Tag Archives: brawler

The Kung Fu

Reviews
Hardware: PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16
11/21/1987 (Japan), 1989 (US)
THE 功夫
China Warrior
Most of the beat-em-up games we've seen so far has been arcade ports (with the exception of the first three Hokuto no Ken games). The Kung Fu was obviously meant to be an arcade game in spirit, with Spartan X's DNA flowing strongly through it. The PC Engine was marketed as the next evolution of current consoles after all, so it needed something to set a fairly standard game like this apart from its contemporaries on the Famicom/NES and Mark III/Master System. That something would be giant character sprites, standing nearly the entire height of the screen. The story is about as standard as it gets: An assassin by the name of Wang (who looks remarkably like Bruce Lee) sets out to defeat the Dark Emperor and save the country that he has overtaken. To do this he must of course use his own kung fu to defeat other martial artists, and eventually the Dark Emperor himself (who turns out to be nothing more than a stereotypical practitioner of drunken kung fu). There are four stages (along with a bonus stage in which you stop a cursor on a power gauge in order to break a large pot), each divided into 3 separate parts that contain a boss at the end. You get three lives and up to two health meters to make your way through these stages, though it is possible to earn more through score and oolong tea power-ups (in the case of health). Continue Reading

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio kun

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
04/17/1987 (Japan), 01/1988 (US)
熱血硬派くにおくん
Hot Blooded Tough Guy Kunio
Renegade
Famicom ports of early arcade games often turned out to be far cries from their originals, though they meant well. Development on the Famicom just hadn't been refined to the point where truly accurate ports of these titles were feasible, and these were the days where arcade technology was so far beyond home console technology that it was often impossible. Kunio's Famicom port changes up a great many things from the original. The most noticeable is a graphical style that's significantly closer than the arcade version to that which the Kunio series would become so well known for in its next installment. The music is also incredibly faithful to the original version. There's an alternating 2 player mode here, which was typical for Famicom beat-em-ups of the time. Each player can also select one of three levels, which seem to do nothing more than change the stage backgrounds between daytime, dusk, and nighttime. Power ups will also appear periodically that will refill health, or temporarily increase strength or speed. Continue Reading
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