Sifu review: the beat'em up we were waiting for

One-versus-all fighting games like Double Dragon, Ninja Gaiden, Kung Fu Master or even Ninja Turtles are arcade classics that test our skills and, in the past, have emptied our pockets trying to kill the ultimate bad guy in the arcades. Sifu recaptures that essence by being one of the best beat'em up of the new generation

A beautiful as well as addictive game

Sifu not only meets all the requirements of a good beat'em up but also incorporates features that make it unique.

As soon as you start you are asked to choose the difficulty level and if you want to be a warrior or a warrior, both designs are very beautiful at the artistic level, so choose the option you like best

The first few minutes tell us how an evil warrior and his gang attack the dojo of his master (your father) killing them both. But... Oh surprise! you have a special power by which you can resurrect losing one or more years of life. Eight years later you are ready to seek revenge.

After passing this brief introduction where we will learn the basic controls, we will become familiar with the cameras and we will know the main plot, we will see that at first glance it looks like a game of decades ago for its graphics, but the truth is that it does not "out of tune". In fact, it is pleasant to look at, especially because the rest of the elements of the environment have the same graphic style. In other words: it's done this way on purpose.

Besides, just for the opening credits in the purest "70's kung fu movie" style is worth every euro (you can also find it at a reduced price in a very neat physical edition made in our country by Meridiem Games). Luckily we can enjoy this "dimension" in the training mode found in our dojo (I recommend spending a few minutes to learn the basics of combat).

Every time you fall, you will learn to get up stronger

The new "continues" system proposed by Sifu offers a very interesting difficulty that surprised me for the better

As it is usually a reason for dispute in RRSS I decided to try first the easy level and then compare it with the rest of the levels and the truth is that it is still a pretty exciting challenge with which "the desire" (or the "pique") to pass the game in the best possible way is not lost

But... What is the difference with the normal and difficult level? Well, the rivals are much more intelligent and aggressive, so it is much easier to die because of the same enemy. As we have already mentioned, if you die you are resurrected a year older. But if you die several times against the same enemy, your age increases exponentially. That is, if you die once you resurrect a year older but if you die 3 times in a row you revive 6 years older.

The first time I played I lost in the first chapter: 5 years on easy, 20 on normal and well, on hard I ended up in the geriatric ward... However, when I played again having perfected the handling of the controls (with the help of my gaming keyboard) I died enough to reach the final boss with a decent age.

Luckily the game is not boring at all so trying to pass the episodes several times to die as little as possible does not become tiresome. I do not want to scare anyone and it is important to emphasize that it does not have the difficulty of a souls. If you learn to move using blocks, dodges and increase your skills by gaining experience you will pass the game without any problem. In about 10 to 15 hours you will be able to reach the final credits. Also during combat you can use objects such as bottles, bricks, metal pipes and all kinds of objects as a weapon, which helps a lot especially when fighting several enemies at once.

Haste is not a good advisor

As we mentioned earlier, we can consider Sifu an arcade. Although you can explore and the view is not in 2D, the game is completely linear and wherever you go you will always end up in the same key places (this helps the game not to be unnecessarily long, so it is appreciated).

Many times beat em up games sin of having many combos but in reality you only need to know 2 or 3 to pass the whole game. With Sifu forget about that. Knowing all the techniques will not only help you die less, it will also make the fights something fluid and choreographed that will greatly reduce the fighting time. Don't rush to finish off all your enemies, take advantage of the first few opponents to lay the groundwork because later it's super necessary to know how to use your warrior well to deal with the bosses

An advantage of "fighting well" is that you also acquire many more experience points that you can use to unlock upgrades and new moves in different points that you will find along the way. Think carefully about what attributes you want to improve, base them on the way you fight and you will get the necessary characteristics to be unstoppable.

Final Conclusions

In summary, Sifu meets the 5 fundamental requirements for a good beat'em up to work

  • It's challenging no matter what level you are
  • It is accessible: it doesn't matter if you are a video game pro or just starting out, the controls are intuitive and with a little practice and patience you can become a true master in a short time
  • The combat system is addictive
  • It lasts little, this may not be a good thing, but in a fighting game that is closer to an arcade than a game "with a story" current, lasting between 10 and 15 hours is excellent
  • A revenge story that will remind us of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies among others

The best thing about it

  • Well thought-out gameplay and excellent mechanics
  • The "pique" is assured: it is a constant challenge
  • A simple story with a satisfying ending
  • Some fights are so memorable that you'll want to replay them even if you nailed it (like the Kuroki Artist)

The Worst

  • If you spend too much time in a quiet area the music can get repetitive
  • Although the gameplay system is brilliant there are some skills that end up being forgotten because they are too "replaceable"

We have made this review thanks to a PC download code provided by Meridiem Games.

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