He'll be your friend for money, sort of
Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has decided that the time is right to relaunch Shaq Fu. Yes, the classic yet utterly awful beat'em up is set to receive a spiritual PC sequel with stylish visuals, a compelling upgrade system and, perhaps, enjoyable gameplay this time.
However, the multi-millionaire very much like you to pay $450,000 towards it. The project has therefore hit IndieGoGo, sporting a selection of incredible rewards. Such as a single trainer. And the opportunity to become an unpaid concept artist. Or a "two hour meal." For $25,000.
Oh boy. It's possibly the most endearingly, charmingly, hilariously tragic crowd funding campaign since this hopeless mess, but we can't help but crack a smile. Mainly at a photo of Shaq wearing a MoCap suit, admittedly, which we've stashed under the break with more details.
Heh, told you it was awesome. Now down to business.
The crowd-funding campaign is refreshingly up-front about exactly why Big Deez Productions needs your money, seeing as O'Neal earns somewhere in the region of $20 million per year. Shaq is indeed using much of his own money to fund the project, but the campaign is effectively a way of gauging interest in the game, drumming up publicity and allowing gamers to get their hands on some of the rewards. Shaq will follow you on Instagram and comment on your pictures for $500, follow you on Twitter for a grand, and play basketball with you for a cool $15,000. Our favourite perk is easily the single size 22 sneaker you'll receive for a $3000 donation.
As a 'flexible funding' campaign, note that it will "all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal." It's basically an opportunity to pre-order the game and grab some perks if you have the cash.
As far as the game itself is concerned, Big Deez pledge to create a game that would work without Shaq altogether."There are two, and only two, similarities between our Shaq Fu, and the abomination that was born in the nineties: The name, and the starring character," reads the pitch.
"We are gamers, not executives. We know what’s good and we know what stinks. This isn’t about trying to make a quick buck, it’s about creating something that both we and Shaq can be proud of. We want to make a slick, fun, rock-solid game."
Specifically, the new team promises to make an "instant classic" that takes inspiration from several legendary games.
We're talking Streets of Rage meets Street Fighter meets Devil May Cry. It’s a modern day take on the classic beat ‘em up. Play as Shaquille O’Neal – learn hundreds of moves and battle techniques, take onthousands of enemies with dozens of cool melee weapons, battle bosses in dynamic arenas, master cool finishing moves and play with your buddies in COOP mode or against each other in player vs player combat."
Big Deez reportedly includes industry veterans who worked on Halo, Final Fantasy and Street Fighter, though is sadly fronted by the ex-CEO of Saber Interactive (who brought us Inversion, Timeshift and Battle: LA). Also, Shaq.
So who's in? The time is right for another Shaq-Fu, so we'll keep an open mind.