I love fighting games. I’m by no means a high-level gamer or an expert on the intricacies of the genre, but I’ve been playing fighting games for about 30 years and always looking forward to discovering a new one, be it a newcomer to an established series or a random indie passion project . Shaolin versus Wutang definitely falls into this latter category. It was released on PC a few years ago and is largely the work of a person who is a huge fan of old kung fu movies. Shaolin versus Wutang is more or less a love letter to these films, wrapped in a casual, but more than mechanically competent fighting game.
First off, the list is huge. There are 27 fighters, each repeating a specific fighting style, and the input commands are the same for all of them. So instead of memorizing complicated inputs, you can focus on each individual fighting style to find a selection of combos and special attacks. It’s a bit like Smashed In this way. There are numerous modes to play but no online multiplayer and I would describe this as a very accessible game for newbies to fighters. You can even set up some AI vs AI matches if you just want to sit back and watch some kung fu fights. The controls are fine in terms of virtual buttons in a fighting game and are fully customizable to your liking, but the game supports controllers and that’s definitely the preferred way to go. Here’s an older trailer for the PC version, but the mobile version is almost identical in my eyes and should give you a good idea of what Shaolin versus Wutang everything is about.
Pretty much all of the great kung fu movie characters are featured in Shaolin versus Wutang, including some legally questionable likenesses of megastars as well as many lesser-known but still recognizable kung fu heroes. The music is actually licensed music from real kung fu flicks and paired with the excellent selection of different characters as well as some surprisingly robust and interesting backdrops in which to fight. Shaolin versus Wutang really offers something like an interactive kung fu movie fight scene. It’s campy in the best possible way and that makes it feel totally authentic. For some reason, this new mobile version only costs two dollars, and for that you get one of the surprisingly more feature-rich, and most importantly, more fun fighting games available on mobile.