"The meanest son of a snake you've ever seen!" That's how the pack describes the HKM, the Human Killing Machine. You can't help but be intrigued as to the nature of the game, how it plays and above all by the chap's odd parentage.
HKM is about running around, jumping up and down and hitting people. You visit five countries and beat the living daylights out of two Arabs, two Germans, two Dutch women, a Russian, a Spaniard, a bull and a dog. I think that offends just about everyone, don't you?
The graphics feature cartoon-style warriors fighting in famous parts of the world: a Spanish bull-ring, war-torn streets of Beirut, the red light district of Amsterdam. As each blow lands on target "POW!" or "ZAP!" appears in the colours of the successful fighter.
As the fighting begins, you battle Igor in Red Square, Moscow. He's your everyday trendy Russian soldier, with furry boots, a furry hat and an oversized rifle. You need to knock him down three times to defeat him, whereas you can survive five knockouts - a knockout occurring after three clean punches.
Igor, like the others, has a special ability and a specific weakness. He uses his rifle to bat your poor little Kwon sprite around in a seriously damaging fashion. But this self-same weaponry slows him down, making him vulnerable to flying and sweep kicks. Other adversaries are prone to punches or somersault kicks. It's a case of learning the hard way, though, because the packaging gives no clues whatsoever.
No sooner do you beat one villain than up pops their sidekick to do unto you as you did unto his pal. In the bull-ring, for example, Miguel is easy to right - compared with his supporting act, Brutus the bull.
You must beat these people and animals convincingly, because your future state of health depends on how you fare against your current opponent. If you manage to thrash them keeping all your lives, Kwon's healthy state determines a favourable ratio of knock-downs needed to win vs. knockdowns withstood for the next stage. If you only just survive, however, Kwon is tired and needs as many, if not more, knockdowns than his opponent to win through. Life's tough, ain't it?
So with many roads to travel and people to beat, this fightseeing tour with various villains and their odd little ways is good fun. But just kicking and punching shows limitations in gameplay - let alone a seriously impoverished moral sense. The cartoon nature of the graphics gives Kwon and adversaries a superhero touch, and even the stately pace of sprite movement cannot detract from the satisfaction felt when you finally work out how to beat each nasty, and can proceed to your next port of call and more scenic violence. I reckon you'll enjoy HKM a whole lot to begin with, but the interest may tail off after a few hours.
I disagree entirely with Trent on this one! The sprites are really well done, even to having anatomically incorrect but very convincing legs (they're too long!). If you enjoyed Target Renegade and Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja you'll love HKM. Mindless fun!
Get to Amsterdam.
You 'kwon' see clearly.
P. Great sprites and settings.
N. Movement is rather slow.
P. Punchy tune.
N. Limited sound effects.
Grab Factor 66%
P. Has some knockout characters.
N. Lack of pace is off-putting.
Staying Power 72%
P. Lots of opponents to fight.
N. Needs a 'continue' option to prevent frustration.
P. Violence among the jet set.
N. Good graphics offset a slow-paced game.