Can I really give a fair review of Kung Fu? This is
one of the first games released for the NES, next to
Super Mario Bros and Baseball, so it cannot match up
to today's titles, not only in graphics and sound, but also in
Think of this game just like those old kung-fu
movies from way back when. We have the damsel in distress (Sylvia), the
hero out to rescue her (Thomas), and the big ganglord
with an unlimited army of employed thugs (Mr. X). That's
basically the plot right there.
Throughout the game, you walk right to left along one of the five
floors of the mansion, beating the tar out of anyone
that gets in your way. Opponents include knife throwers and Tom
Toms (midget acrobats), all the way up to the big
guys, which are the Stick Fighter, The Bommerang
Thrower, The Giant, The Magician, and Mr. X himself.
The B button kicks and A will punch. Kicking is more effective
as far as range, but punching yields double the points. The game goes
back to the glory days when pressing Up jumps, and from there you
can jump kick. Most enemies don't even really punch or kick, they just sort
of grapple onto you and do damage, while you try to shake them off. The
object, of course, is to hit them before they hit you. Occasionally
you'll break out of the monotony by jumping over knives or attacking
bosses, but the same basic theme is prevalent.
The graphics are really plain. While the characters
have decent animation, you get the same background
over and over. The same boring blue backdrop, the same ceiling, everything's
just too repetetive. Plus, you pretty much fight the exact duplicate
group of guys throughout the game, the most common being the purple
clad foot soliders and the knife-throwing warriors. The only exceptions are on level 2,
where balls fall down and become snakes and dragons,
and level 4, where moths fly in through the holes.
The sounds are slightly better. The same music plays
through the game, but the grunts that Thomas makes
when he punches and kicks are cute, as is the laugh
that comes in sometimes. (Note that one of the grunting noises is also
used in Zelda 2 and Castlevania.)
The biggest problem with the
game is that it gets old fast. If you somehow beat
Mr. X, you get this bad ending that says, "Thomas and
Sylvia are reunited, but it doesn't last long" (or
something to that effect). Then, you get to go
through it again, this time its tougher. Just great.
I know it's an old game, but still, it doesn't hold
your interest that long. For one playthrough, it's
kinda fun to beat up on some people. Whacking bad guys to corny
grunts and screams while they fall off the bottom of the level
can be amusing for short time, but beyond that,
you might be looking for other ways to get your kicks.