Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Kick Box Vigilante'

Rating:3 User: dm_boozefreek

I reviewed this game about 9 years ago for Paul Johns, and Michael Frasers ZX Spectrum Bible. I've been avoiding reviewing any of the games I reviewed for that book, just because well why do it again. So I'm gonna do something I wouldn't usually do. I still have texts from back then so here goes!

Taken from Paul Johns, and Michael Frasers ZX Spectrum Bible from way back in 2009.

Kickbox vigilante

I'm sure I've seen this before???

Oh yes I have it was called Yie Ar kung Fu!

Zepplin released this rather average one on one fighter way back in 1991, during the Speccy's twilight years a game like this would probably be unacceptable, IF it was full price. As it stands though Kickbox Vigilante was only 2.99 and quite OK for that price really. It's influences from other games are so shamelessly blatant it's like they didn't even try to subtly hide them at all. The guy you control looks like Oolong from Yie Ar Kung Fu, the first guy you fight is a big fat bald dude (no he doesn't fly at you, it's not that shameless), the second a ninja, and so on.

The gameplay itself is a mixed bag, and if you're willing to not take it too seriously it was possible to get some enjoyment from your few quid, I've loaded this game up a few times during the age of emulation, and stuck playing it for at least 20 minutes each time, sometimes longer. The moves are a mix between shameless rip offs and comical, for instance you have 2 low punches one is basically Oolong from Yie Ar kung Fu's downwards low punch, and the other looks like some kind of spazzy backhand, which looks like if it was the real world it would hurt you more as it only ever seems to connect with your enemies knee. The front kick is fantastic I still laugh at it now it looks like your little kickbox geezer is taking a penalty shot or actually purposely aiming for the bollocks haha. The flying kick looks like a poorly executed ballet maneuver, and when kneeing your guy looks like he's trying to impersonate the guitarists dancing from the video to the Fine Young Cannibals "Johnny Come Home". The high kick is one of the few sensible moves and that's exactly what it is, and all it is, simply a high kick. The punch is brutal looking as you step forward whilst doing it, and the headbutt although silly looking seems to inflict quite a bit of damage.

One of the games really annoying features is the fact you have to beat each opponent twice using 1 energy bar, whereas as soon as you get beat at anytime it's game over, no lives no continues, nothing. But I suppose given the game only has 5 (or is that 4?) enemies before it loops back to the start, I suppose they needed to drag it out a bit more. The other annoying thing is if you can get your enemy in the right spot you can "1 move" them to death, get them in the corner and just hold down the key combo for high kick or low punch and watch their energy vanish.

Sonically the game is a little dire, there's no music that I could tell, and the only sounds are when you or you enemy connect with each other, granted though you get a nice crunch when you hit your enemy, and they get a less impressive high pitched "peep".

Graphically it's nice in places the main sprite moves quite nicely (although rather oddly at times too), and a couple of the enemies do too, but a couple of the enemies like the first one for instance seem a little awkward almost wooden at times. As far as I can also tell the background never changes either, which isn't that important but does make the game a little stale after a while.

All in all a lot of mixed feelings towards this game, I think I owned it first time around, I defo played it on a real Speccy, and I think I may have liked it better when I was younger. I'll say play it just to see for yourself, as die hard fighting nostalgists may get a laugh out of it, and people who don't really like fighting games can just laugh at it.

I guess it was worth the £2.99 as I suppose after all these years I've gotten my moneys worth out of it.

That's what I wrote roughly 9 years ago for the series of books mentioned above, and I haven't really changed my opinion too much, it's a cheap and cheerful if not decidedly average Yie Ar Kung Fu clone, nothing more, nothing less really.