Kung Fu

System: NES


Game Type: 2D Platform
Race to the top of a pagoda, fighting off the thugs trying to tackle you at every step. The occasional knife thrower will appear, and you must jump over or duck under his missiles. You must cross each of five floors to get to the next level, and a boss guards each flight of stairs.

Gameplay: 95/100
There are only a few enemy types. Each has a specific set of attacks, each with only one or two appropriate responses on your part. Okay, so the gameplay isn't exactly deep. The designers make a structured environment and then keep throwing the same challenges at you repeatedly. But they're always in different combinations (backflipping midget and common thug, knife thrower and magician), so the game doesn't get repetitive too quickly. You'll have to dance pretty well if you want to stay alive, but you'll never be at a loss for what to do.

Graphics: 30/100
Eeeyechhh. Gross colors and wallpaper backgrounds, but of course that's the norm for a NES launch title. The character animation could be a lot better, too (only two frames for walking). The attacks sure look cool, though.

Sound: 50/100
There's only one tune, and that loops every few seconds. The voice samples are cool but of course they're really grainy and are used a bit too much. The audio's not really annoying overall but it's not impressive, either.

Overall: 95/100
OK, the graphics and sound are weak. But if you cared about that you wouldn't be shopping for NES games, would you? Gameplay is what carries this title. If Capcom were to do a Street Fighter platformer (God, don't I wish) they'd use many of the ideas you'll see in this game. Kung Fu is a platformer refined to its most pure, essential elements. Fans of Shinobi and Rolling Thunder know the kind of action I'm talking about, and know just how addictive it can be.


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.