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For die-hard martial arts fans only
The title of this obscure fighting game might mean something to hardcore martial arts fans, but for the uninitiated it refers to a style of Chinese combat popular with the likes of Bruce Lee. This game takes the style and places it into a static screen beat 'em up in the manner of International Karate or Budokan, with levels that include training against unarmed dummies, sword and spear drills and live combat against one or two opponents. As you'd expect, there are a number of moves available to your player, but don't expect anything like Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat, as the focus here is on semi-realistic, serious martial arts fighting, not arcade-style action. Careful attention must be paid to your chi meter, so don't just attack randomly and without thought, while enemies can be cunning and will bide their own time to launch their attacks at the most opportune moment. In trying something a little different, Kung Fu Warrior deserves some credit and the game certainly provides die-hard martial arts fans with an intriguing experience. However, its slow pace and other niggles mean that for broader audiences, this might not be quite so appealing. Biggest of the problems is the awkward controls, which are often unresponsive and less than fluid, leading to frequent frustration as your fighter fails to do what you want him to. If you can get past this, then the game's graphics and animation are still reasonably impressive (although the cropping of the screen is bizarre), while features like the two-on-one battles (also seen in the earlier International Karate Plus) also add appeal. However, the game's slow pace and lack of moves do detract from this, while the awkward controls cannot be ignored, so approach this with caution.