Hands-on / Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao

Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao, at the Namco Bandai booth. Invincible Tiger really goes for that classic Kung Fu movie look and feel. The story centers on Han Tao, General of a Thousand Victories, who has to track down the Evil Overlord and take back the legendary Star of Destiny.

My hands on time with Invincible Tiger made me want to go watch Five Deadly Venoms, or any of the great 70’s or more recent Kung Fu movies in that style; so they definitely nailed that classic style. Fighting is fast, with rounds and rounds of enemies appearing. The controls are simple and fluid. After finishing a good combo Han Tao would even follow up with a couple of forms and stances, just showing off his style in that bad-ass way. Players are presented with a rather open stage, in my case a Chinese building, where players can roam and fight. So, if we were on the bottom level we could quickly climb a column or tree vine and take the fight to the roof or a tree limb. Pathways or items that can be used light and flash when Han Tao nears them and a quick button jab later he is onto the next landing or kicking a bucket into someones face.

The dodging and getting in counter-moves is important as its a great way to build up the Zen Meter, which when full can unleash powerful Zen attacks. Each enemy has limited moves and their hands or feet flash just before they strike, which helped make me feel like Bruce Lee with my lightening reflexes. The best part I played though was toward the end when I defeated a ninja with a Bo, which was then mine for a short time. The moves pulled off with the weapon were hilarious and looked like one of those wicked stick figure death theater matches. The only disappointment was that the Xbox 360s on-site weren’t hooked up for the two-player co-op story mode. The full version will also have an Endurance Mode as well as online leaderboards. No word yet on achievements or trophies being included.

Invincible Tiger is sure to be picked up by Kung Fu movie and game lovers, but may not make it much further into the mainstream with its dedicated Kung Fu B-movie vibe. Currently it is scheduled for release this summer on Xbox LIVE and PSN.

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