WARNING: Do not add this game to the Average Category, or change the "Why It Sucks" to "Bad Qualities", or the "Redeeming Qualities" to "Good Qualities", as this game is NOT considered average, despite the mixed reception from critics.
Shaq Fu is a fighting game released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System on October 28, 1994. It was ported to Sega Game Gear, Game Boy, and Amiga in 1995. The game was developed by Delphine Software International (the same developer behind Another World and Flashback: The Quest for Identity) and mainly published by Electronic Arts. It features former professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal (also known as Shaq) as a playable character. Shaq had no involvement in the game's creation other than lending his name.
In the game's storyline, Shaquille O'Neal walks into a dojo while heading to a charity basketball game in Tokyo, Japan. After speaking with Leotsu, a martial arts master, Shaq goes to another dimension, the Second World, where he must rescue a young boy named Nezu from the evil mummy Sett Ra.
Why It Sucks
- Dull sound effects.
- Terrible controls, especially when trying to execute a combo. The controls are also delayed somewhat.
- Unfair opponent AI, not helped by the aforementioned poor controls.
- NTSC versions of the game run much faster than the PAL ones, making them artificially harder and worse controlling.
- Jumping launches your character across the arena, making it hard to control your movement.
- The SNES version has fewer characters than the other versions.
- Hard-to-swallow concept.
- Horrible soundtrack which sounds like a cacophony and causes ear-bleeding due to irritation.
- Playing with strategy by using special moves with proper timing and strategy will lead to easy defeat, but using a certain attack such as Shaquille O'Neal's stepping side kick repeatedly will allow for easy and cheap victories.
- Despite the game being called "Shaq Fu", a pun of Kung Fu, the game takes place in Japan. However, Kung Fu is Chinese martial arts, not Japanese. It would've made more sense to call the game "Shaqarate".
- Combos are extremely difficult to pull off.
- Some characters (such as The Beast) are extremely overpowered.
- The game's graphics are cool, from the colorful backgrounds to the fluid sprite animations of the characters.
- The 2018 beat 'em up reboot is more tolerable than this, as it featured characters from this game and it mocked how this game was poorly made. This game is also free for Nintendo Switch owners who owned the standard edition of NBA Playgrounds.
Shaq Fu is generally considered to be one of the worst games of all time. The game was so infamous, there is actually a website called "Shaqfu.com" dedicated to "liberating it from existence" by finding and destroying as many copies as possible. The splash webpage has the startup sequence of the actual game. Another site, "Save Shaqfu", was created to save the game's copies from being destroyed by Shaqfu.com. Also, a funny Easter Egg is if you try to load the game on the Retron 5, it gives you a message that reads "We recommend another game", with 2 options reading "I want to play this" and "Play another game".
A reboot, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, was released 24 years later and is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (free if you have the standard edition of NBA Playgrounds) and Microsoft Windows. During the time of development, its trailer mocked the classic version for how bad it was. When the reboot got released, it received generally negative reviews but was seen as an improvement over the old game.