Format reviewed: Commodore 64
Submitted by: Hagen Dragmire
Yie Ar Kung-Fu for the Commodore 64 is one of the first one on one fighters that I ever played growing up as a kid. You are a fighter named Oolong who takes on 10 different opponents one after the other. Each opponent has a different style, usually based upon the weapon he/she has, which is also their name.
The greatest thing about this game is the fact that whatever way you tilt the joystick and hit the fire button, it does a different type of attack. For an early fighting game, this was very innovative and gave you many possibilities for attacks. Each opponent has a different weapon and pattern to defeat them. The game leaves it up to you to figure out the most efficient way of defeating them, while taking minimal damage.
*Classic Moment* – I remember as a kid the pinnacle was when I beat Pole for the first time. Pole would just stick you no matter how you came at him and destroy you with seemingly one hit. The day I figured out him was the day a whole new world opened up for me. But then next up, it was Chain who was equally as hard.
Yie Ar Kung-Fu was ported many times to different systems such as the NES, GBA and recently the Xbox 360 for download. Although the game always gets a face lift, I still prefer the original for it's steady controls, classic sounds/music and unrelenting difficulty. If you are like me and still have access to your old Commodore 64, Yie Ar Kung-Fu is definitely worth the loading time.
Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Submitted by: Alex Reeves
Yie Ar Kung Fu started life as an arcade game in 1985, with features that were seen for the first time in a fighting game, including multiple opponents, a health bar and special moves.
The game featured a fighter, Oolong, whose mission was to fight through a series of bouts against increasingly difficult competitors. Moves were achieved through the joystick and a punch and kick buttons, and included jumping attacks. With practise you could pull off moves such as leg sweeps and roundhouses, which were needed to defeat each of the enemies different stlyes.
The winner is the first to 10 points (or hits) in a single bout.
The graphics of the Spectrum were detailed, if a little less colourful than on other conversions, and I was pleased to be able to pull off the same moves as the original arcade game.
Along with "Way of the Exploding Fist", this game represents the height of fighters on the Spectrum (a machine not ideally suited to the genre) and is memorable for being my first experience of a proper beat-em up.
Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Submitted by: Clarance Frank
Ye Ar Kung-Fu was another big licensed game from the arcades to appear on the Commodore 16. This seminal beat-'em-up appeared one day on the shelves of my local WH Smiths, and I was frankly quite shocked. There had been no review in my Commodore User, not even any adverts to promote its existence, yet there it was on the shelves, Ye Ar Kung-Fu, and it had ‘c16/plus4’ emblazoned across the front of the cover. No screen shots on the box though – what was I buying here?
A quick scan of the cassette inlay told me that there were eight opponents, with a multi load which meant that more quality could me crammed into the C16, right? – and there were six attacking moves to master. The inlay went on to mention the eight opponent’s different attacking characteristics and weak points to be discovered and attacked. Well I was sold, how bad could it be?
Half an hour later (most of this time taken up with tape loading), I had completed the game, and was wondering if I should take it back to Smiths to ask for a refund.
Like so many games around for the C16 at the time, this had absolutely no depth of game-play at all, and had a really shoddy feel to it. The characters all look very nice, that is until they start moving. Horrible character animation, with the standing stance simply replaced with the chosen attacking stance, no frames of movement in-between. The collision detection is, well, undetectable, with a kick into thin air very often scoring a hit. Indeed it’s impossible to tell if you are scoring a hit – there’s no reaction graphically to indicate a strike. And the tactics? Well berserking on the joystick seemed to work well enough to fly right through the game; if each opponent did have different characteristics then they were lost on me.
Bafflingly bad, it seems as though this version was just knocked together in a few days and thrown out on release – C16 owners being desperate enough to buy anything with an official licence behind it – Well I was anyway.
Format reviewed: Arcade
Submitted by: Mike Wilcox
Your typical (not back then) one on one fighter, you played one character, Oolong, who has to fight a load of baddies to get to the main fighter (presumably because he killed your parents/stole your missus/for fortune and glory/ate your dog/wore your underwear). The different fighters had different weapons. Star threw out shurikens, Fan threw out blades from her fan, e.t.c. You had the normal range of kicks and punches you could use and the hit registered with a red spot or star on the screen. A blue one was a successful block.
The thing with this game was, if you used the same moves, the other character would cotton on, and block it all the time. Your charatcer can jump like someone out of The Matrix and looks like a Bruce Lee wannabe.
The difficulty level is set just right for the first few fights, but then gradually increases with every successful win, getting harder and harder until all your continues are gone forever (or until you insert another coin). The sounds are meaty for every punch or kick landed and a kind of 'puck' sound when you have blocked correctly. There is no music when you are fighting, its only at the beginning of the bout and at the end.
I like this game. i played it to death on my Spectrum (which is a faithful port) and got quite far on it. Its worth a go if you can find the home computer version cheap, or if you get it off XBLA.