By Karli Winata / March 6th, 2014
The rumors of Shaq Fu making a comeback have been confirmed with the announcement of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn. Developed by Big Deez Productions, the team has created a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help fund the game.
For most, the name Shaq Fu sounds like some made-up kung-fu, presumably involving doing martial arts inside of a shack, or something. But then you have people who remember basketball star Shaquille O’Neal’s meteoric rise to fame in the mid-’90s. It was during this time that O’Neal branched out from just being a great basketball player to acting, singing, and starring in a fighting game called Shaq Fu. He excelled in none of these things, and despite only lending his likeness and name, the game also turned out terribly.
Time has not been kind to the title, either. Various websites have listed Shaq Fu as one of the worst games in history. One guy has even gone out of his way to “liberate” all copies of Shaq Fu. So how did a reviled game get the resurrection treatment? The short answer is it did not.
“No! Definitely not,” Big Deez writes on their campaign page. “There are two, and only two, similarities between our Shaq Fu, and the abomination that was born in the nineties: The name, and the starring character.” Reborn will be a 3D brawler akin to Devil May Cry as opposed to a 1v1 fighting game, with an art style lifted straight out of Street Fighter IV if the screenshots are to be believed. In the game, O’Neal is up against the Black Star Ninja and his/her ninja friends. In other words, he’s up against ninjas of varying shapes, sizes, and skills. Grab a buddy, and he can play as O’Neal’s identical twin in the game!
O’Neal is very much involved with and has contributed financially to the game. This begs the question of why the game needs a campaign drive. Big Deez writes, “The purpose of bringing the game to the public is to see how much interest there is in becoming Shaq’s partner and in seeing the game happen.”
Big Deez Productions was assembled by O’Neal for the purpose of reviving the Shaq Fu name. It includes developers who have worked on games like Halo, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Killzone, and Duke Nukem, among others.
If the campaign reaches the minimum funding goal of $450,000 (USD), Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will be released for Windows PCs. “Additional platforms like Mac and Linux are not currently part of the plan,” writes Big Deez writer and designer Oliver Hollis-Leick in a comment, although he adds Big Deez is “definitely interested.” Stretch goals, if reached, will add support for every other current gaming system under the sun, including handhelds and mobile devices. As this is a flexible funding campaign, Big Deez will receive pledges even if they fail to reach the goal. No release window has been announced yet. The campaign will end April 20th.
Big Deez ProductionsShaq FuShaq Fu: A Legend RebornShaquille O'NealWindows