Sifu is an action-adventure game that released earlier this year on PC, but it is now making the Nintendo Switch its home. This is an engaging tale of a young Kung Fu student on a path of revenge, and it is an intense and harrowing story that will keep you invested.
So how does Sifu play on the Nintendo Switch? Is this the same amazing title that released earlier this year? Or does this version suffer? Let’s find out!
Sifu follows the story of a young Kung Fu student who witnessed their father being murdered by a former student betraying their master. It is heartbreaking, and the game even puts you in the shoes of the betrayer during the opening segment, which ultimately means you are controlling the character who kills the main protagonist’s father.
The young Kung Fu student can be either male or female, depending on your preference, but customization options stop there, except for some unlockable outfits that can be obtained later.
The story is pretty awesome, and it is fascinating to follow a character post an extremely traumatic event. Clearly revenge is the goal here, and how can you blame the main protagonist? Their father invested in the antagonist, and right before their eyes, they witnessed this man killing their father, the very person who invested in the betraying individual. The sense of justice is thick here, and you cannot help but feel for the main character and enjoy beating up gang member after gang member en route to exacting revenge.
We fast forward to an adult version of the main character, and they are now 20-years-old. It is time for their mission to avenge their father, and it begins in glorious fashion. Applying the Kung Fu skills you learned in the opening segment, the young student is not quite as refined as the antagonist was, but the skill level is still high and it is such a joy taking out numerous enemies a la Bruce Lee style from old Hong Kong films.
The gameplay is satisfying beyond measure, and there are three difficulties to satisfy multiple skills levels. The combat is so fluid and great-feeling, and the way you are able to dodge and change targets easily makes for an even better combat experience. The martial arts used throughout Sifu is authentic, and when you unlock new skills through the journey, the main character becomes more and more intense in their ability to take out Betty and the evil counsel (Sorry about that link).
One of the most interesting things about Sifu is the death mechanic. Instead of simply “dying” and restarting from a checkpoint or so, the young Kung Fu student is faced with an even stronger curse: aging. In what seems to be the same thing that brings the young student back to life after death in the beginning, each time you die during gameplay results in your age increasing by one year. This is fascinating, because you are literally watching your character age as you play, as long as you are dying. This mechanic is even more intense on higher difficulties, but I guess stellar players with stay 20-years-old until the end no matter what.
There is honestly so much to talk about in regards to the gameplay, and although the controls can feel overwhelming as you unlock new attacks and skills, the core gameplay stays mostly the same. At the end of each stage, you will be faced by a boss that will ultimately challenge you at the level based on your current status. Sifu perfectly elevates the difficulty over each stage, and they always end with the right kind of boss encounter where you will be tested just right. It is amazing how tight yet fluid the gameplay is, and it culminates to some of the more intense and satisfying moments in modern day gaming.
I hate to even point this out, but the graphics in Sifu for the Nintendo Switch are a hit and miss. It is mostly a hit, as the art style is stunning, and the gameplay for the most part is fluid, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. However, there are moments where the game stutters, and the lighting suffers at random moments, which can make particularly scenarios a bit distracting. One time during a boss fight, the screen kept getting dim and light back and forth for a couple minutes, and it definitely tainted that experience. Despite that, the game still runs mostly smooth on Switch.
The music in Sifu is incredible, and it increases wonderfully during enemy encounters that help to increase the tension in a given moment. In addition to the fantastic soundtrack, the fight sequences and the surrounding effects sound like the wonderful Hong Kong feature films we know and love. Unfortunately, the voice work in English lacks emotion and conviction, so it is hard to feel the characters emotions through those performances, especially the main character. Thankfully, though, the Chinese performances are fantastic, and they are the much more preferred voice acting for Sifu.
Sifu is truly a phenomenal game. This is one of the best Kung Fu titles currently available, and it is awesome that it is now on the Nintendo Switch. The story and the combat are of the highest quality, and it truly maintains a AAA experience from start to finish. Although the graphics are not as refined as they are on PC, Sifu still looks amazing on Switch and is one of the surprise hits of 2022.
From start to finish, you are looking at around 9-10 hours of gameplay, but there are also a lot of side quests and collectables to keep you busy for significantly longer. Sifu also has the ability to be an unbelievable speedrun game, and I am excited to see what the community can do with this one.
If you are a fan of Kung Fu movies and action games, I cannot recommend Sifu enough. This is one of the most unique, challenging, and fun games I have played all year, and there is nothing more satisfying than a perfect roundhouse kick to the back of the head of a baddie who it trying to stop you from serving justice.
Rich and engaging story
Fantastic Kung Fu gameplay
Intense and engaging boss fights
Interesting "death" mechanic
Some random visual glitches here and there
English voice acting is lacking
What's Your Reaction?
My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.