I like funny as much as the next guy - more, even - so Sony is probably aiming Kung Fu Rider at hilarious, joy loving jokesters such as myself. I imagine Sony Japan's design brief was to make a game that was wacky and fun. It certainly is wacky.
The idea is to guide your character - the white-collar office worker Tobin, or his scantily-clad assistant Karin - down various urban Japanese hills on the back of an inappropriate, wheel-bearing vehicle: an office chair, stool (seat, not faeces), child's toy and vacuum cleaner are a few of the examples on offer. How delightfully bizarre! On the way you'll encounter obstacles, such as cars, dudes walking across the roads with ladders, and the mafia. You've really annoyed the latter for some reason, but it doesn't matter: just thank the heavens they're chasing you down the hilly wonderlands of industrial Japan and not across the flatlands of East Anglia.
To ride your makeshift escape vehicle you use the Move controller, and that's when the game starts to fall apart. Basic speed is gained by gently wiggling up and down, but move too aggressively and you'll end up braking or jumping into the air - these commands are idiotically mapped to the extremities of the waggle. You steer by waving the controller left or right, but you need to be careful to keep your movement on a purely horizontal plane else you'll probably end up diving into the air at a inopportune moment. Sidesteps are on the Circle and Cross buttons, and Kung Fu moves can be deployed by holding down Triangle or Square and moving the controller in one direction - though you'll almost certainly just rely on the far simpler roundhouse kick, mapped to the Move button.
The other moves you'll need to be aware of are leaning backwards, triggered with the T button, so you can dodge barriers, road blocks and bo staffs while having a cheeky peek down Karin's shirt (those kerazy Japanese!), and also a quick dash forwards - supposedly executed by thrusting your Move controller towards the screen, but more likely whenever the game feels like doing it. This charges you across the screen, using up part of your energy bar, and goes very fast - so much so that it's near-impossible to steer. You'll mostly end up running into walls and colliding with random cars.
While you're busy fighting the controls, the game will tally up points for you dodging enemy attacks, destroying scenery or picking up the bounteous streams of collectibles. If you can navigate the track with poise, grace and accuracy then you'll string together a combo chain, though the basic navigation is so sloppy you'll probably never get that far.
It's kitsch, and the central conceit is definitely amusing enough to pique your interest, but it's not nearly hilarious to the point you'll forgive it for the myriad of slapdash mistakes it makes in its dire execution. Whereas something like, say, the wonderfully unique Katamari Damacy managed to blend its effusive quirk with a clever control system and enough variety to keep the gimmick fresh, Kung Fu Rider completely fails to excite or adapt past its initial impressions, namely "lol they're riding an office chair". The game spends most of its time falling flat on its face, just like its two protagonists after the shoddy control scheme causes them to clip yet another moving vehicle
I know what you're thinking: "Martin, surely with such a quirky idea the chaps at Studio Japan will have been sure to at least do something to their formula here and there to ensure the game stays Bounce fresh for its duration. This is the Very Important Playstation Move, after all!" Well, I like the way your mind works - and optimism is a great thing to have - but there's nothing outside of a small handful of (often repeated) tracks and vehicles with different stats. Each of the two characters is blessed with exactly two lines of dialogue, and these are wheeled out at the start and end of every level - an act of turgid, cost-cutting repetition at which even the worst examples of Wii shovelware would balk.
Crash your vessel too many times (and you will) and your character will fall off their chair with a big over-exaggerated jowly look of despair; in Karin's case her jugs will also flap about. Then the game over screen will pop up, asking you to restart the game or, preferentially, quit. My personal favourite aspect in Kung Fu Rider is the way it takes uses the PlayStation Eye to take pictures of you during the game (this seems like a vogue feature with both Move and Kinect games), so you can easily see exactly how much fun you're not having.
Motion controls are a source of much debate, and will continue to be, but when they work (and they can) they do so with games that translate real life movements into tangible in-game actions. Kung Fu Rider's bizarre and broken controls bear little correlation to what's going on in the screen, and overall the game would function far more effectively if its commands were simply mapped to a DualShock controller. It would still remain utterly terrible, however, as the game is an uninspired mess built entirely around a core conceit that gets old surprisingly fast.