Melbourne House
1985
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£8.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

17
Dougie Bern
Chris Bourne

FIST FIGHT

Pain is the name of the game. And the game is The Way of the Exploding Fist from Melbourne House. Dougie Bern has been playing it for kicks!

Now I'm not Bruce Lee but as a tyro practitioner of the Martial Arts, I was a bit sceptical about reviewing The Way of the Exploding Fist. How can you capture the excitement of karate on a computer? Well, now I've seen the game and all I can say is wow - or should that be POW! This is truly a blockbuster - as any good karate game should be!

Never let anyone tell you that Speccy games aren't still the best. The graphics of the two karate combatants are superbly animated and very realistic, showing just what can be achieved with a lot of hard work and attention to programming detail.

Punch Lines
It is your task to progress through the ascending Dan grades until you attain the exalted rank of a master. But the path is arduous so be prepared to take a few knocks along the way. At each level of the game you must beat your opponent twice before proceeding onto the next stage. Use the complete karate arsenal to knock him to the ground - direct hits score a full match point but you'll still get half marks for a badly executed move. No need to commit hara-kiri just yet!

You can call on a complete range of eighteen different punches, kicks, blocks and sweeps to pulverise your opponent with. What's more, all the moves are true to life and very accurately reproduced. But watch out 'cos the more skilful you become, the more accurate he gets - so prepare to eat a few sand sandwiches as well as those of the knuckle variety.

At first you'll find yourself slightly overwhelmed by the number of options you have at your disposal. Eighteen different moves means a brain-numbing choice of keys for you to master. But the controllability and speed of response of the game are excellent and produce an amazing sense of realism. You can almost feel your fist as it smashes into your adversary 's face.

Though it's tricky at first, The Way of the Exploding Fist certainly simulates a good karate match. Definitely a game to chop around for!

Not Rated

Screenshot Text

Honourable players Dan grade is displayed here. The more skulls you crack, the closer you're gonna get to the elusive tenth Dan.

Old japanese proverb says, "Wise man cultivate the spirit of perseverence even as the sun goes down, and he is eternally rewarded here with high scores."

To enter the honourable Dojo and fight where the immortals have fought before you, you must win two bouts in a row.

Confusius say. 'Man who don't keep hands up, get kicked in teeth " Ah so, make sure you stay on the move and use plenty of blocking tactics, though they're not really that effective in the higher Dan grades.

The computerised karate kid is always in grey. Here he's taking a real pounding. Ouch, cracked ribs (gleat Chinese delicacy) velly painful!

The side thrust kick (Yoko Geri Kelkomi) is very effective at long range. But you have to take care 'cos your opponent's a dab hand at sweeping you off your feet from this position

The first bout takes place outside the gates of the honourable Dojo. You begin by facing your opponent and bowing in true ceremonial style. Only then are you ready to do battle.

The backdrop doesn't play any real part in the game but it does add a touch of authentic Japanese atmosphere. Looks like a very professional Melbourne Draw job.

Train hard and you'll be awarded the first Dan grade and allowed to enter the Dojo. But prepare to fight ever harder if you want to maintain your new status.

The number of points you've clocked up is displayed here but it's only updated at the end of each bout. The more difficult the technique you use, the more points you'll receive for it.

That's the way - sweep him off his feet as he comes into land. This move is especially effective when your opponent has just completed a move.

No, it's not shadow boxing - this is karate and it's for real! But the shadows are an effective addition to that realism. The two challengers may be two colours only but you couldn't wish for more life-like movement. You'll feel the thud as your opponent's fist lays you out.

The flying kick is a very powerful technique developed for dislodging riders from their horses. To use it effectively is extremely difficult and it leaves you open to sweeping attacks when you land.

If you're really getting into trouble, try getting away from it all by somersaulting over the head of your opponent. Follow it up with a quick back kick (Ushiro Geri) to sweep him off his feet when he's least expecting it.

Your master, the Sensei, keeps a watchful eye on your progress. Actually, he's just part of the local colour and plays no part in the proceedings.

Victory in a bout comes when one player's totted up two complete match points. If time runs out on you, then the one with the most match points wins. A hint for cowards - come in quick and score a point then dodge about until time-out!

If you make a duff move but still manage to bring your opponent to his knees, you'll only receive hall a match point.

For close range combat use the punches and jabs. They're the most effective method of taking the heat off until you can get away.

The side snap kick (Yoko Gere Keage) is great for bops on the chops but beware it's very easy to block. Prepare to follow through with a quick punch or a sweep.

The reverse roundhouse kick (Mawashi Geri} is one of the most difficult to pull off but when you get it right it nearly always scores a full match point. It's especially useful for crushing your opponent's kidneys.

You've got to be good to get this far. It's back outside again under the expert supervision of the Sensei and the all-seeing eye of the Buddha.

The Ying and Yang symbols of the mandala show your match points in the current bout. If you perform a perfectly executed move that scores a direct hit, you'll receive a full match point and your score points are doubled.