As you probably know, Shacknews was originally started in 1993 as a fan site for the Genesis fighting game, Shaq Fu.* So when we heard about ShaqDown, a new iOS video game featuring everyone's favorite basketball player-turned-video game icon*, we knew we had to write about it.
ShaqDown is currently available on iDevices for 99 cents, and has Shaq fighting "a new sentient breed of zombies" in a post-apocalyptic future where they have somehow enslaved mankind. "It's up to SHAQ to take down these Mutant Zombies with his awesome powers and abilities. GET READY FOR A SHAQDOWN!," the promo text reads.
Touch Arcade got in touch with one of the game's producers, Long Vo, to talk about their work on the game. Most crucially, they wanted to know about how Shaq Fu's legacy inspired the game.
"We knew of Shaq Fu's infamous history, so we were very aware that that any game involving Shaq really couldn't be taken too seriously," Vo explained. "So, we decided conceptually, we wanted it to be overly cheesy but play it straight, you know like a bad B movie." Well, that explains the plot.
Oddly, Vo adds that "ShaqDown isn't meant to be a serious fighting game like Shaq Fu," suggesting that Shaq Fu is a serious fighting game. "We treated Shaq like a character out of Street Fighter or Fist of the North Star, a larger than life hero type and just took it from there."
ShaqDown's success is questionable, earning a rather mediocre review from the site. Granted, given Shaq Fu's original critical reception, perhaps that's exactly what they were going for.
* This is not true.