REVIEW OF SIFU (PS5) - Zen and The Art of Kicking Ass.

REVIEW OF SIFU (PS5) – Zen and The Art of Kicking Ass.

REVIEW OF SIFU (PS5) - Zen and The Art of Kicking Ass.

REVIEW OF SIFU (PS5) – Zen and The Art of Kicking Ass.

Gaming has had a long-standing love affair with action cinema and kung fu. It’s easy to see why. It’s easy to watch a movie about martial arts like The Raid or any Bruce Lee film, Ip Man, Ong-Bak, and “Kung Pow!” Enter The Fist offers a raw form of satisfaction and wish fulfilment that video games often try to increase. You can watch a master of martial arts take down enemies in hordes, but what if you could be that person?

Sifu wasn’t the first to attempt this formula. Side-scrolling beat ’em-ups have been around for decades and provide the one-vs-all joy that martial arts movies offer. Modern titles such as Batman: Arkham has redefined this formula in exciting new ways. Sloclap’s Sifu is an excellent example of martial arts cinema. The first level makes an Oldboy reference within five minutes. It also creates a potent fantasy that’s extremely rewarding. Sifu is simply one of the most action-packed games on the market.

While they are undoubtedly decisive, the core of satisfaction doesn’t depend on their power. You will feel like a badass when you land combos, hit takedowns, and send dozens of foes to the hospital. But it is not the offence that ties Sifu’s unique gameplay together. It’s the defence.

Sifu’s defence options transform what was once a fun, but not very complex, martial arts game into something that requires your attention and rewards patience. Sifu’s combat is more satisfying than most. You can hit the light and heavy strikes on your own, but you can also use the L1 button and left stick to do dodges or tap L1 when you need to deliver devastating parries.

This is a different type of power fantasy. Arkham games are meant to make you feel badass, but most encounters don’t feel too dangerous. You constantly feel in danger when you play Sifu. Most of your opponents are as skilled as you, making every meeting exciting and scary. Victory is not certain. It’s earned through the crucibles of combat. You’re never one wrong move away.

Sifu’s fabric is woven with defeat and death. Your unnamed kung fu ass-kicker witnesses the young master and father’s death. The murder of your father and master takes place on the spot. But a magic talisman restores your life. After eight years of intensive training, you are ready to kill the five assassins responsible.

Sifu is a mini-roguelike where you must complete five levels in a single “run” to win. You can gain skills and abilities that will help you during your run. Skills can also be permanently purchased if you have enough XP. Your death counter will go up by one, and your age will go up by the number displayed on it. It’s over once you reach 70. You can try again.


There are many nuances to the ageing process. The game starts at 20 years old. As you age, you’ll lose your health, and the death counter will increase with each death. This can lead to mistakes quickly. These mistakes can also lead to you losing out on upgrades. It pays to be healthy and young. However, the trade-off is that you will hit harder the older you get. Although you might only be 70, your chances of hitting the jackpot are high.

Sifu’s run system does not require you to complete the entire game in one sitting. However, that would be a great mode to explore in the future. Your age and shrine upgrades are saved when you reach a level. This allows the player to jump in at any moment. You can return to the previous level to improve your results and start with a better story.

This is a great checkpoint mechanic that can save you a lot of frustration. However, there is no way to protect your level. The game seems to use the first time you earn that record as its basis. If you have the same document but with a better loadout, it will not be saved as a checkpoint. Your temporary loadout will be carried over once. However, if you have to restart the level, you’ll return to your saved loadout. Although it’s minor, it did cause a moment of frustration during the review.

The way Sifu runs are laid out allows for continual learning and re-iteration. Although you can gain an advantage against some enemies with the new skills, it’s not the knowledge gained from repeating levels, memorising enemy locations and attack patterns, and getting more familiar with your skills that will help you get through the many challenges. There are many challenges in Sifu.

Your knowledge also contributes to the game’s level design. You’ll find keys that will allow you to access shortcuts and help you balance risk and reward as you progress through levels. You can skip to the end of a group. However, you will not be able to access upgrades or gain as much XP.

The risk is less in earlier because the enemies are easier to defeat. But as you progress to the end of the game, these shortcuts become increasingly tempting. Do I need to take on 12 guys who could cause severe damage to my death count when I could avoid them all?

This was my first time in Sifu. Fajar, my first boss in Sifu, was the hardest to get used to. But perseverance and sheer determination allowed me to survive at the grand old age of 67. Naturally, I reached level 2 and was done by the third or fourth room.

The second attempt at the first level was not as disastrous because I had a lot of knowledge and new skills. At the age of 30, I beat the boss. However, subsequent retries at the same level gave me a better chance. I also learned new strategies and shaved years. Soon, I had taken out my boss and looked at my age: 20. No deaths. There were no deaths.

This emphasis on learning, continuous decision-making and clear evidence of your improvement will keep Sifu in your head, even when you aren’t playing it. You can find yourself planning strategies to solve Sifu’s problems at work, while making dinner, or when you’re sleeping at night.

REVIEW OF SIFU (PS5) – Zen and The Art of Kicking Ass.
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