Paradox were one of the first companies to release
any game on the ST with Mission Mouse which ran in mono only. I
never saw a finished copy but what I did see only really came into
the 'alright' category. Nothing else seemed to happen for a year and
then, suddenly, at the PCW show in 1986 Paradox leapt out with no
less than six ST games all in glorious colour and with
midi-compatible sound to boot! Hopefully we will bring you reviews
of these in the coming months but let's start with one that they are
quite proud of themselves.
Karate games on micros are beginning to get a bit
boring, it now depends entirely on how well they are programmed.
With ST Karate there is no need to worry, it is excellent. Well
programmed with good graphics and sound and fairly easy to begin but
rapidly becoming hard! You have a choice of one player against the
computer or two players competing. Music and sound effects can be
switched off and there is a high score table. The game is played
with the joystick and control is quite complex to master fully.
There are no less than 18 possible moves depending on whether the
fire button is pressed and the same number with your fighter facing
in the opposite direction!
At the first level fighting against the computer
is not too difficult and, once you have (semi-)mastered the controls
you should easily get to the next round. In fact the same scenario
is fought a second time before the background changes and added
perils are introduced. Flying 'stars' or whatever those horrible
martial arts things are called must be avoided and
bouncing pots can be broken for extra energy. Get through this round
and you are presented with a whole row of bouncing pots to destroy
and if you can get past this level you are doing well. Here comes my
only criticism of the game for nowhere in the instructions, which
are not good anyway, does it indicate what you need to do. By the
time you have thought about it you are dead! I am not going to tell
you how to get past this round (I had to figure it out!) but if you
do you will then fight against two opponents. You will then have to
fight them again. What happens next I don't know, by this time my
joystick hand felt like I had been breaking the proverbial breeze
blocks all day!
I must admit that I thought this would be a bore,
but it had me hooked because of its qualities. Excellent graphics,
good music, digitised sound (not that good) and eminently playable
with just the right degree of difficulty. Highly recommended if you
enjoy this type of game. Watch out for the stunning triangular
packaging which looks great on display but is not easy to put back
together once opened and look out for more from Paradox, it might be
as good as this.