Review by tfobf

Reviewed: 12/02/01 | Updated: 12/02/01

The classic game from the 80's is back.

Studio 3 have brought yet another port to the GBA however this one is a true classic that many will know and love.

Some of you may remember this game as ''International Karate Plus'' or any other of its many names when it was in arcades and on the Amiga and Commodore 64 back in the day.

Anyway for those of you who need a memory refresh, this is the karate game where it's you versus 2 other guys, and you all attack each other and score points. The first to fill up their points bar wins.
The controls are what has always made this game unique. You have your punch and kick buttons, but just pressing them on their own won't do a thing, you have to use a joystick combination with them in order to produce results (or in this case the D pad). So for example forward + punch = middle punch. Up + punch = high punch. Back + punch = headbutt. Back + kick = roundhouse. And so on.

Using these combinations you can have some pretty stylish karate matches as you travel around the world battling your opponents. The first person to win 2 rounds is declared the winner, and if it's you, then you move on to the world map screen where you can select your next destination to fight.
At the end of each match a bonus round will happen where you can deflect bouncing balls from hitting your player and score 100 points for each one.

A quick list of features:

- Tournament mode; travel around the world and beat your opponents.
- Upgraded graphics and sound, and some great backdrops on each level. (Although one of them has the Twin Towers featuring very prominently :-o )
- Password save. (Yep I hate it too)
- Practice Dojo to hone your skills.
- Endurance minigames including balls, and bombs.
- A full range of 16 belts (difficulty levels) ranging from white up to black.
- High score list (Which isn't even saved on the cart so it's pointless)

For fans of the game in the past, this will be a pleasant trip down memory lane, however those not familiar with this title would probably prefer something a little more complex, like Street Fighter.
Overall it's a nice port and a solid little title, but the password save (when will developers learn, just say NO to passwords!) and the lack of multiplayer link up makes this would-be great port, a bit disappointing.

Buy it if you liked the game before, otherwise just buy Street Fighter.

5/10

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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