I love fighting games. I’m by no means a high level player or an expert on the intricacies of the genre, but I’ve been playing fighting games for about 30 years now and I’m always excited to come across a new one, whether it be a new entry in an established series or some random indie passion project. Shaolin vs Wutang most definitely falls into that latter category. It released on PC several years ago and is largely the work of one person who is a massive, massive fan of old kung-fu movies. Shaolin vs Wutang is more or a less a love letter to those movies packaged up in a casual but more than mechanically competent fighting game.
First off, the roster is HUGE. There are 27 fighters that each rep a specific fighting style, and the input commands are the same for everyone, so rather than memorize complicated inputs you can focus on each unique fighting style to find an assortment of combos and special attacks. It’s kind of like Smash in that way. There are numerous modes to play, though no online multiplayer, and I’d describe this as a very approachable game to fighter newbies. You can even set up some AI vs AI matches if you just want to kick back and watch some kung-fu fighting. Controls are ok as far as virtual buttons in a fighting game go, and they’re fully customizable to your liking, but the game supports controllers and that’s definitely the preferred way to go. Here is an older trailer for the PC version, but the mobile version is nearly identical to my eyes and it should give you a good idea of what Shaolin vs Wutang is all about.
Pretty much all of the major kung-fu movie characters are represented in Shaolin vs Wutang, including some legally questionable likenesses of mega stars as well as plenty of lesser known but still recognizable kung-fu heroes. The music is actually licensed music from real kung-fu flicks, and coupled with the excellent assortment of different characters as well as some surprisingly robust and interesting backdrops to fight in, Shaolin vs Wutang really does offer up something akin to an interactive kung-fu movie fight scene. It’s campy in the best way possible, and feels totally authentic because of it. For whatever reason this new mobile version is just two bucks, and for that you get one of the more surprisingly feature-packed and, most importantly, fun fighting games available on mobile.