With Shaq-Fu A Legend Reborn now up and out for home consoles and PC, the good folks at Smosh decided to take a little trip down memory lane and take some shots at the original 1994 release of Shaq-Fu for the 16-bit consoles.
The three and a half minute video was posted on the Smosh Games YouTube channel. The video starts by pointing out that the game came from the era of Sisqo -- yes, the guy who made "The Thong Song" -- and that the original Shaq Fu was an atrocity to fighting games.
They also make a very valid point that instead of having his very own 16-bit basketball game, Shaq was instead lobbed into the inter-dimensional fighting game known as Shaq-Fu, which saw the big man fighting against a number of other bizarre pugilists across a variety of environments and unique locations.
While this might sound like some hidden gem of the 1990s worth checking out on your mini-retro console, the reality is that Shaq Fu was pretty terrible, which is what the main highlight of the Honest Trailer is about.
The Honest Trailer claims it was nothing more than a poorly put together game to advertise Pepsi, and that it was one of the rare cocaine-fueled ideas to actually become a product.
After picking apart the ridiculous story about Shaq taking on the task offered by an old Asian guy to travel to another dimension to save a little boy using his basketball kung fu abilities, the Honest Trailer then brings up the most pressing matter: the gameplay mechanics.
Shaq Fu was notorious for being horrible to play, and it was because the game had both floaty and stiff controls, a feat very few games could ever achieve. It was stiff trying to pull off moves, but floaty insofar that Shaq was flying and flipping all over the stage, and it required a lot of fighting with the controls just to pull off certain moves against the enemy AI. That's not to mention that, as pointed out in the trailer, many of the opponents had what's called invincibility frames, so that while you're actually connecting your hits against them, they may have been performing another move that was designed to ignore taking damage.
Invincibility frames are the bane of most fighting game fans, as it means you have to try to fight around that inhibition. As pointed out in the Honest Trailer, the only way to win Shaq Fu was to cheese your way through each fight, not unlike some of the fights in certain console versions of Street Fighter II.
It seemed relevant to take jabs at the old 1990s version of Shaq Fu now that the newest reboot is on the market, but hopefully Saber Interactive learned a valuable lesson from the old Electronic Arts title and course corrected so that the next Honest Trailer for Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn won't be so harsh.