Let's say you want to make a good karate game. No story with revenge and blood, just a simple sports karate. So you think about two guys one against another. Then you add some belt colours as different levels. You want your game to look good, so you hire some people to take care of graphics and music. And now what? You want your game to be something special. Now it's time for you to create many moves, blocks and smooth animation, so game can be fun, original and it just might receive the status "legendary".
We present you International Karate, game originaly made for C64 that brought whole new aspect in one-on-one fighting games. It had good grpahics, extremly nice backgrounds, excelelent music, very fast and smooth animation combined with as many moves as you could perform on joystick. It was published in 1986, which is very early even for C64 and became one of the greatest legends in no time.
3 years later System 3 decided to convert it to PC, although 90% of games looked too bad when converted on PC and there probably wasn't PC conversion that attracted even approximately same number of players. Having experience with Last Ninja converions, they knew that they really have to make it great. At the end, PC gamers received the game that is somewhat cute, very fast, but can be very fun only if they manage to handle the controls. Controls leave you in no doubt that this game was made for joystick.
Graphics is, naturally, worse than on C64, but they managed to draw nice backgrounds that could leave someone breathless, but that was 15 years ago. Still, they made a complete succes by turning mostly to the gameplay and animation. Fighters move very fast and react on your commands almost immediately, which means that you will be able to participate in some amazing duels and moves. Every single move has been transefered: 8 ways to kick or hit not depending on side you are faced (including famous flying kick), 2 blocks(while moving away from opponent), 2 ways to avoid hits (crouch and small jump) and jumping toward/away form the enemy. So, you have more than enough to fight with.
Like in every old game, you had to play more and more to become better. Every succesful hit can bring you half or full point and opponents start with begining positions. Two full points win the duel. If you lose any duel, you have to start from the begining. You actually fight for points, so when receiving certain amount of points, belt colour changes and in new duels opponent fights better. So you'll have to be careful not to lose if you want to earn black belt. There are also small bonus stages that can be fun.
After time to time, background will also change and this is more than this game needs to keep you attached to monitor. As for the music, game unfortunally uses PC speakers. Well, music sounds as good as it can, really. Still, whoever heard Rob Hubbard's theme composed for IK will without doubt regret this PC limitations.
And for the end, the biggest drawback, like I already mentioned, are controls. Fire is left shift and joystick moves are done with various buttons on the right side of keyboard (J - left, K - right, U - up-left, I - up, O - up-right and N - down-left, M - down, "," - down-right). It is really unclear why you couldn't just use two cursos keys for narrow joystick move. If you press fire, your fighter won't hit. Hit or kick is combination of fire + direction or only direction.
If you can handle a lot of buttons, you'll probaly have a lot of fun with IK. When you get tired, you can watch demo mode and see how effective fights can be. Game also supports two players mode, but I doubt that PC gamers will be up to this. So, nostalgic players will probably be interested in this one, but although C64 legend is in every way better than this version, extremly fast gameplay guaranties that one can have lot of fun with this conversion too.
Set the number of cycles to BELOW 150. Otherwise, game will be too fast.
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