Human Killing Machine

Arcade 1988 Dos Tiertex Beat em up

Glorious 1980s action

Street Fighter might be the best known of the early one-on-one fighters but this little known gem makes for a surprisingly decent experience. Its gloriously eighties title gives a good idea of what to expect in the main game, as does the wonderfully over-the-top background story. This tells how Kwon, the titular killing machine and who is blessed with more muscles than brains, decides to prove to the world that he is the strongest and most brutal fighter in the world. As is usual in this kind of thing, this takes the form of a series of head-to-head duels with other fighters who happen to disagree with Kwon's opinions of himself. These duels take place in various countries around the world and are set against some surprisingly decent and chunky backdrops. You have a good selection of fighting moves with which to take down your opponents and the aim of the game is simply to whack them before they get you, in similar fashion to other games in the genre, from Fatal Fury to International Karate. While there's nothing particularly original about HKM, it remains a slick and enjoyable little fighter which is well worth a look for genre fans. The visuals are very strong, with lovely big sprites that are pretty well animated and move around at a good pace. The backdrops are highly detailed and bring a lot of personality to proceedings too. The controls are nice and responsive, and are pretty intuitive to pick up, making the game easily accessible, while the music is atmospheric and quite memorable. If you fancy a bit of proper old-school eighties action, then this is more than worth a look.

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