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King of the Monsters

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Released: 1991

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Neo Geo

Publisher: SNK

Developer: SNK

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

When I was young, the Neo Geo was a machine that was beyond most gamers reach, especially when on a pocket money budget.  An expensive system with even more expensive games, an arcade quality experience was there for those who's wallets could handle the strain.

One game that was regularly shown on TV shows such as Games World was King of the Monsters, a fighting game that payed homage to the classic monster movies with gameplay that was a mixture of Wrestlefest and Rampage.

The game was a one on one fighting affair, with the cities of Japan as the battlegrounds.  Six characters were on offer, including a Woo, a King Kong style gorilla, a Godzilla type monster, Geon and a super-hero fighter named Astro Guy, who bears more than a passing resemblance to DC Comics "The Flash". 

In the cities, there are various items that can be picked up and used as projectiles, mostly cars and tanks, plus the many large buildings can cause damage by exploding if an unlucky fighter is thrown into them.  The military are on hand to defend the cities, and often fire upon players from the many tanks and fighter planes that patrol the stages.  Plus both ends of the levels are gaurded by electric force fields, which injure those who stray too close.

The game borrows much from wrestling, with all players having several wrestling moves at their disposal, plus to finish an opponent off they must be pinned for a three count.

As you would expect from the Neo Geo, the in game sprites are large and the animation is excellent.  Plus the game has some more then decent music and sound.

A fair old amount of button bashing is used in KOTM, as the grapples are won by punding away on the buttons, so sore wrists come with the territory on this game, and thanks to emulation it can now be enjoyed by everyone, rather than just those with a load of spare cash!