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Top retro fighting action
The early to mid eighties saw a rash of one-on-one beat 'em ups, with the likes of International Karate, Yie Ar Kung-Fu and the legendary Way of the Exploding Fist all flooding the market and fulfilling gamers' needs to beat each senseless in digital form. World Karate Championship is another game from this period which follows the tradition and presents players with the objective of becoming world champion by progressing through a series of bouts, obtaining higher levels of skill and travelling the world as you go. It plays out in standard style, with the various countries represented by some wonderfully garish and over-the-top famous landmarks (the best has to be the fight which takes place in front of the Sphinx in Egypt) and with players simply using their reasonable range of fighting moves to take down their opponent. In a neat little twist, you also get a few in-between round bonus stages, which require you to bust planks or deflect randomly bouncing balls and which help you rack up the points. That's about it really for the game, but it's one which still stands up pretty well today and which is well worth a look. It's simple stuff obviously, but the animation is silky smooth for an eighties game, with fast flowing kicks and rapid fire punches which you can really feel. The game is actually quite realistic for the fighting genre, with players required to be patient in their actions but which can result in knocking the opponent down in three simple moves, without them ever touching you, making it immensely satisfying for those of such a nature. The visuals too are gloriously old-school, with nice chunky sprites and some great backdrops, so all in all, this makes for a top retro treat.