As an absolute novice to the world of fighting games this was a fun, casual but not necessarily easy game.

User Rating: 7.5 | Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior's Rise PC
I'll preface this review by sayingthat this is the first fighter I've ever played. I dabbled in MK as a kid but was never interested in understanding the mechanics of fighting and fought with only one tactic; aimless button mashing. I became interested in fighters after playing the Batman Arkham series. The combat was unbelievably satisfying. When I saw Kung Fu Strike popped up on Steam I decided I wanted to try it.
What first allured me about Kung Fu Strike was its distinct style. Its comic-like aesthetics; cel-shaded characters against traditional Chinese backdrops are undeniably well constructed. The effort did not extend to writing or plot but I didn't really care. Each fight was introduced with a 4-8 cell comic which presumably eventually formed a cohesive plot. After 2 fights I realised the plot was a lame afterthought and couldn't possibly be more generic so I skipped the comic every time after. The game reminds of me of a skating game. The pace is too fast to care for a plot and the game is all about the gameplay.
After a few levels as new moves and techniques are introduced, the game progresses from appearing like a mindless and simplistic button masher to a far more interesting experience which takes practice and fast reflexive actions. I played a few co-op matches with another novice fighter and she seemed to pick it up quicker than I did. Playing two player was a little confusing and much easier - definitely a more casual experience than playing solo.
RPG elements are well implemented - new moves, equipment, health powerups gave extra motivation to replay levels and improve scores. The game is also well paced and none of the levels are out of place in terms of difficulty.
7.5/10. Would definitely recommend to people unfamiliar with the fighting genre or interested in a fun, budget, casual title with many hours gameplay.