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Knight
11-07-2002, 01:46 AM
Tao Feng Update
Microsoft's other fighter is lookin' mighty fine.
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November 06, 2002 - Each time I get my hands on Tao Feng, I like it more and more. From the mind of John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal kombat, Tao Feng looks like a winner. There are large interactive 3D environments, a story with a deep background, real-time damage to fighters, swinging off poles, mean little taunts, broken limbs, and some bad-ass throws. Yeah, Tao Feng has definitely got our ears perked up and our eyes wide open.
Set to ship in March 2003 exclusively for Xbox, Tao Feng may be just what the Xbox needs -- a good fighter. There are basically two sects of martial artists who have been battling one another for centuries. Good guys, bad guys, it doesn't matter which side you choose because there's some fighting gonna be going on. With each character having detailed background and the story as a whole making up a mammoth 50-page document, it's clear that we can expect a robust single-player Quest mode.

But our concern here is the versus mode, since that's what I had the chance to play. With several more months of development, Tao Feng still has plenty of rough edges. most of the good guys are complete (with tweaking still needed), but the Black Lotus baddies weren't available for play just yet. The character designs are over-the-top and reminiscent of Mortal Kombat, but this definitely doesn't play like a 2D fighter. Fight take you across the massive stages as you bash your opponent into different objects, swing off poles, and leap off walls.

The game looks great with some gorgeous backgrounds. The animations still seem rough, though, and characters don't quite look at place in the environments yet. Still, there's definite promise here. The real-time damage is a fascinating sight to behold. We're not talking just blood when you're hit, you will see bruises appear when you're kicked in the face and concentrate attacking a particular limb and you can break it.

Limb breaks explains the control set-up. Each face button controls a single limb. So if your left left is broken, the A button won't do a thing and you'll move much slower. The Black button allows for two separate taunts to make your opponent cry. Mixed with the outrageous costumes, this makes the game seem like a comic book come to life, which is just fine by me. The white button isfor Chi attacks. Get enough hits on your opponent and your Chi meter fills. Then you can pull of one of three powerful Chi attacks (different for each character). Or, if you want, you can heal yourself instead. This is useful if you've had an arm broken. Heal and you can use the limb again. But then, the temptation of a big attack may be too much to resist. Right trigger lets you swing off poles and then slam into your enemy or, if backed against a wall, let you spring off the wall to free yourself from cheesy attacks.







Characters can be kicked into objects like arcade cabinets and glass counters to cause damage. Even the floor can be damaged with by slamming a fools face into the concrete. Fights are brutal, long, and satisfying. Of the dozen or so battles I've played in Tao Feng, I've yet to feel cheated by a match, which is a rare thing for a fighter.

Featuring dynamic lighting, flowing hair, and moving at 60 frames per second, Tao Feng is certainly going to look nice in the end. It also seems like it will sound good. Each environment will have specific sound elements. A museum might cause echoes for example, while another area might flatten out sound. And as a first-party game, expect Tao Feng to support 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Outlook
This is my third time seeing Tao Feng and I continue to be impressed. I was doubtful before seeing it at E3, I was reminded how good it appeared at Microsoft's X02 even a few months ago, and now I am anxious for more having had it here in the office. It's hard to judge a fighter after only an hour or so of total gameplay time, but Tao Feng certainly looks promising. Only more in-depth hands-on time will prove if it's worthy of salivation, but I'm thinking it just may be. Only time will tell, but March can't get here soon enough.

http://xbox.ign.com/articles/376/376525p1.html

Brutal Grace
11-07-2002, 11:07 AM
Tao Feng is shaping up to be a winner, come March 2003 (or whenever it is ready).

I'd like to see more and better screens on the Net, though, and preferably at free sites.

I am still planning to pick up Kakuto Chojin next week, and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance the week after for Xbox. For us fighter fans it's been a long drought, and 4+ months is a bit too long to have to wait. (Of course, Soul Calibur 2 will arrive before then, hopefully.) ;)

Evil_Dr_Beefy
11-07-2002, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the info,,,,,Hopeing for the best for Teo feng........But my money is on Soul Calibur 2. Tao Feng may be over shadowed by soul calibur 2.. Is it even posible for a US/Can/Europeon Company to make a great fighter in 3D? Do the Japanese programmers have a lock on the best fighting games? Fighting games seems to be the one type of game that western game companys can't seem to make well....... Can the curse be broken?

Knight
11-07-2002, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Evil_Dr_Beefy
Thanks for the info,,,,,Hopeing for the best for Teo feng........But my money is on Soul Calibur 2. Tao Feng may be over shadowed by soul calibur 2.. Is it even posible for a US/Can/Europeon Company to make a great fighter in 3D? Do the Japanese programmers have a lock on the best fighting games? Fighting games seems to be the one type of game that western game companys can't seem to make well....... Can the curse be broken?

I don't think Soul Calibur2 is coming out before late year?!
So Tao Feng will be out way before SC2!

kachingtensor
11-08-2002, 07:38 AM
The OXM rumour guy says that the Xbox version of Soul Calibur 2 is completed already, for what such a statement is worth.

I do believe that Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, and late next year the (promised) new Killer Instinct game will prove that Western developers can hang with the best Japanese developers in the genre.