Game: "Karate Champ"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Published by: Other
Review: Karate Champ was a simple 80's fighting game before the more popular titles like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat eventually came around. You faced off against an opponent, human or computer, to see who could score two points first and eventually win the best of three rounds before moving on to the next level. What was odd about the game is how the points were earned. If you just kicked your opponent in the chest, it would reward you with only a half point. However, if you managed to land a more high risk move such as the jump back kick, you could potentially get a full point and be on your way to winning the match even faster. Learning the moves definitely took a little while to get used to, having to move the control pad in weird patterns while simultaneously pushing the correct buttons... but it's nothing you couldn't master after playing the game for an hour at most.
Other than different locations for your battles to take place, which has no effect on the battles themselves I might add, the game really doesn't change at all. I guess the creators figured they needed to add some variety to the game, and since you didn't get to learn any new moves, at least you could enjoy some different backgrounds. The ten background scenes included a cliff, a field, an alley, a tropical sunset, train tracks, a brick dungeon-like area, a park, the ocean, an island, and a warehouse. After you made it through all ten areas, the game would just start over again.
Karate Champ did incorporate digitized voice effects, which at the time, were always a nice addition to any game. Though, to be honest, hearing the referee say "Point!" and "Begin!" countless times, does tend to wear off quickly. And speaking of the ref, it seems as though they didn't really plan on having him in the game originally because he's placed in different areas depending on what screen you're on. My favorite placement is on the tropical sunset level where they actually placed him on top of a palm tree silhouette because there was simply no other place to stick the poor guy. That combined with the fact that he's always doing this little dance which makes it look like he needs to take a piss makes for some great unintentional humor.
There are some other aspects to the game which I always found amusing too. For example, instead of bowing to show your defeated opponent respect after you win a round, your guy does a victory dance right in front of his face. Not very honorable of you, Mr. Karate Champ.
At the end of each round, the winner is also treated to a bonus round in which a plethora of flower pots are chucked at you from both sides of the screen for some inexplicable reason. You could punch and kick them, but you had to time it just right or you'd be knocked on your ass in a heartbeat. I never did master those bonus rounds even after all the hours I spent on this game as a kid. Who the hell throws flower pots at Karate Champs anyway?
It's far from the best fighting game ever made, and it does get old really fast if you're playing against the computer, but if you've got a friend to play it with, you could do a lot worse than Karate Champ as far as classic fighting games go.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
Follow us on:
Want Your Ad Here?
Send us an email!