Commodore User1st February 1987
Published in Commodore User #41
The Way Of The Exploding Fist
If you rushed out to buy International Karate before Christmas and are now too skint to spend your money on a decent combat game, don't worry, Way Of The Exploding Fist, isn't it. C16 owners have waited long and hard for something that approached the quality of punches and kicks available on the C64, but the C16 conversions just aren't coming up with the goods.
At first sight, the game looks pretty good. The two combatants appear on the screen against a fairly impressive backdrop. There are green mountains in the distance, yellow sand in the foreground, a pagoda and a statue of Buddha which looks a bit like the Editor in a bath towel - the things people will do for a bit of publicity.
The first opponent the computer throws at you is a novice. This is an excellent idea as it gives you the chance to discover what cunning blows your master of the art has up his sleeve, or under his belt as the case may be.
And they're pretty extensive too. There are sixteen altogether, including the old favourites like the roundhouse and the crouch kick (the one that gets them in the ankles). Try as I might, though, I couldn't get my man to perform a somersault or a flying kick. As it happened, none of this fancy footwork was needed, since the novice was easily despatched with a couple of straight punches. Oh well what do you expect from a novice?
After the first novice came a second who was similarly dealt with.
Third Dan Opposition was a bit craftier, but it was still just like any other day at the abbatoir. Fourth Dan came and went just like the rest. I could go on, but I'm sure you can all count.
If I'd thought all this was leading anywhere I might have continued with it, but I got the distinct impression that I'd have been sitting there at midnight with only Mr 127 Dan for company, a prospect I did not relish.
Each time you score a hit you are credited with a little semi circular flag (don't know the proper name for it, but there probably is one). Once you have four of these your opponent gracefully retires, or you do, if he's the one with the pennants. A particularly juicy hit gets you two flags at once.
With both novices out of the way it was time for the First Dan to come on. Someone a bit more practised I thought, better watch my step. Not so, he got, and took the same treatment as the novice. Another First Dan and two Second Dans came and went the same way.
Like I said, it's a shame. In every other respect, Fist is great. The characters are really well drawn and animated and all the moves are there, but what's the point if you don't get the chance to use them?
Ninja Master, which was a heap of rhinoceros dung, at least had some variety. The crying shame is that Fist is in a different class altogether, or could be but for the weedy opposition.