Shaquille O’Neal, a legendary NBA player and very successful business man off the court, is turning to the public for help to bring back one of the worst video games of all time. O’Neal is turning to crowd-funding so that “Shaq Fu” (originally released in 1994) can see the light of day again. Per the AP:
The four-time NBA champion is launching a crowd-funding campaign to create a “Shaq Fu” follow-up titled “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.”
In return, backers could receive anything from a pair of autographed size-22 sneakers to a pick-up basketball game and lunch with Shaq, depending on how much they donate.
“The old ‘Shaq Fu’ was a ‘ha, ha, ha,'” said O’Neal in a telephone interview this week. “This will not be a ‘ha, ha, ha.'”
In the original “Shaq Fu,” O’Neal’s character stumbles across a kung fu dojo while taking a break from playing a charity basketball game in Tokyo. He discovers a portal inside to another dimension where he engages in “Mortal Kombat”-like battles with such characters as an evil mummy, voodoo priestess and cyborg police officer.
The game was derided by Shaq fans for its cheesy story, wonky controls and blatant attempt to cash in on O’Neal’s superstar status. “Shaq Fu” prompted one group of gamers to create the site ShaqFu.com and post photos and videos of fans destroying copies of “Shaq Fu” in unusual ways.
“I don’t think it was the worst,” said O’Neal. “When you talk about the worst, you’ve got to talk about sales. I actually sold a lot of games, but when I did the first ‘Shaq-Fu,’ that was at the end of analog right before digital came out. It wasn’t a bad game. It wasn’t a good game, but it wasn’t awful.”
Unlike the original “Shaq Fu” released by Electronic Arts, “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn” will be a beat-’em-up game created by Big Deez Productions in the style of “Streets of Rage.” The studio said “A Legend Reborn” will feature Shaq taking on hordes of enemies with hundreds of different moves, as well as melee weapons, in various levels. The game’s soundtrack will be created by Steve Molitz and feature remixed renditions of Shaq songs.
The planned return of “Shaq-Fu” doesn’t mean the 41-year-old basketball champ wants to similarly revive other past side projects, such as his big-screen alter-egos “Steel” and “Kazaam,” or his rapping career.
“I’m way too old to be doing that, but I’m never too old to whoop some (expletive),” said O’Neal.