Kung Fu Jesus and the Celestial Gold, easily one of my favourite game titles ever, aims to fuse the world of scrolling beat em ups and the minefield that is mental health. Does it succeed? Read on to find out.
Kung Fu Jesus and the Celestial Gold is frankly the most bizarre, endearing, frustrating and confusing experience in gaming I’ve had in a good long while.
It belongs to the side scrolling beat em up genre which usually involves you walking to the left or right, crowd managing fools with your fists. Kung Fu Jesus does this but with a frankly heavy narrative, psychedelic imagery and heavy Scottish accents.
The game ranges from dull tones to vibrant colours, flashing elements and is heavily led with an abstract art direction that aims to give a visual insight into the complex issues of mental health such as schizophrenia.
Character animations are basic but smooth and the actual designs of the characters are just as cryptic as the main character, the narrative and the title itself.
As mentioned this game is a scrolling beat em up, the main issue with this is the amount of story and narrative to break it up, in my first half hour of play I spent more time listening to distorted sounding vocals, bizarre music and reading detailed descriptions than I did punching and kicking stuff.
Then eventually when I was given the reins the combat felt rather flat and floaty. The press release for the game mentioned it had more of a focus on combos and initially it felt rather run of the mill, fortunately I stuck with it despite the visuals being almost headache inducing and the combat actually opened up to quite an enjoyable experience.
Kung Fu Jesus was an interesting experience in that it reminded me of ambitious quirky titles from developers like Suda and Swery but with a Scottish take on things.
The art style was truly unique and I never quite felt at peace with it as much as I would have liked and the gameplay had a tendency to force me into mini games and cutscenes where I just wanted to do what the genre does best and smash fools in the face.
The game is a LONG game with several possible paths and endings, so there is alot of bang for you book with paths lasting well over the 10 hour mark if you can stomach it.
While I liked Kung Fu Jesus and the Celestial Gold I wanted to love it, the mini games are a mixed bag of fun and filler and the amount of story and cutscenes doesn’t quite suit the genre. It’s not for everyone but it’s a quirky title with a deep narrative.
One look at this title and you’ll know if it’s your bag or not.
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.