Plugged In

Meet Shaq’s insane new video game

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(Credit: Hiptic Games)

In the pantheon of terrible video games, it doesn’t get much weirder than the legendary Shaq Fu.

Shaquille O’Neal’s woeful 1994 fighting game, which starred the then-Orlando Magic center as an interdimensional kung-fu expert, is often considered one of the worst games ever. But there was something so gloriously bizarre about it that it's gained a cult following over the years – including a group of game makers who think it’s time Shaq ends his 18 years riding the video game development bench.

The result? An upcoming game called ShaqDown, set to release before the end of the year on iOS and Android devices.

If you thought Shaq's first journey into gaming was a cheese fest, you're going to love this one.

"When we were working on the game, we codenamed it Shaq Fu 2," Long Vo, cofounder and creative director of developer Hiptic, tells VentureBeat. "This game is set in a postapocalyptic world where Shaq has become a legend, and it’s up to him to save humanity from mutant zombies."

That’s right. The Big Survivor.

As you might have guessed, O'Neal has a sense of humor about his gaming legacy, having told the developers to "have fun with it." And it looks like they did. In addition to bringing the pain to legions of undead jerks, Shaq will team up with a variety of allies, including three-time world wrestling champ Lee Kemp.

Shaq's not the only retired NBA star to headline a kooky video game these days. Former finger-wagging defensive stalwart Dikembo Mutombo recently collaborated with Old Spice on the absolutely ridiculous  Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World, in which Mutombo tries to prevent the Mayan-predicted apocalypse, plays a flute with a previously unknown third arm, makes fun of Twilight, and spends time chatting with his friend Science the Bear. Seriously. This happened.

And who can forget the video game contributions of Shaq’s TNT colleague Charles Barkley, who was last seen in 1998’s preposterous(ly cool) Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, a role-playing game based on his awful Barkley: Shut Up and Jam basketball games from the mid-90s. A sequel to that gem in the works via Kickstarter.

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