ST Karate

Reviewed by Les Ellingham


Issue 25

Jan/Feb 87

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Paradox/Eidersoft Software


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.