Review by Pokejedservo

Reviewed: 09/29/04

A true gem of a rarity in Bootleg games. How so you ask? Simple, it makes you wish it had an official release.

This my friends is one of the most delightfully surprising yet mysterious oddities of a Famicom/NES game ever made. Pirate games are generally altered versions of NES/Famicom games or games from more technologically stronger systems (such as the Arcade & Neo-Geo) and lower their tech specs in order to fit those of the NES/Famicom. Sometimes they turn out decently (Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury) & sometimes they... well... don't (Street Fighter II). The beauty of this gem is that its a completely originally structured game. Granted the gameplay design is not truly original but instead of a modified version of a previous release. It was completely a home-made game from the ground up. Its a "Street Fighter II"-like 2D fighter starting many of the known cast from the "Super Mario Bros." games. (And Donkey Kong Jr. although a lot more muscular.)

Most of the characters look surprisingly well in this game (except for Mario whom seems to have some awfully pale white aftershave and King Koopa/Bowser for being the smallest character in the game). The Background graphics on the other hand are just simply terrific all around and surprisingly utilize the system's capabilities pretty darn well. Music & overall audio is decent enough but nothing truly memorable. The cast of playable characters have surprisingly a pretty good amount of special moves, however their awfully hard to pull off. (Then again that would be natural unless you have a PC & NES emulator-compatible Joystick since 2-D fighters have never been all that "PC-friendly".) However one can go by simple punching kicking while standing, crouching and in the air rather well in this game. Your opponents have pretty good A.I but yet the game itself is rather easy to get into and not hard at all to play. The Control is rather above average as well. However there truly is no ending to this game so in another words you'll end up fighting the same foes over & over again if you play long enough. That might be a problem for some players but the fact that this is for a Bootleg instead of an official one makes it not-so bad. (Because Bootleg fighters generally have much worse problems.) There are also no winquotes either, but all things in consideration thats no big deal at all.

The amount of awfully silly mistakes are not all that high at all. (The only ones that I didn't already mention are that Mario & Yoshi's names are slightly mispelt and that the Koopa Troopa is oddly nough named "NokoNoko".) Kart Fighter has a rare & genuinely sense of quality that is normally not found in Bootleg games, it makes you wish that Nintendo actually gave it a OFFICIAL release. (At LEAST a official "Japan-only" release...) And it along with the US mainstream release of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" are good proof that the concept of a 2-D fighter CAN work on the NES and should've been utilized more often. (Why didn't Capcom release the original Street Fighter for the NES instead of the Commodore 64 is beyond me but thats a different story for another time.) This game from the early 90's like most others of its time was awfully simplistic, but its still pretty darn fun nevertheless.

Overall this is quite possibly THE best Bootleg game EVER made. And its also simply a very good 2-D fighter game as well. I mean who knew that one of the better 2-D fighters from the early 90's would be a bootleg? Unfortunately unless you have some pretty darn good luck on Ebay this will most likely be an emulator-only affair (and even IF you buy the game yourself your going to have to either have a Famicom-adaptor for your NES or an actual Nintendo Famicom itself due to Region Locks.) And I will say this now that if Bootleg games were a lot more like this on a regular basis then Hong Kong would be giving ol' Japan and the US of A some pretty darn good competition in Video Game making if you know what I mean.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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