Home Computing Weekly


Karateka

Author: E.D.
Publisher: Ariolasoft
Machine: Commodore 64

 
Published in Home Computing Weekly #130

This must surely be the ultimate in animation on the C64. The movements of the karate fighters are extremely realistic and the inclusion of a narrative cartoon adds to the realism.

You play the role of a master of the art of karate, Karateka, whose task is to rescue Princess Marika from the clutches of the evil Lord Akuma. She is imprisoned in the deepest dungeon of his castle which is perched on top of a cliff and guarded by his best troops.

The story starts with the imprisonment of the princess and this gives a taste of the quality of the game's visualisation. A fler the scene is set in this way the next part of the game is loaded. This is a feature of the game, each section of the castle is stored seperately on tape and loaded as required. The sections do not take long to speed load and I found the system relatively easy to use.

Karateka

The game starts as you climb over the top of the cliff to be faced with the first palace guard. As guards go he is not the most agile of people and does not pose too much of a problem. On entering the castle grounds you must then tackle more guards as you fight your way across the courtyard and into the palace buildings.

Once inside the door closes behind you and you must fight hard not to be pushed back against it, making an easy target for your adversaries.

The karateka has two modes of readiness. To advance quickly he can run but if you meet an enemy while off your guard in this way, he will fell you with one sharp blow and you have to reload the game and start from the beginning. The best tactic is to drop into the fighting mode at the last possible moment, thereby maximising your advance and reducing the time it takes to clear each section and the number of guards met on the way.

You must also be on your guard against the unexpected because there are several extra problems to be overcome. Attacks by Akuma's trained eagle and learning how to pass a lethal bamboo portcullis or an apparently impassable doorway to name but three.

The moves of your player are limited to high, low and middle chops and kicks, and the additional problems presented in the game, with the superb quality of the animation makes this stand out as the best karate simulation game currently available.

E.D.

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