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MODmonday: Kung Fu (Max Payne 2)

While Xbox 360 and PS3 users have worked themselves into a veritable tizzy over downloadable content, PC users have been accustomed to having the lifeline of their favorite games extended far past their in-the-box values since the days of Doom - and even before that. What's more, we're used to downloading new levels, weapons, characters, and new episodes absolutely free of charge.

Big Download understands that a five-hour game can be extended by hundreds of hours via total conversions, brand new monsters, and weapons you've always wanted to see in your favorite title. In the spirit of extending a title's longevity beyond mere out-of-the-box expectations, MODmonday celebrates the best modifications for games new and old. Half-Life, Half-Life 2, StarCraft, Diablo II, Doom and more will all be represented here, ensuring a wide spread of mods available across every possible genre of PC gaming.

This week's MODmonday modification is Kung Fu, a mod for Max Payne 2 that puts players in control of a blocky Bruce Lee lookalike. Stay tuned to MODmonday over the next several weeks as we count down until the release of the Max Payne movie on October 16 by covering some of the best mods for Max Payne and Max Payne 2.

Mod: Kung Fu
Developer: Tommi Saalasti
Type: Single-player
Required Game: Max Payne 2

Installation Instructions:
- Download Kung Fu.
- Unzip the contents of the zip file into your Max Payne 2 folder.

Running the Mod:
- The "-developer" trigger (sans quotes) must be appended after "maxpayne2.exe". To add the trigger from Steam, open the My Games tab, right-click Max Payne 2, click Properties, then click "Set launch options..." Type "-developer" (without quotes) then click OK.

- For those not using Steam, open your Max Payne 2 directory, right-click on "maxpayne2.exe", click "Send to", then "Desktop (Create shortcut)". Navigate to your Desktop, right-click the shortcut, and click Properties. In the "Target" box, add "-developer" (without quotes) after "maxpayne2.exe".

- Launch Max Payne 2
- Select "kungfu10" from the Choose Customized Game tab.
- Start the game.
- From within the game, press the tilde (~) key to open the console. Type "getkungfu" then press Enter. Press tilde (~) again to close the console. Equip kung fu by pressing the 1 key.

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Twisting through the air in dramatic slow-motion while lining up the perfect headshot, squeezing the trigger, and watching bullets ripple through the air before your target erupts in a spray of blood and brains is great, but sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than kicking a guy in the face. Mod developer Tommi Saalasti, developer of last week's MODmonday focus, Sketchbook Sam, wrote Kung Fu for those who want to trade guns and grenades for a healthy dose of fists and feet -- though bullets and explosives are still available, of course.

Kung Fu allows you to play through the entirety of Max Payne 2 as a shirtless, blocky mirror image of Bruce "Three Kicks" Lee. All of Max's weapons can be used by this nameless protagonist, but the true delight of the mod is the use of martial arts moves, the animations of which are fluid and dazzling to watch.

When Kung Fu is equipped (make sure to reference the "Running the Mod" section above), the shootdodge mechanic (pressing Shift in conjunction with a movement key) unleashes devastating melee attacks from one of two move sets. The first move set contains four moves which are executed by pressing Shift and a movement key , while moves from the second set are performed by holding down a movement key to run, then pressing Shift. For example, pressing Shift and W causes the character to execute two swift kicks; pressing Shift while running forward performs a flying kick.

Each move set need not be learned in the heat of battle. Kung Fu features a training mod set in a dojo quite similar to the virtual arena where Neo sparred Morpheus in The Matrix. Players can spend as much time as they desire perfecting moves against wooden and flesh-and-blood dummies.

Each move does a significant amount of damage, which is good, since your enemies will still be greeting your appearance with a hail of bullets. Battles with two or more opponents, especially those wielding automatic weapons, can be tough, but are never impossible to overcome. If you too find an encounter too difficult, simply switch to a gun and bust a few caps.

For those who finished Max Payne 2 years ago, the Kung Fu mod presents an entertaining reason to re-enter Max's brooding world. It's hard-hitting, fast, fun, challenging but fair, and like all good mods, it's free.

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