Please, for the love of all things kung fu, play Sifu

My greatest regret in life is not pouring all of my proverbial experience points from this RPG called existence into a kung fu proficiency. I'm not saying that I wish I took up kung fu as a hobby. No, not at all. I'm saying that I wish I allotted every ounce of my mental energy towards becoming the modern Jim Kelly. Sure, reading is cool and all, but I can't imagine I would need it that much after perfecting mantis style. 

Since you can't call a mulligan on life and get a second swing at the tee on command, I suppose video games are the only option available to satiate my desire. Typically, I swing towards fighting games to fulfill my fix, but Sloclap production's new game Sifu has recently become my preferred power fantasy. Sifu effortlessly combines the long-dead "beat em up" genre (responsible for classic entries like Streets of RageFinal Fight, and Fighting Force) and the kung fu film genre into one innovative- and punishingly challenging- gaming experience. Armed with a slick combat system that allows you to utilize your environment for optimal damage, Sifu enables players to become an army of one in the style of Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen. 

The genius of Sifu emerges in the tiny details of the game. Instead of a standard death mechanic, Sifu allows you to revive your character at any point in exchange for years of life. Your character physically ages and loses health with every death while simultaneously increasing their damage output. Sifu is an exhilarating and demanding game that is my pick for game of the year until I snag a copy of King of Fighters XV next week. Check out the gameplay in the video linked above.