Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle is a 2004 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts gangster comedy film, directed, co-produced and co-written by Stephen Chow, who also stars in the lead role. The other producers were Chui Po-chu and Jeffrey Lau, and the screenplay was co-written with Huo Xin, Chan Man-keung, and Tsang Kan-cheung. Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Danny Chan Kwok-kwan, and Bruce Leung Siu-lung co-starred in prominent roles.
|Kung Fu Hustle|
Mainland China release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Chow|
|Music by||Raymond Wong|
|Edited by||Angie Lam|
Columbia Pictures (International)|
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
|Box office||$102 million|
After the commercial success of Shaolin Soccer, its production company, Star Overseas, began to develop Kung Fu Hustle with Columbia Pictures Asia in 2002. The film features a number of retired actors famous for 1970s Hong Kong action cinema, yet has been compared to contemporary and influential martial arts films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. The cartoon style of the film, accompanied by traditional Chinese music, is often cited as its most striking feature.
The film was released on 23 December 2004 in China and on 25 January 2005 in the United States. It received a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 78 out of 100 at Metacritic. The film grossed US$17 million in North America and US$84 million in other regions.
The film was the all-time tenth-highest-grossing foreign language film in the United States as well as the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the country in 2005. Kung Fu Hustle won numerous awards, including six Hong Kong Film Awards and five Golden Horse Awards. The film was re-released in 3D in October 2014 across Asia and America, marking the tenth anniversary of the film.
In Shanghai during the 1930s, Sing and his sidekick Bone aspire to join the notorious Axe Gang, which rules the town under the leadership of cold-blooded Brother Sum. One day, the two visit the Pigsty Alley - the slums of the town. Claiming to be Axe Gang members, they try to blackmail the residents there, but the Landlady chases them off. Sing, in an attempt to bluff them, throws a firecracker (which he claims is a signal to summon his gangs), which blows up the hat of a minor Axe Gang boss passing by. Sing blames the Pigsty Alley residents for throwing the firecracker. The gang boss attacks a barber, only to be struck by an unseen assailant. The remaining gangs fire the signal to summon more gangs there. Three of the tenants - Coolie, Tailor, and Donut - reveal themselves to be Kung Fu masters and triumph over all of the gangs. Fearing the Axe Gang's retribution, the Landlady quickly evicts the trio.
Infuriated by the bitter loss of his gangs, Sum captures Sing and Bone, whose impersonation caused all the troubles. He wants to kill them by throwing axes at them. Sing narrowly frees themselves with his lock-picking skill, surprising Sum. Sum allows them to join the gang if they kill a person, and they leave. Lamenting his failure on the street, Sing tells Bone his story when he was a young boy. He used his slender savings to buy a manual from a beggar, who called him "a potential Kung Fu genius", and taught himself the legendary Buddhist Palm moves. He tried to protect a mute girl named Fong from bullies, but he got beaten as the Buddhist Palm moves didn't work. The humiliating event convinced him that good guys never win, and he is determined to be a relentless criminal to survive in the wicked world. The two then snatch the ice cream from a female vendor and flee on a tram, laughing maniacally as she runs after them.
The next day, Sing and Bone return to the Pigsty Alley to kill the Landlady. Their plan backfires, however, and Sing barely escapes from the Landlady's wrath. Seeking safety in a traffic pulpit, Sing is surprised as his body rapidly heals from the injuries sustained during the escape. The pain causes him to strike the sides of the pulpit with extreme force, covering the surface with hand-shaped impressions.
Later, Sum hires The Harpists - two mysterious assassins whose weapon is a Guzheng - to kill the three Pigsty Alley tenants. After the encounter, Coolie is beheaded while Tailor and Donut suffer mortal injuries. The Landlady and her husband - the Landlord - reveal that they too are Kung Fu masters, having led the recluse lives with an oath of non-violence after their son's death. Although the two overcome the assassins and break their Guzheng, they are too late to save Tailor and Donut, both of whom end up dead. The Landlords temporarily evacuate the remaining tenants for their own safety.
Meanwhile, Sing attempts to rob the same ice cream vendor he met earlier, who turns out to be Fong - the mute girl of his childhood. She offers him a lollipop - like she did in the past, but he knocks it away, ashamed of himself and how far he has fallen. After shooing Bone away, whom he blames for his misfortunes, Sing is brought to Sum. Sum orders Sing to free "the Beast" from an asylum to use against the Pigsty Alley, offering him instant membership of the gang after the mission. Though appearing to be a middle-aged, slovenly, and flippant man, the Beast is quickly shown to be a powerful and ruthless fighter.
When the Landlords arrive at the Axe Gang's casino to settle the score, Sum sends the Beast to fight them. Despite being overpowered initially, the Landlady breaks the top of a funeral bell and uses it as a megaphone to amplify her Lion's Roar, taking down the Beast. Feigning surrender, he stabs them both with his hidden pins before the three get stuck in a tight hold, immobilizing each other. Sum orders Sing to strike the Landlord to break the stalemate, but Sing has a change of his heart, causing him to strike Sum and the Beast instead. Enraged, the Beast brutally pummels Sing until the Landlords rescues him and takes him back to the Pigsty Alley. Sum berates the Beast for letting his rivals escape. In return, the Beast kills Sum, then takes over the Axe Gang and wages an all-out assault on the Pigsty Alley.
Back at the Alley, Sing undergoes a transformation as a result of the Beast's attack. He fully heals himself, unleashing his inner powers and becoming a Kung Fu master instantaneously. He sees to the well-being of the Landlords as the gangs arrive. Sing easily beats them all before facing the Beast, who uses the Toad style moves to launch Sing high into the sky. While aloft, he comes to peace with Buddha and is finally able to deliver the mighty Buddhist Palm moves to subdue the Beast. Accepting his defeat, the Beast breaks down and cries, calling Sing his master.
With the Axe Gang eliminated, the townsfolk enjoy their peaceful lives. Sometime later, Sing and Bone open a candy store (with Fong's lollipop as their logo, and their main product). When Sing sees Fong outside, he happily invites her in to share their childhood memories. The beggar who sold the manual to Sing in the past appears on the street. He tries to sell all of his manuals to a young boy, whom he calls "a potential Kung Fu genius", as the movie ends.
- Stephen Chow as Sing, a loser in life who aspires to join the Axe Gang. He specializes in Fut Gar Buddhist Palm technique.
- Danny Chan Kwok-kwan as Brother Sum, leader of the Axe Gang.
- Yuen Wah as the Landlord of Pig Sty Alley. He is also a master of Taijiquan.
- Yuen Qiu as the Landlady of Pig Sty Alley. She is a master of the Lama Pai Lion's Roar technique.
- Bruce Leung Siu-lung as the Beast, an old but incredibly strong kung fu master. He is rumoured to be the most dangerous person alive, though his skill is disguised by his unkempt appearance. He is a master of the Toad Style of the Kwan Lun School.
- Xing Yu as the Coolie, a kung fu specialist of Tán Tuǐ Twelve Kicks technique of the Tam School.
- Chiu Chi-ling as Tailor, the tailor of Pig Sty Alley. He specializes in the art of Hung Ga Iron Fist technique, and he fights with iron rings on his arms.
- Dong Zhihua as Donut, a baker in Pig Sty Alley. He specializes in the Eight Trigram Staff.
- Lam Chi-chung as Bone, Sing's sidekick.
- Eva Huang as Fong, Sing's mute love interest and childhood acquaintance.
- Tin Kai-man as Brother Sum's adviser.
- Gar Hong-hay and Fung Hak-on as the Harpists, two killers hired by the Axe Gang. Their instrument is the guzheng, or "Chinese harp".
- Lam Suet and Liang Hsiao as high-ranking members of the Axe Gang.
- Yuen Cheung-yan as the Beggar, the man who sold Sing the Buddha's Palm manual.
- Feng Xiaogang as the leader of the Crocodile Gang. He is killed by the Axe Gang at the start of the film.
- Fung Min-hun as 4 eyed clerk
Kung Fu Hustle is a co-production of the Beijing Film Studio and Hong Kong's Star Overseas. After the success of his 2001 film, Shaolin Soccer, Chow was approached in 2002 by Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, offering to collaborate with him on a project. Chow accepted the offer, and the project eventually became Kung Fu Hustle. Kung Fu Hustle was produced with a budget of US$20 million.
Chow was inspired to create the film by the martial arts films he watched as a child and by his childhood ambition to become a martial artist. A senior Hollywood executive said Chow was "forced to grind through four successive scripts" and "found it very laborious".
Chow's first priority was to design the main location of the film, "Pig Sty Alley". Later in an interview Chow remarked that he had created the location from his childhood, basing the design on the crowded apartment complexes of Hong Kong where he had lived. The 1973 Shaw Brothers Studio film, The House of 72 Tenants, was another inspiration for Pig Sty Alley. Designing the Alley began in January 2003 and took four months to complete. Many of the props and furniture in the apartments were antiques from all over China.
Kung Fu Hustle features several prolific Hong Kong action cinema actors from the 1970s. Yuen Wah, a former student of the China Drama Academy Peking Opera School who appeared in over a hundred Hong Kong films and was a stunt double for Bruce Lee, played the Landlord of Pig Sty Alley. Wah considered starring in Kung Fu Hustle to be the peak of his career. In spite of the film's success, he worried that nowadays fewer people practice martial arts.
Auditions for the role of the Landlady began in March 2003. Yuen Qiu, who did not audition, was spotted during her friend's screen test smoking a cigarette with a sarcastic expression on her face, which won her the part. Qiu, a student of Yu Jim-yuen, sifu of the China Drama Academy, had appeared in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun at the age of 18. After a number of other small roles, she retired from films in the 1980s. Kung Fu Hustle was her first role in nineteen years. Qiu, in order to fulfill Chow's vision for the role, gained weight for the role by eating midnight snacks every day.
Bruce Leung, who played the Beast, was Stephen Chow's childhood martial arts hero. Leung Siu Lung was a famous action film director and actor in the 1970s and 1980s, known as the "Third Dragon" after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. After becoming unpopular in the Taiwanese film market in the late 1980s following a visit to China, he switched to a career in business. Kung Fu Hustle was his return to the film industry after a fifteen-year hiatus. He regarded Chow as a flexible director with high standards, and was particularly impressed by the first scene involving the Beast, which had to be reshot 28 times.
In addition to famous martial artists, Kung Fu Hustle features legends of Chinese cinema. Two famous Chinese directors appear in the film: Zhang Yibai, who plays Inspector Chan at the beginning of the film, and Feng Xiaogang, who plays the boss of the Crocodile Gang.
In casting Sing's love interest Fong, Chow stated that he wanted an innocent looking girl for the role. Television actress Eva Huang, in her film debut, was chosen from over 8,000 girls. When asked about his decision in casting her, Chow said that he "just had a feeling about her" and that he enjoyed working with new actors. She chose to have no dialogue in the film so that she could stand out only with her body gestures.
Filming took place in Shanghai from June 2003 to November 2003. Two-thirds of the time was spent shooting the fight sequences. Those scenes were initially choreographed by Sammo Hung, who quit after two months due to illness, tough outdoor conditions, interest in another project and arguments with the production crew. Hung was replaced by Yuen Woo-ping, an action choreographer with experience ranging from 1960s Hong Kong action cinema to more recent films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix. Yuen promptly accepted the offer. Yuen drew on seemingly outdated wuxia fighting styles like the Deadly Melody and Buddhist Palm. He remarked that despite the comedic nature of the film, the shooting process was a serious matter due to the tight schedule.
Most of the special effects in the film, created by Hong Kong computer graphics company Centro Digital Pictures Limited, which had previously worked on films such as Shaolin Soccer and Kill Bill, included a combination of computer-generated imagery and wire work. Centro Digital performed extensive tests on CGI scenes before filming started, and treatment of the preliminary shots began immediately afterwards. The CGI crew edited out wire effects and applied special effects in high resolution. Legendary martial arts mentioned in wuxia novels were depicted and exaggerated through CGI, but actual people were used for the final fight between Chow's character and hundreds of axe-wielding gangsters. After a final calibration of colour, data of the processed scenes was sent to the US for the production of the final version. A group of six people followed the production crew throughout the shooting.
The majority of the film's original score was composed by Raymond Wong and performed by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. The score imitates traditional Chinese music used in 1940s swordplay films. One of Wong's works, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, provides a stark contrast between the villainous Axe Gang and the peaceful neighbourhood of Pig Sty Alley, depicted by a Chinese folk song, Fisherman's Song of the East China Sea. Along with Wong's compositions and various traditional Chinese songs, classical compositions are featured in the score, including excerpts from Zigeunerweisen by Pablo de Sarasate and Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian. The song, Zhiyao Weini Huo Yitian (只要為你活一天; Only Want to Live One Day for You), is sung in the background by Eva Huang at the end of the film. Written by Liu Chia-chang (劉家昌) in the 1970s, it tells of a girl's memories of a loved one, and her desire to live for him again. Kung Fu Hustle was nominated for Best Original Film Score at the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards.
Asian and American versions of the soundtrack were released. The Asian version of the soundtrack was released on 17 December 2004 by Sony Music Entertainment and has 33 tracks. The American version of the soundtrack was released on 29 March 2005 by Varèse Sarabande and has 19 tracks but has 14 tracks missing from the Asian release.
The soundtrack for the trailer was mastered at Epiphany Music and Recording, Inc. in Santa Rosa, California.
References to other worksEdit
Kung Fu Hustle makes references to a wide range of films, animated cartoons, wuxia novels and other sources. Sing and Bone resemble George Milton and Lennie Small from the 1992 film Of Mice and Men. The housing arrangement of the Pig Sty Alley is similar to that of a 1973 Hong Kong film, The House of 72 Tenants. There are two references to Chow's previous film, Shaolin Soccer. When Sing arrives at Pig Sty Alley, he plays skillfully with a soccer ball, then says, "You're still playing football?". The second reference is the scene in which a clerk beats Sing up on a bus. The clerk also appeared in Shaolin Soccer as the leader of an opposing team who used hidden weapons to beat up the Shaolin soccer team. When Sing challenges a boy in the Pig Sty Alley, Sing calls him "The Karate Kid", a reference to the 1984 film of the same name. During the altercation between Sing and the hairdresser, the hairdresser states, "Even if you kill me, there will be thousands more of me!". This is a reference to a famous quote made by Lu Haodong, a Chinese revolutionary in the late Qing dynasty. The scene in which Sing is chased by the Landlady as he flees from the Alley is a homage to Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner, characters in the Looney Tunes cartoons, even including the pursuer's (the Landlady's) ill fate. During the opening scene in which the leader of the Crocodile Gang is killed by Brother Sum of the Axe Gang, in the background a poster for the 1939 film Le Jour Se Lève is visible. In the scene in which Sing robs the ice cream vendor, a poster for the 1935 film Top Hat is in the background. As Sing arrives at the door to the Beast's cell in the mental asylum, he hallucinates a large wave of blood rushing from the cell door, similar to a scene in The Shining. The Landlady says at one point, "Tomorrow is another day," which is a line from the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and its 1939 film adaptation.
A major element of the plot is based on the wuxia film series Palm of Ru Lai (如來神掌), released in 1964. Sing studied the fighting style used in Palm of Ru Lai ("Buddhist Palm style"), from a young age and used it at the end of Kung Fu Hustle. In reality, the Buddhist Palm fighting style does not leave palm-shaped craters and holes on impact. Instead, the user delivers powerful punches using his palm. The Beast's name in Chinese, Huoyun Xieshen (火雲邪神; Evil Deity of the Fiery Cloud), and the fight with the Landlady and her husband are also references to the Palm of Ru Lai, in which a mortally wounded master strikes the patterns of his art's final techniques into a bell so that his apprentice can learn from it. Kung Fu Hustle also contains direct references to characters from Louis Cha's wuxia novels. For example, the landlord and landlady refer to themselves as Yang Guo and Xiaolongnü, the names of characters in Cha's The Return of the Condor Heroes, when they met the Beast.
References to gangster films are also present. The boss of the Axe Gang, Brother Sum (琛哥) is named after Hon Sam / Hon Sum (韓琛), the triad boss played by Eric Tsang in Infernal Affairs. The Harpists imitate The Blues Brothers, wearing similar hats and sunglasses at all times. When they are flattered by the Axe Gang advisor, one of them answers "Strictly speaking we're just musicians", similar to a line by Elwood Blues.
When Donut dies, he says, "In great power lies great responsibility,", a reference to Spider-Man, said by Uncle Ben before his death. Additionally, in that scene, the Landlady says, "Like Donut said, everyone has his reasons," a reference to Jean Renoir's 1939 film The Rules of the Game. Afterwards, with his dying breath, Donut gets up, grabs the Landlord by the shirt and utters in English, "What are you prepared to do?", a nod to Sean Connery's character Jim Malone in Brian De Palma's 1987 film The Untouchables.
The dialogue that the Beast says while negotiating with the Axe Gang for killing the Landlady and Landlord—"...then young friend, I will make an offer you cannot refuse", is a reference of the dialogue from the movie The Godfather. Also, the Landlady's comment to Brother Sum—"We brought a gift you cannot refuse" is an obvious parody of the same, to which Sum replies (in the dubbed version of the film), "Ha! With the Beast on our side, we shall see for whom the bell tolls", a reference to the 1943 film.
The final fight between Sing (who has been reborn into "the one", which pays homage to Bruce Lee by wearing his costume in Enter the Dragon and using his fighting style) and the hundreds of gangsters imitates the fight between Neo and hundreds of Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded. The scene in which the Beast prompts an axe member to punch him harder is reminiscent of a similar scene in Raging Bull, with Robert De Niro's character prompting Joe Pesci's character.
The last scene, in which the beggar tries to sell martial arts manuals, refers directly to the greatest skills in Louis Cha's Condor Trilogy (Nine Yang Manual, "Yiyang Finger", and "Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms"), "Thousand Hand Divine Fist", and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer ("Nine Swords of Dugu"). The scene in which the landlady confronts Brother Sum in the back of his car is a homage to Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon, where he cracks his knuckles and gives a quick upper nod to the mafia boss, telling him to back off.
Kung Fu Hustle premiered at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival. It was later released across East Asia including China, Hong Kong and Malaysia in December 2004. The film was first shown in the US at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2005, and then opened in a general release on 22 April 2005 after being shown in Los Angeles and New York for two weeks.
The North American DVD release was on 8 August 2005. A Blu-ray version of the DVD was released on 12 December 2006 by Sony Pictures. A UMD version of the film was released for the PlayStation Portable. The United States DVD releases was censored and cut in a number of scenes that featured a lot of blood or human excrement, a later release, called "The Kick-Axe Edition" restored these scenes. 
In the United Kingdom the standard DVD was released 24 October 2005, the same day a special edition was released with collector's items, which included playing cards, a keyring, a sweat band, and an inflatable axe. On 8 April 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a Blu-ray version.
The Portuguese title of the film is Kungfusão, which sounds like Kung Fu and Confusão (confusion). In the same way as Kungfusão, the Italian and Spanish titles were Kung-fusion and Kung-fusión, puns of "confusion". In France, the film is known as Crazy Kung Fu, and the Hungarian title is A Pofonok Földje, meaning The Land of Punches.
In Korea a Limited Collector's Edition DVD was released which included a leather wallet, Stephen Chow's Palm Figure with his signature, a photo album and Special Kung Fu's Booklet with a Certificate of authenticity.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 90% approval rating based on 182 reviews and an average rating of 7.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Kung Fu Hustle blends special effects, martial arts, and the Looney Toons to hilarious effect." On Metacritic, the film received a score of 78 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Hong Kong director and film critic Gabriel Wong praised the film for its black comedy, special effects and nostalgia, citing the return of many retired kung fu actors from the 1970s. Film critic Roger Ebert's description of the film ("like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny") was printed on the promotion posters for the film in the US. Other critics described it as a comedic version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Positive reviews generally gave credit to the elements of mo lei tau comedy present in the film. A number of reviewers viewed it as a computer-enhanced Looney Tunes punch-up. In a 2010 GQ interview, actor Bill Murray called Kung Fu Hustle "the supreme achievement of the modern age in terms of comedy".
Much of the criticism for the film was directed at its lack of character development and a coherent plot. Las Vegas Weekly, for instance, criticized the film for not having enough of a central protagonist and character depth. Criticism was also directed towards the film's cartoonish and childish humor. Richard Roeper gave it a negative review, saying he had "never been a fan of that over-the-top slapstick stuff".
Kung Fu Hustle opened in Hong Kong on 23 December 2004, and earned HK$4,990,000 on its opening day. It stayed at the top of the box office for the rest of 2004 and for much of early 2005, eventually grossing HK$61.27 million. Its box office tally made it the highest-grossing film in Hong Kong history, until it was beaten by You Are the Apple of My Eye in 2011.
Sony Pictures Classics opened Kung Fu Hustle in limited theatrical release in New York City and Los Angeles on 8 April 2005 before being widely released across North America on 22 April. In its first week of limited release in seven cinemas, it grossed US$269,225 (US$38,461 per screen). When it was expanded to a wide release in 2,503 cinemas, the largest number of cinemas ever for a foreign language film, it made a modest US$6,749,572 (US$2,696 per screen), eventually grossing a total of US$17,108,591 in 129 days. In total, Kung Fu Hustle had a worldwide gross of US$101,104,669. While not a blockbuster, Kung Fu Hustle managed to become the highest-grossing foreign-language film in North America in 2005, the film went on to generate more than US$30,000,000 in United States home video market.
Awards and nominationsEdit
The film was nominated for sixteen Hong Kong Film Awards, out of which winning: Best Picture, Best Action Choreography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects, Best Supporting Actor and Best Visual Effects. Five more awards were later picked up at the Golden Horse Awards including an award for Best Director for Stephen Chow. In the United States Kung Fu Hustle was well received by various film critic associations winning awards for Best Foreign Language Film from Boston-, Chicago-, Las Vegas- and Phoenix-based critics. it was later nominated for six Satellite Awards and one MTV Movie Award for best fight scene. In the United Kingdom at 59th British Academy Film Awards the film was nominated for a BAFTA.
In 2011, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival listed Kung Fu Hustle at number 48 in their list of "100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films". The majority of the voters originated from Taiwan, and included film scholars, festival programmers, film directors, actors and producers. In 2014, Time Out polled several film critics, directors, actors and stunt actors to list their top action films. Kung Fu Hustle was listed at 50th place on this list.
|List of awards and nominations|
In 2005, Chow announced that there would be a sequel to Kung Fu Hustle, although he had not settled on a female lead. "There will be a lot of new characters in the movie. We'll need a lot of new actors. It's possible that we'll look for people abroad besides casting locals". In January 2013 during an interview Chow admitted that plans for making Kung Fu Hustle 2 have been put on hold. "I was indeed in the midst of making the movie, but it is currently put on hold in view of other incoming projects". Production of Kung Fu Hustle 2 was delayed while Chow filmed the science fiction adventure film CJ7. As a result, Kung Fu Hustle 2 was slated for a 2014 release. By 2017, Chow already completed The Mermaid and Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back. Due to his focus on behind-the-scenes production and the fact that he hasn't made an appearance since CJ7, it was suspected that he had stopped acting. However, Chow clarified that he still wants to act, but hasn't found a role suited for him. Kung Fu Hustle II remains incomplete.
Online and mobile gamesEdit
In 2004 a promotional flash game was released by Sony Pictures Entertainment on their Japanese website. The game were created by Japanese game developer Point Zero and plays as a point-and-click beat 'em up. A side-scrolling game designed for mobile phones was later released in 2006 by developer Tracebit.
In 2007 Sony Online Entertainment announced that a massively multiplayer online 2D side-scrolling fighter game based on the film was under development for the Chinese market. Two years later a preview of the game was featured at E3 where it received mixed reviews from critics with many comparing it to similar MMO games such as Guild Wars and Phantasy Star Online.
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