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This has all of the features of the arcade game, but unfortunately it doesn't play as well as the original. The graphics aren't particularly brilliant and only just capture the atmosphere of its arcade counterpart. In terms of playability
Yie Ar suffers; sometimes Oolong seems to have a mind of his own and doesn't perform the move you want him to. It's certainly a difficult and challenging version, and becoming a kung fu master will take some doing. If you like the sound of this game or liked the arcade version then it's worth taking a look at.
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Yie Ar Kung-Fu
1986 Imagine/Konami
Programmed by David A. Collier
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986).
 

YIE AR KUNG-FU
Imagine, 8.95 cass, joystick only


After many months of delay, Imagine's conversion of the Konami arcade game Yie Ar Kung Fu finally makes it to the Commodore. All the features of the original are included, with the same ten opponents, control method and backdrops.

Like most arcade games, the scenario is a very simple one. Taking the role of Oolong the kung fu fighter, you have to salvage the honour of your family by becoming a master of the martial arts. This is achieved by taking on and bettering ten vicious opponents who are all rather weird, and range from a petite but very violent fan-throwing female to a chain-wielding jellified fatty.

Oolong, being rather good at kung fu bit, has 16 special moves to confound, confuse and generally damage his opponents. These are all accessible via combinations of joystick directions and the fire button, a similar method to that used on Way of the Exploding Fist. Some of the moves, like roundhouse, flying kick and leg sweep, will be pretty familiar to kung fu fans, but others such as the flying punch, stride punch and ground kick, open new grounds in fighting tactics. For every kick of punch on target points are awarded, 500 points for the most simple moves up to 2,000 points for a well executed flying kick. Every 20,000 points a new life is awarded.

When a round starts, each fighter is given a certain amount of energy, shown on-screen as a bar. When you get a hit, an eighth of your energy is lost. After the eighth hit, poor old Oolong loses one of his five lives and has to face the same opponent again. The opponents' energy bars work in the same way and if you manage to hit them eight times then Oolong is declared the winner, his energy level is restored, and he goes on to fight the next, more vicious opponent.

Each of the ten combatants has an individual fighting style and different fighting strategies are needed in order to win. On later levels the opponents carry weapons -- swords, chains, clubs, fans, sticks and throwing stars which have to be avoided, either by jumping or ducking. All this while trying to beat off the usual melee of kicks and punches thrown at you!

The final opponent is a real toughie -- he's your clone, only faster and stronger that you! If you manage to bash him in, then Oolong finally becomes a kung fu master and his family's honour is restored once more. Then he has to challenge the same ten opponents, only this time they're meaner and faster.

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Yie Ar Kung Fu is yet another conformist safe money spinner designed to cash in on the latest fad for the beat em up. And it's just as dull as all the others. As games of this type go I suppose it's all right: it offers new challenge for all those into pixel violence. The graphics are of an average sort, though the sprites seem to float about as opposed to realistically moving. Sonically it's all very competent as well, though it really is a bit naughty to take a chunk out of Jarre's 'Magnetic Fields' for the title screen music. Do Rocksoft know? I don't like this game, though I'm sure most Fist devotees will love it.
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I expected the 64 conversion of the superb arcade original to be better than the rest, but it's not -- the Amstrad version is superior without a doubt. Admittedly comparisons shouldn't be made, but
Yie Ar Kung Fu on the 64 is not a good game to play. I didn't enjoy it at all. Graphically, it isn't too hot either. The sprites look small and puny and I don't like the way they 'slide' across the screen. However, the backdrops are quite pleasant. Mr Galway's soundtrack is neat, although not outstanding and the sound effects are very nice. Yie Ar Kung Fu could quite easily have been the best of the genre, but unfortunately it isn't. Basically disappointing.
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Presentation 86%
Informative instructions, two player option and generally attractive appearance.

Graphics 64%
Just adequate sprites, but decent backdrops.

Sound 84%
Superb title screen music and pleasant in-game tune.

Hookability 72%
It's a hard game that could lead to frustration.

Lastability 70%
But if you like this sort of thing you'll stick at it.

Value For Money 65%
Cheaper than the average game, but no better.

Overall 68%
Have a couple of games before deciding to buy.

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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (27 Jan 2005)

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