Review by Rottenwood

Reviewed: 05/22/00 | Updated: 05/22/00

Maybe Some Dubbing Might Have Helped

'China Warrior' might charitably be described as a noble attempt at bringing martial arts action to life. (Well, digital life, anyhow.) However, the best kung fu fighting looks fluid and effortless; it's a work of combative art. 'China Warrior,' on the other hand, is so stiff and clumsy that it undermines the action completely. After seeing classic Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies, this game seems almost comedic and worthy of pity.
The basic premise of this game (and believe you me, premises don't get more basic than this) is that you're some sort of fighter, who resembles Bruce Lee as much as modern copyright laws will allow. (Defamation of character laws, on the other hand, definitely apply to this game.) You just sort of walk around, kicking people and blocking objects. I don't mind the occasional brainless action game (such as 'Contra'), but I can't think of anything more silly than stumbling around the countryside, batting down flying objects.
The main problem with this game is the sluggish, difficult controls. The game feels unresponsive, as if it was three seconds behind my button presses. And in a fast action game, delays are fatal. How do these games escape beta testing with such awkward and obvious play control problems? It makes no sense to me at all.
At least the graphics are pretty good. The characters are large and detailed, and the backgrounds make for some nice scenery. Unfortunately, data limitations (or probably plain old designer laziness) result in identical 'bosses' with different-colored shirts. (You fight the same guy in camoflague so many times that the only thing I kept playing this wretched game for was to see if I could guess what color his shirt would be at the end of the next level.)
The music is pretty much regrettable... sad stuff. The sound effects are a little better, but I kept waiting for the hero to speak in a poorly-dubbed voice or scream 'Kaiiiieeeee!' or something of the sort. Pretty mediocre, even at its best.
This game might have been saved through some rigorous playtesting and control tightening. But the whole thing reeks of an unfinished project that was shipped anyhow. It's basically a clone of both Bruce Lee and 'Kung Fu,' that old Nintendo game. If you're a huge fan of 'Kung Fu' and can't get enough walking around and knocking-down-objects action, then this game might entertain you. Otherwise, leave this one in the bargain bin.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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