The 1994 fighting game Shaq Fu is regarded by many as one of the worst video games ever made. It capitalized on the massive popularity of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, and were we not in the darkest timeline, we would have collectively wiped it from our memory. But that didn’t happen — in fact, a successor, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, is releasing this spring, and its creators are well aware of its less-than-lofty expectations.
In a press release, publisher Wired Production revealed that Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will be launching this spring as both a digital and physical game. It’s free on Switch to anyone who purchased NBA Playgrounds on the console before June 10, 2017. The game received mixed reviews, with many critics feeling that it wasn’t a worthy successor to the NBA Jam series.
The latest trailer for Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn admitted the original game “sucked,” but proclaims the new game is “better than the old one” alongside colorful footage of Shaquille O’Neal beating up various baddies. “Better than the old one” isn’t saying much, but we’re hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
“Shaq Fu has an incredible legacy in the history of video games, and we’re delighted to be part of the team shooting to earn Shaq his place in the future of video games.”
An “incredible legacy” is one way to describe Shaquille O’Neal’s history with video games. He was also available as a secret fighter in the boxing game Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2, which was much better received.
Not everyone is on board with the development of a sequel. If you go to ShaqFu.com, you’ll be taken to the official website of the Shaq Fu Liberation Front, a clandestine organization dedicated to ridding the world of Shaq Fu one cartridge at a time.
“The development of a sequel to Shaq Fu is an affront to human dignity and represents a threat to peace and stability all over the world,” the website said in its “declaration of opposition” document.
We hope it doesn’t come to war. We’ll find out when Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn launches this spring for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.