Think you've got what it takes to be a master of the Martial Arts? This is the game that will test the beat-'em-up skills of a league of up to sixteen people in a competition comprising three different disciplines.
The Kung Fu event is the classical, centuries-old art of unarmed combat which you'll doubtless be familiar with. Kyo-Kus-Hin-Kai, on the other hand, is a relatively new freestyle event, the rules of which allow the participants to use a selection of punches, kicks and acrobatic manoeuvres from various disciplines. The last event is Kendo, in which the two participants face off armed with large poles.
The knockout tournament is played against either human or computer opponents, and if you are prepared to watch other competitors' matches you can learn their strategies and plan your moves accordingly. For this purpose, there is a joystick editor built into the game, which allows you to access up to four movements, say, a punch, a high kick, a jump then a backflip, by pushing the joystick in a specified direction.
Martial arts games are many and various on all machines, but there aren't many that put three different beat-'em-ups in one package, and that's where Oriental Games' real strength lies. No-one could claim the three games are stunning beat-'em-ups, but they are well up to scratch and could more than likely hold their own as individual products.
The graphics throughout are very good and the essential sampled squawks of pain are effective. The computer is challenging opponent in all three disciplines and at all three skill levels, but playing against a friend is more fun, especially if you've surreptitiously used the joystick editor to put together a devastating "secret weapon" move.
Even if you don't fancy yourself as the next Bruce Lee, this value-for-money package is the perfect way to let off steam after a hard day at the office (classroom, bicycle shop, whatever).