Invincible Tiger: Legend of Han Tao Review
by Carbon Lancer


Basic Information:
Developer: Blitz
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Date of North American Release: 8/27/2009 US/NA ONLY
Price: $14.99 USD
Trophies: Yes, 17 of them. 4 and 13
Trophy Difficulty: 7/10


Overview:
Invincible Tiger takes place in ancient China, a mysterious box called the "Star of Destiny" that contains dangerous powers has been stolen from Han Tao's village. You play as Han Tao, a now disgraced drunk. You need to redeem yourself by getting the Star of Destiny back. Invincible Tiger is a 2-button brawler/beat 'em up action title. It is kind of short with only 6 chapters, with one chapter just being a bonus level.

The story plays out like old school Japanese animation as you watch the cut scenes in-between the levels, the music reminds me of the intro for "Forbidden Kingdom" which fits the game perfectly. It does bring back memories of classics like Kung Fu for the NES or Streets of Rage for Sega in the gameplay department. As your jumping around performing combos on everyone, sometimes you'll get a chance for a 1 hit finisher kill.


Gameplay:
You control Han Tao or his buddy, if you want to do Local or Online Co-Op. As Han Tao you have an arsenal of combo's to master and perform as well as devastating finishing moves. Each level has dozens of 'chapters' or waves as you would call them with each chapter bringing another onslaught of attackers and its your goal to eliminate them and also go after "Made Men" who have a red icon above there heads, if you defeat three of these guys you unleash a special smart bomb move that kills all enemies on screen.

As you progress through the levels you'll come across 17 different types of enemies you have to defeat, and you'll master each combo so you can easily beat the harder type of guys towards the end. Once you perform enough combo's your Ying bar fills up which you can meditate to heal yourself just like Rag Doll Kung Fu, but you only press a button this time. The Yang bar unleashes a Hyperstate mode, where you are 50 times faster than normal and can take out waves of multiple enemies.


Singleplayer:
On Singleplayer mode you have three options to choose from. Story Mode which you go through 5 levels trying to retrieve the Star of Destiny back from the evil overlord. Time Trial Mode in which you try to finish the level as quick as you can by trying to earn a gold, silver or bronze time trial medal. Endurance Mode is the final mode which is just wave after wave of countless bad guys.


Most people will start by doing story mode and its not very long, so you might want to play Time Trial Mode for a extra challenge. Even flying through the stage doing the quickest combos, you'll be lucky enough to get a silver. You'll be utilizing the background to help you out of jams. Between the 3 modes to play Story Mode is the easiest and the funniest to play.

Multiplayer:
Everything you can do on multiplayer is the exact same as singleplayer, but you have a buddy helping you. So you can co-op the story with a friend on the PSN or right by your side locally. Not that many people own this game, so joining a quick game with strangers is usually a no go.

If you have a younger sibling that likes martial arts you can show them the style of games that the Sega Genesis generation grew up on. The multiplayer is helpful on one of the time consuming trophies.

Technical:
A thing that makes Invincible Tiger stand apart from the others is the unique 3D mode. It only works for 3D ready TVs or through the use of 3D colored glasses. I personally used the red/blue glasses, and its kind of 3D, the back and foregrounds are 3D like, but the bad guys don't jump off the screen like 3D is known for. The game has a 70's Kung Fu/Grindhouse feel to it.


On the 2D normal mode is the best, you can see clearly the red shortcut points to evade guys quickly if you need to. The graphics are the best part of this game. How you interact with backgrounds and the foregrounds is pretty neat, and the overall look and play of the levels is well done.



Gameplay: 7/10
Singleplayer: 7/10
Story: 6/10
Technical: 8/10


Overall: 7/10 Good

Is this game worth $15? I would say no, I mean it has replay value, it has co-op, it has trophies, but with so many other great cheaper $10 games out there $15 is a tad too much, unless your really into Kung Fu/Martial Arts. I would suggest you hold out on this game till it comes down to $9.99 if possible. I would of hoped most of you grabbed this deal a few weeks ago when it was $7.50.

So Overall I give this a 7/10 the 5000 enemies will keep some people busy for a while, but you'll be wondering if your $15 could've been spent on something a little better. The gameplay is pretty tight and enjoyable for martial arts fans, but for the casual gamer may want to pass.