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Arcade Archives Reviews: Yie Ar Kung Fu

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Magmavision2000

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Yie Ar Kung Fu is a 1985 fighting game by Konami.

 

Now, this game is one of my favorite games Hamster re-released. In my opinion, it's probably the best fighting game of the 80s and one of the most underrated arcade games in general.

 

Now Yie Ar Kung Fu is basically a love letter to all of those Shaw Bros. Chinese Opera movies. You play as Oolong, a young Kung Fu master who has entered a tournament in order to avenge his father's death. You have to fight a diverse range of fighters including:

 

A gliding large fellow who throws mean kicks

 

A man sporting a yellow gi and nunchuks

 

And most importantly

 

A sword-wielding disco dancer

 

This game also has a lot of firsts, it's one of the first fighting games to have a health bar, it's the first game to have combos and special moves, and I'm 90% certain it's the first fighting game to feature female characters (although you can't play as them).

 

On the control side, it's a little weird at times, but with enough practice, you can definitely get used to it, the controls aren't like Karate Champ, they're more like normal fighting game controls. The one problem with the controls is the lack of a block button, so if you're in a sticky situation, then prepare to either get into a jumping frenzy or insert more credits.

 

While we're on the topic of credits, this game has your average arcade difficulty, if it's your first time playing, have fun getting past the 3rd opponent. To tell you the truth, I haven't even beaten the final boss yet. Thankfully, stunlocking your opponent is rather easy, but it obviously won't bring in the big points if you're going for a high score.

 

The graphics are beautiful for 1985. The sprites, although small, do represent the characters wonderfully. And the backgrounds are amazing, they look almost 16-bit dare I say.

 

The Arcade Archives release is pretty barebones only having one ROM, and the other modes I've mentioned before, but Yie Ar Kung Fu's gameplay alone definitely makes up for it.

 

 

Yie Ar Kung Fu is an example of why Arcade Archives is important. They take obscure and underrated games and give them another chance. Yes, there are a few problems, but that's what makes it enjoyable (like Miami Connection). If you like fighting games, there's no excuse not to pick this up, especially for $7.99, 8/10.

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I could *never* get the hang of this game. I do remember it being pretty impressive when I first saw it, but try as I might I just never got good at this game. You know how it is..some games you end up sticking with, some you never get traction.  Might have to fire it up on MAME again one weekend. 

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