Review by GlucoseJoe

Reviewed: 05/28/00 | Updated: 05/28/00

Oh boy, what a mess this is...

China Warrior…*tastes stomach bile*…China Warrior…*projectile vomiting ensues*…That about sum it up for you? I remember back when the TurboGrafix-16 was brand spanking new, they had commercials featuring side-by-side comparisons of a few NES games with their new offerings. One such pairing was the NES game Kung Fu and TG16 showed off China Warrior. China Warrior, of course, looked good enough to make you spit on your lousy Kung Fu cartridge and kick it into next week. But, unfortunately, China Warrior's biggest asset was also its downfall. You are the China Warrior (big surprise there). You might as well be named Bruce, because he's got a remarkable resemblance to the “Legendary Dragon”. The characters are absolutely HUGE in this game for its time, which was great in still pictures, but not in motion. See, good ol' China Warrior had so little animation it wasn't even funny, and all the one-on-one fights they showed in the commercials and the print ads never showed what you had to do in order to get to them. Marvel at the three whole frames of punching animation! Marvel at the three whole frames of kick animation! Marvel at the SINGLE frame of jumping animation! Ugh. You walked along (automatically, I might add; the only way to halt yourself is to duck) super-slowly while small objects (stones, fireballs, butterflies, rolling boulders, snakes, sticks, etc.) flew at you from the right side of the screen. You had to punch and kick them (or jump them, like the boulders for instance) before they hit you and caused damage to your life bar (you start out with a silver set, but if you collect a life power up item from certain enemies, it gave you extra gold units, and when the gold ones are depleted, it switches back to your silvers). This was basically a cheap way to extend the length of the game. You were forced to smack the little flying jobbers out of your path, or avoid them, and then make it to the area boss (usually a bald military man in a few different color schemes, but I seem to remember a girl and a martial artist, too, beyond the first three levels. But baldy is definitely your opponent for the first three stages) with as much energy left as possible. Until you got the hang of the stiff, fairly awkward controls, you could end up at the boss with hardly any health, and then you were hit once or twice, and you died. Plbtt. You can block your enemy’s attacks by hitting punch or kick when they tried to punch or kick you, but it had to be the same variety of attack in order for it to be successful. Uh, why didn’t they just let you hold back to block? Street Fighter 1 was out at this time, and the system had already been invented, but Hudson just didn’t use it. When your three lives are gone, you’re done (unless you can amass enough points to win extra lives). But do you get to try again once you see the “The End” screen? Well, there was only a ''secret'' method of continuing, and you had to endure the entire level of object dodging before you fought the boss again, so it was basically a game that you had to clear in one long, repetitive haul with few lives if you didn't know the continue trick, which didn't always work. Did I finish this piece of trash back in the day? No. I had had enough and I returned it to the friend I borrowed it from quickly. Did I try to finish it when I sat down with the game again before touching up this review just now? Well, let’s see…After I fought the same army man in his third palette-swapped incarnation (wow, he gained a headbutt move in his third fight, and was now a black man instead of being white like the first two fights), I died, whee, and shut off my Duo in short order. I hate China Warrior as much now as I did back in 1989. It still leaves a rotten memory in my head whenever I happen to recall playing the stinking piece of garbage, and great, now I have a new set of bad memories of it to boot. Big characters like these in a one-on-one fighter at that point in time would have been neat, despite the lack of animation. They could've made it into one of the first fighting games, but they instead saddled it with too many action game elements for its own good. China Warrior is STILL a weak game. It is STILL not fun in any way, unless maybe you’re a sadomasochist. And if that’s your thing, this is your game. It brings the pain in large doses.

Graphics: Outside of the fairly good looking, big main character and boss sprites, it was pretty much the same lame background with a different hue for each stage, seeing as it slowly turned from day to night as China Warrior walked along. There were minor differences, but really, you wouldn’t be paying attention to them anyway, with the barrage of flying objects and monks wandering your way that all need to be dispatched. The monks shuffled along stiffly, and when struck, looked like they had been sucker-punched in the gut as they fell off the screen, no matter where you hit them. Yeah, that makes sense. “I got hit in the face, but I think I’ll bend forward. Ug ug ughhh.” Gray ones go down in one hit, tricky green ones duck for a moment before continuing towards you (oh my, what a great move! Buh), and the orange monks take a big three hits to kill. They’re tough guys I guess. The small flying objects were changed every other round or so, too, but again, who cares? So I’m punching out sticks AND flying rocks AND butterflies; it’s all the same crap to me. Annoying and worthless. They should have concentrated on the characters and not the weak-stuff “reflex test” before each main fight. Maybe China Warrior could have been something more if it had been an early fighting game instead of a complete half-breed action/fighting mess. The animation is as stiff as can be, and you won't like the way of this Warrior at all. We’re talking very little frames here, peeps. Bruce would be very, very angry if he had lived to see this disgrace. Then he would have kicked the junk out of the team responsible for it. Waiaaa-chaaaaaaaaaa!! Awoooo-ooooooooo…

Sound: One tunes plays as you stroll, weak sound effects, and no voices at all in here? This is sound? Okay, the “minimalist approach” works in interior decorating, and it only worked in a video game sound scheme once (in the original Tomb Raider). But it doesn't work here, bub. There's one goofy sound effect when you manage to pull off a secret power attack during the one-on-one fights (some power attack…your fist grows a little bit bigger for one lousy punch, or you bust out a quick barrage) that sounded like ''Woobwoobwoobwoob!'', and that's the only one that got itself stuck in my poor, poor brain. The music could have used some serious work, as it was akin to a poor chop-socky flick’s soundtrack, both the level tune and the title screen piece. And then there was the goofy, short victory tune that played when you knocked the stage leader out. Peh. Pathetic.

Control: Huh? You mean I'm actually controlling this game? Come on, you’re pulling my leg! But, then why is everything coming out ten seconds after I hit the buttons? I can’t *POSSIBLY* be controlling this mess. Our Warrior punches slowly, kicks slowly, jumps extra slowly, even WALKS pretty slowly, and he is constantly walking, no matter what, unless you duck…oh boy. Can we get this guy a walker or a wheelchair? He really needs one to be able to get around better. Must have some horrible arthritis, the poor guy. Maybe it should have been called “Arthritis Warrior”? Arthritis needs to be cured (and I am in no way mocking actual people with that condition who may be reading this). Try this out: put the controller by your feet (remember to wear socks, okay? Don’t want stank on your control pad) and try playing that way-you'll do just as well as you would with your hands. Unresponsive? The controls are not good enough to be labeled as “unresponsive”. That’s a disgrace to every game with unresponsive controls. These are dirt. Scum. Pathetic. Sad. A button to punch. A button to kick. Left to move left. Right to move right (even though you’re always moving right anyway). Up/up left/up right to jump. Jump straight up and kick to produce a weaksauce jump kick. Jump up left/up right and hit kick to use the more effective jump kick, but it leaves you more open for attacks. Too bad. Press down to crouch, and hit punch while you’re down there to punch while crouching. Why can’t I punch while jumping? Why can’t I kick while crouching? As the announcer in the old Tootsie-Rolls Tootsie-Pops commercial said, “The world may never know.”

Funfactor: Funfactor??? HAAAAA ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahaha haaaaaaaaa!!! You're kidding, right? How in the wide, wonderful world would this thing be considered fun? Look, you’re here to have fun, right? Right? That’s the whole point of playing a video game; to derive fun from the experience, and to take your mind off of the “Real World” for a while. You’re not playing games to frustrate yourself. You’re not playing them to bore yourself. You are NOT in this to play BAD GAMES. So you’d do well to avoid this rancid pile of filth like the plague that it is. Your time and energy, dearest reader, means a lot to me. I don’t want you to have to waste either your time or energy playing something that is just not worth your while. That is why I am coming down hard on a game that isn’t worth the plastic it is imbedded into. The only way this HuCard could produce any fun is if you whipped it as far as you could while standing on a cliff. It'd be fun watching it wing into the unforgiving ocean, until some poor fishy choked on it. Then it would suck again. Poor fishy. It was just out there, swimming along, and it tried to eat the cracker-shaped HuCard, and it died. Services will be at 8 pm. *Taps begins to play*

Replayability? No, my children. Heed the mighty words of GlucoseJoe and stay far, far away from this abomination. Thou shalt NOT play China Warrior. Thou shalt NOT subject thyself to the evils of China Warrior. A bad game is a bad game is a bad game, no matter what some might try to convince you otherwise. I did not enjoy playing this trash in the least when it was new, and I still don’t enjoy it now. Kung Fu on the NES, a game with the same basic premise (survive a swarm of weak enemies until a final showdown fight with the stage boss), utterly destroys this experience in every gameplay-related way, and is a much more fun game today, in the year 2000, than China Warrior ever was. Actually, now that I think about it some more, China Warrior is more of a rip-off of an arcade game called Gladiator than Kung Fu! In Gladiator, you had…large characters moving from the left side of the screen to the right…you used your shield to block knives, spears, and other objects that flew at you from the right…and you fought a boss at the end using your sword and shield! Sound familiar? Oh brother, how could I forget Gladiator! China Warrior it a TOTALL rip-off of Gladiator! Just without the armor, shields, weapons, and, you know, the *fun*…You do not need to waste your very valuable game-playing time with something that is just not worth the trouble like this is. Too repetitive, unexciting, monotonous, blah, boring, junk, garbage, turd, fodder. All of those words describe this game to a ‘T’. Some might derive a minor amount of enjoyment, but those people would be very few and far between indeed. There are many, MANY games out there that are literally 5,000 times more fun than this claptrap. 2D games, 3D games, NES, Master System, SNES, Genesis, TurboGrafix-16, Game Boy, Game Gear, Lynx, Jaguar, Atari 2600, 5200, 3DO, Playstation, Saturn, Nintendo64, Dreamcast, Playstation2, the arcades…take your pick. There are so many FUN games out there to play…There are so many BETTER games available for every conceivable system for you to spend your time and money on, and this will never, ever be one of them. It is not fun. Period. Not a true action game, not a true fighting game. Just an abomination on the face of all games everywhere that needs to be lost in a hurry. If I run into copies of this game, (“priced to move” at two cents apiece, most likely), I will buy them all up, and toss them into my trusty fireplace. I’ll douse them with gasoline, and I will burn them to a crisp. I will eradicate the existence of China Warrior if it’s the last thing I do. I’ll become an expert cat-burglar so I can nab every existing copy of it, and I’ll burn them all into ashes. I will cleanse the Earth of China Warrior. This I promise. So sayest GlucoseJoe.

Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

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