at SpiceWorld and Revolution X to realise bands should stick to what they are good at (in the Spice Girls’ case, this is shaking their backsides about, rather than singing) instead of trying to cash in on the PlayStation. This time round the Wu-Tang Clan have turned their love of Kung-Fu, into the first four-player beat ‘em up to grace the ’Station.With new tracks recorded specially for the game and each band members likeness rendered and armed with deadly kung fu moves, fans should be well pleased with this package.
Wu-Tang: Taste The Pain is a four player combat fest, with plenty of blood and guts thrown in. Each player takes the role of a clan member and action is transferred to a grimy arena. The aforementioned clan members then set about eviscerating each other using an array of kung fu moves and illegal weapons. On finishing off the final opponent in the ring, one of five character specific fatalities can be performed. These range from Inspectah Deck’s ‘fingers of death head exploder’, to RZA’s ‘sword through the nose combo’. The moves are well animated and definitely worth a chuckle, as long as you’re not on the receiving end. The one-player mode is also well thought out. Each of the characters get sent on a mission to rescue their Shaolin master. They have to perform various tasks, such as protecting a comrade from multiple attacks or holding off a ninja assault, to continue in their quest. During the course of the adventure, characters get the chance to earn each of the 36 death chambers, that correspond to killing points in the human body. By collecting the chambers, extra characters, moves and costumes are unlocked.
Okay, so the clan are probably gonna come into the office to ‘slap our bitch asses down’ for saying this, but the graphics are slightly second rate and the animation is a bit dodgy. The game engine looks like it has been ripped straight out of the infamous Thrill Kill. Slow motion kill sequences and exploding body parts are, of course, just what we want in our videogames, and at first these welcome gratuitous forays are good fun, but like most shock tactics, they also become very wearisome after a few hours play, adding little to the actual game. In one-player mode, the action does get a bit tedious, particularly in the over long boss fights, where the enemy has got to loose ten lives before they finally cark it. The fact that it does take a character an age to shuffle across the area is also a bit lazy, an eight way run button could have easily been assigned to one of the pad shoulders.
Even with the grainy graphics and slightly dodgy character balance (try beating armed opponents with a bare-handed fighter!) the game is still a credit to the programmers in some departments. The outstanding soundtrack (which you’d have to expect, really) and voice samples, really give the game a real ‘gangsta’ feel. Using a multitap players can panel beat mates to within an inch of their lives. Players can even go at it three on one or two on two, using the Team Battle mode. If you like your games dripping with comical gore and you have a few friends that deserve an electro-magnetical kicking, then shell out the dead presidents for this blood fest, you certainly won’t regret it!