Zzap1st December 1986
Published in Zzap #20
Fist II: The Legend Continues
Long, long after the Fist had exploded there came a time of darkness, The Chief Exploding Fist and his warriors were betrayed and overthrown by an evil and deformed Warlord who ruled with a rod of iron from his fortress in a volcano. He was so nasty that he ordered all the temples of the Exploding Fist cult to be razed to the ground. His faithful minions carried out his orders and the scrolls explaining the techniques of the Exploding Fist were lost beneath the rubble.
Over the following years, the people became enslaved and any resistance to the Warlord's oppression was swiftly brought to an end. Memories of the legendary Exploding Fist faded, but a few remembered his might and were also aware of the eight ancient scrolls - Trigrams - scattered throughout the land. Once found, these scrolls could provide untold power. But to find them, one would have to travel through the Warlord's domain, facing such hazards as his minions, mutated animals, bottomless pits, blackened caverns, walls of fire and you must absorb its powers. Doing so also results in an extra life (you start with one).
During your travels, you may stumble across one of the evil Warlord's horrible henchmen - which always results in hand to hand combat. Peasant soldiers are the most common of the Warlord's soldiers and are easily defeated. Warrior soldiers are difficult to beat, but shouldn't prove too much trouble to a true Fist master. Masked Shoguns are real toughies, but Assassins are by far the most fearful of the Warlord's henchman.
Whenever a nasty is encountered, seventeen fighting moves become available to you. These can be accessed by moving the joystick in relevant directions, with or without the fire button depressed - a repeat of the system employed in Way Of The Exploding Fist. To win a fight, you must hit your opponent until he runs out of energy and dies, whereupon he shrivels up and disappears. However, if your energy is depleted first and you have no extra lives, then your quest comes to an end.
The Legend Continues... quite true. But I don't think Joe Public will be talking about Fist II in the same way that they addressed the original game. In fact, I think Mr Public will feel well upset if he splashes out a tenner of hard earned cash on such a blatantly awful game as this. No doubt the game will sell because of its name - there's little else for it to fall back on.
I'm really disappointed with this, it's completely awful. About 90% of the game is spent slowly wandering the locations in search of the Trigrams - there is very little fighting! When you finally meet an opponent your game can finish really quickly if you do a wrong move. Very disheartening, especially after ages of play. Everything is really slow: the fighting, the exploring, the scrolling... boredom creeps in after a few goes. The graphics are pretty dull and the sound is pathetic - one 'tune' is about six seconds long before it wraps around, another is ripped out of the disk version of The Hobbit. As it stands, the program looks unfinished and is completely overpriced, even with the free tournament thing on the other side. That's useless too - you can beat all the opponents with one move!
At last, the eagerly awaited follow-up to the best selling Way Of The Exploding Fist. Gosh, I can hardly contain my excitement... Fist II - The Legend Continues is basically a big disappointment; amongst other big things (like 'job'). There are plenty of locations to explore, but there's very little to do in the meantime - most of the game consists of wandering around doing nothing. On several occasions, I spent well over an hour playing and managed to get quite far into the game - only to lose everything when I failed to beat a ninja in hand-to-hand combat. Very frustrating, even with an extra life or two gained by meditating over a Trigram.
The scrolling is a nice idea... which doesn't work at all. It proves highly frustrating having to wait for the screen to catch up when you walk away from a fight. The screen judders as it scrolls too, but this isn't really noticeable when you are fighting... the huge screen glitch is, though (flicker, flicker). Fist II contains a lot of oriental magic, better known as bugs like the samurai who walks out of the water and through the ground.
The sprites are chunky and poorly defined, and the animation is slow and jerky. Control is also sluggish and the game slows down quite dramatically during the fighting sequences. The 'different' adversaries aren't - just the main sprite with a new head and different coloured pyjama bottoms. The backdrops are reasonable, but lacking in variety. The various tunes played throughout the game are short, simple and annoying, and create a suitable atmosphere. The absence of a title screen and a 'game over' sequence is irritating: when the game ends you simply jump back to the first location with your score zeroed, so there's no chance to see what your previous score was - unless it beat the hi-score. Very shoddy and unprofessional.
The tournament version of Fist on other side of the tape is also slow and jerky and very dull. Scoring a million points wasn't too difficult - a bit tiring on the hand though. There's no leg sweep 'bug', oh no, this time by continually moving in close to the opposition and using the low punch, it's a doddle to reach 10th Dan. It's all very well saying: "Ah, but you should play the game properly...", but how can you when the option to 'cheat' is present - it's just so tempting to use. And anyway, a bug such as this just shouldn't exist in a game written by a team of professional programmers.
Ah well, Tournament Fist is effectively a freebie, so I won't complain too loudly about it. No, instead I'll moan about the quality of Fist II: Gimme a 'C'... Gimme a 'R'... Gimme an 'A'... Gimme a 'P'... And what've you got? Fist II!
Adequate instructions and good use of joystick, but little else.
A veritable Oriental Legoland: good, but repetitive backdrops and chunky, poorly animated sprites.
A few short and simple ditties play and annoy throughout the game.
Boring after only a few plays.
Lots to explore but so little to do.
Value For Money 37%
The 'enhanced' version of Fist does little to compensate for the poor quality of Fist II.
Disappointing and severely lacking in content.