Some games just aren’t for everyone and this rings especially true for me and Karate Champ. I started playing this game knowing absolutely nothing about it other than that it was probably going to be an early attempt at the fighting game genre. I was shocked to find out that people love this game. The game controls are confusing at best with a lot of inputs just not connecting properly enough to warrant sinking time into it. There are definitely some presentational parts that Karate Champ gets right, but none of them exist in the core gameplay loop.
I understand the legacy part, but that’s not what I’m here to look at. Our next episode, Trojan, is a more competent fighting game than Karate Champ and that’s not even what it is supposed to be. Karate Champ led the industry towards Street Fighter which would of course bring about Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Tekken, and so much more. I just don’t think that means that we should give it a round of applause. In fact, I’m not going to give it anything, this game was so frustratingly hard to control and lackluster in performance that I can almost guarantee I’ll never pop that cartridge back in.
Karate Champ was little more than frustrating. The controls weren’t very clear or clean and even when you managed to land a hit it wasn’t satisfying because it just feels like luck. I think we can add this to our growing list of games that failed at simulating a one on one fighting sport, there it will live comfortably with M.U.S.C.L.E and Tag Team Wrestling.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. We had a nice 2 game fun streak going. All good things must come to an end, yadda, yadda.
We've returned to the land of the unplayable "fighting" game genre, and while I appreciate that the developers made an effort to simulate an overlooked sport, it fails on almost every mark.
The one time I was able to decipher the controls well enough to survive a match, the game just threw a plant vase at me and that was that. Toss it in the bin.