Karate Champ (NES) Retro Review


Karate Champ is a 1986 fighting game for the NES developed by Technõs Japan and published by Data East. It is a simple 2d fighter where the player and the AI compete to land successful hits. Each hit gives 0.5-1 point per hit and the first to 2 wins. Note the NES port is based on the Player vs Player version of the arcade game which has changes like AI improvements and fight locations.

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I didn’t really like how the logo flashed alot although it doesn’t actually stay on it very long before going to an AI vs AI fight which seems random but i couldn’t tell. Music played i the background for quite a while which was very different to the tiny jingles that the other games had. As for choices you have the generic 1 player and 2 player so no explanation needed.

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When getting into the game it took awhile to get used to the controls and the sudden lack of music, the graphics seemed ok though for its age. A seemed to attack right while B attacked left and i couldn’t work out what changes what kind of attack you use. I did manage to get points but it definitely wasn’t a good first impression.
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Even when i managed to win once and got a better idea of the attacks (high, middle, low) it still felt like luck played a huge part, even the AI looked incredibly random. Because of this it started to feel repetitive very fast. I gave up after around 5 tries because of how bored i got. Note i couldn’t review 2 player because i don’t have anyone to play with (like usual).

Overall some people might enjoy this but i personally can’t recommend it even if its said to be the grndad to a lot of modern fighters.

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