Karate Combat Vs. Yie Ar Kung Fu (Superior) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

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Karate Combat Vs. Yie Ar Kung Fu
By Superior
BBC/Electron

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #56

Karate Combat Vs. Yie Ar Kung Fu

In a bloodthirsty wave of Bruce Lee fervour, martial arts games are flooding on to the market. Superior Software is hoping to follow up the success of games like Repton with Karate Combat, while Imagine has come up with its own eccentric version of Kung Fu, now available on the BBC.

Superior's Karate Combat is a superb karate simulation which seems pretty realistic to me, although I'm no Grand Master. All that's missing are the sharp grunts and blood-curdling shrieks as arms and legs flail and combatants hurtle through the air.

Using the keyboard or joystick, you must master six basic moves to defeat your sixteen adversaries, and topple the dreaded Master. You can punch high or low, leap through the air in a flying kick, kick high, kick low, or spin round in a sweep. Most of these are achieved using a combination of keys, or moving the joystick while pressing the button.

You can also walk left and right, roll, turn, and use your arm to block your opponent's moves.

Each bout lasts until either you or your adversary drops from exhaustion. Your own energy level is displayed on the screen, but your computer-controlled opponent sneakily keeps it strategy, or lack of it, to itself.

You can use practice mode to perfect your technique before moving on to play the computer, or you can compete against a friend.

There's only one location and your opponents tend to look the same, although their style is subtly different. But the graphics are superb - smooth, simple, with extremely realistic movement. I particularly liked the way each new opponent hurtles on to the screen in a flying roll. The sound isn't too bad either, with a most satisfying thunk! as you land a kick or punch.

Yie Ar Kung Fu is almost as much fun but lacks the unmistakeable Superior touch of class. Here you are Oolong, challenging ten fiendish opponents to become Grand Master in honour of your father.

And boy, are they fiendish?! There's huge, ugly Buchu, who specialises in hurtling at you through the air. If you can beat him, you have to cope with deadly Star, who starts by chucking lethal pointed things at you. Then there's Pole, who attacks with an ancient rod, Feedie, who slings woks and all sorts of junk at you. Sword, who carries (surprise, surprise) a sword, Chain, who wields a deadly - you've guessed it! - chain, and so on and so on.

Like Karate Combat, you have a variety of moves at your command. Using various combinations of keys (there's no joystick option) you can kick and punch in four ways, jump, duck and move left, right and diagonally.

The fun takes place in two locations, in front of a waterfall, and at the Martial Arts Academy in the Bamboo Pagoda. It's varied, easy to pick up and play, and the graphics are lively enough, although not a patch on Karate Combat.

But there's no sense of realism, and not much subtly in the action, which at times degenerates into arcade-type action as you leap and dodge flying objects.

Worst of all, my version of the game had a tendency to crash in mid-fight for no apparent reason, which is particularly teeth-grinding when you're using tape and you've got to load all over again.

If you're a martial arts freak, you'll probably enjoy both these efforts. But if you decide there's only room on your shelves for one, my money has to be on Superior Software.