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Console: Nintendo SNES
Year: 1994
RFG ID #: U-044-S-04940-A
UPC: 014633072846
Developer: Delphine Software International
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Fighting
Sub-genre: 2D Fighting
Players: 1-2
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: Cartridge
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Collection Stats:

  • 179 of 7391 collectors (2.4%) have this game in their collection
  • 6 of 7391 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 2 of 7391 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

Shaq-Fu is a standard one on one fighting game. The premise is pretty simple. Shaq is hanging out at a martial arts school when he suddenly gets sucked into an alternate dimension. There are evil kung fu monsters there and he must defeat them.

People often discredit Shaq-Fu simply because it featured NBA player Shaquille O'Neil. Gamers complain that it was a shameless marketing play to take advantage of the Shaq-mania which was sweeping the nation at the time. But to immediately dismiss a game just because it shamelessly features a pop-icon is close-minded and shallow. Personally, I have found that if one actually plays Shaq-Fu they'll figure out the game is crap for a whole myriad of other reasons.

Shaq-Fu really blows. Now I'm not saying it's the worst game I've ever played, but if I had to name the ten worst SNES games ever, it would be in the list. It might even make the top five. It's crap.

Why is the game crap? Well it's like this: If I made a list of all the qualities I would consider "wrong" with a video game, Shaq-Fu would contain all of those qualities. The controls are clunky. There is no strategy or basis for any of the action. The sound is obnoxious. It's almost painful to play. But the graphics are good.

Oh yes, the graphics are excellent. They are smooth and richly colored. Each animation is gorgeous. They created using motion capture with live actors, and they manage to very accurately and realistically portray lifelike movements. And that brings me to my point about Shaq-Fu. It is extremely obvious when playing the game that the designers sacrificed every other detail of the game for the graphics. For instance: Shaq doesn't just jump when the player pushes the jump button, he goes through a detailed jumping animation which takes a second or two and THEN he jumps. It looks great. Unfortunately, by the time Shaq actually jumps the enemy has already lain the smacketh down upon him. All of the other commands produce similar results.

Trying to do the special moves is even worse. Shaq's projectile move is called the Shuriken. The Shuriken requires the player to press a pretty standard combination of buttons. The combination is toward, back, toward, punch. I discovered (to my horror) that when the combination is entered correctly Shaq will punch, (because the punch button was pressed) then he waits a second, then he starts the Shuriken animation, (which takes a few more seconds) then he actually throws the Shuriken. This is unacceptable. In fact, as a video game player, it disgusts me. The animation may look great, but there is something seriously wrong with a game when I can push a button on the controller and then go upstairs and fetch a drink in the time it actually takes for something to happen.

Shaq-Fu teaches an important lesson about the art of the video game. You cannot sacrifice game play for graphics. Don't get me wrong here. Graphics are important. Modern games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City wouldn't be nearly as cool without sweet 3-D graphics. But imagine how boring Vice City would be if the developers decided to cut the size of the city down to one block to make room for better models and textures on the disc. That would be a crappy game, like Shaq-Fu.

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Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo SNES Spain S Shaq-Fu Ocean 1994 Fighting
Nintendo SNES United Kingdom S Shaq-Fu Ocean 1994 Fighting
Nintendo SNES FR, NL S Shaq-Fu Ocean 1994 Fighting
Nintendo SNES Germany S Shaq-Fu Ocean 1994 Fighting
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo SNES U S Mortal Kombat II Acclaim 1994 Fighting
Sega Genesis U S Shaq-Fu Electronic Arts 1994 Fighting
Nintendo SNES U S Super Street Fighter II Capcom 1994 Fighting
Nintendo SNES U S World Heroes Sunsoft 1993 Fighting
Game Trivia:

  • Is the first game that featured Shaq as the starring role, and surprisingly enough, was not a basketball game.
  • This game spawned an infamous early 2000s website that calls upon destruction of every copy of the game.
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Last Updated: 2016-09-17 23:37:32
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