The Way Of The
Copyright/Publisher: Beam Software/Melbourne House,
Game Design: Gregg Barnett,
Graphics: Greg Holland, Musican: Neil Brennan,
Release Year: 1986,
Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
The popular arcade game Karate Champ explodes onto your screen in the form of this
excellent new release from Melbourne House.
True to its arcade counterpart, Exploding Fist puts you in control of a budding
martial arts expert complete with all (well most) of his skills. By exploiting these
skills to their full, you must fight your way up through several levels to the exalted
ranks of the Shaolin Monk (slightly more aggressive than your average church-goer!)
The game takes place over four scenic backdrops against either a computer, or human
conrtolled opponent. To get closer towards your goal you need to show that you are
worthy (by knocking the living excrement out of the other player) over a series of
'bouts'. To win a bout you need to knock down the other player enough times.
Depending on how well yo do this, you are given 'points' in the form of Yin Yangs and
a score depending on the choice of maneouvre, which are displayed at the top of the
screen. For example, a poorly executed, but effective, kick, puch etc will earn you a
measly half point and will add a hundred points to your overall score, wherease a good
kick will earn you a full point and a couple of hundred points to the overall score.
Should you prove the better man after two full bouts, you will move up a level to a
new backdrop and a tougher adversary. Each of these levels is known as a Dan
(as in Karate) and is an indication, along with your score, as to how well you're
doing. After every fourth screen (or multiple thereof) there is a surprise in store
in the form of a small task to earn a bonus. What are those surprises? Sorry we'll
it up to you to find out!
The demo plays constantly (unless you are actually playing a game of course) and a
hi-score table for the top five scores. An oriental tune is played throughout the demo
and is a different one on the one player option. Other sound is in the form of
digitised AAARGH!s, OOOF!s, C-RACK!s and THUD!s when fighting and should they annoy
or physically upset you, they can be turned off.
The first thing thatr really struck me about this brilliant version of Karate Champ was the
excellent attention to detail and the quality of the animation of such impressively
large characters. Melbourne House inform me that over 600 sprite images are used in the
animation and on seeing the players move, you can well believe it!
Due to the sensibility thought out controls, it only took a few games to get used
to manoeuvring proficiently and I soon found myself performing some complex fighting
moves with joy and ease.
The computer opponent proves intelligent and tough to beat, especially at later
levels where there it becomes one hell of a challenge! The two player option is great
fun to play and gives you a chance to legally and satisfyingly cream a friend or two.
The whole game, in fact, provides plenty of enjoyment and an outlet for some pent up
The music played during the demo has an effective oriental flavour about is as do the
other pieces. The screams emitted on performing a move are a little crude but the
frighteningly realistic bone crunching noises and moans of pain make delightfully up
I don't think Exploding Fist lacks in lasting interest as it's one of those games that
you can get out time and time again to relieve the day's tension.
It will be some time before you can class yourself as a master at this game but that must
be one of its great strengths. As a grasshopper you should be able to make meat of the
other guy with only a couple of good moves. I found the best was simply to sidle quetly
up to the novice (ignoring his AAAAAAAHS EEEEEHS and HAAAETHA!) and bash him in the
boat race, he invariably fell with a resounding and satisfying thud.
Following opponents were never so gullible and it was me that got minced, until I learnt
a few more tricks. That's what appeals to me about this game it's immediately playable even
while you are a beginner but the opponents get meaner as you get better.
Playing against the computer is pretty good preparation for a real fight against a another
player, that's when the game comes into its own. I would have prefered it if each successive opponent
could have the decency to have dressed up in different togs, I kept underestimating them
until a neat view of his dirty sole scrunching into my face reminded me that this guy
was hot. The graphics and sound are terrific the only thing that stops this game short
of total realism is blood.
As a Karate Champ fanatic I've been waiting for a decent 64 version for a long time.
It has arrived with fantastic sound effects, state-of-the-art animation and brilliant
Although the wealth of kicks and punches might confuse a novice they are easily
learnt and once mastered you'll be able to battle away with a friend or a very
UNfriendly computer opponent. I'd recommend this game to anyone who likes a challenge.
THE EXPLODING ACTIONS AVAILABLE||
Joystick control is quite sophisticated, allowing 15 actions to be executed in addition
to straigtforward left/right movement. There are 8kicks, 3 punches, 2 somersaults, a
crouch/leap and a basic blocking movement. All the kicks are controlled by fire and a
This occurs automatically if you back off while your opponent is making an
aggressive move. Moving the joystick neutral releases the blocking stance.
The classic karate flying kick, most suitable against a standing opponent who is
not blocking. Best defence is a crouch or a return jump kick, but you've got to be fast!
HIGH KICK & MID KICK
Aggressive, hard kicks best defended by a block, back somersault, or, if quick
enough, by running away!
SHORT JAB KICK
Useful in close combat because it is very fast to do and doesn't leave you so open
to a counter attack.
There are 2 - forward and backward. This is an aggressive crocuh where the leg sweeps
round. The backward sweep is useful when your opponent is behind you, and both moves
combine offence with defence and are effective against any aggressive move by your opponent.
Another classic karate move, the violent swivel kick which combines a hard kick with an
about-face move. It can be a bit slow to execute, but has the advantage of putting off
many aggressive moves by your opponent.
HIGH & LOW PUNCH
These two are effectively the same, except that the low punch is executed while in
the crouch position. They are useful in medium close fighting.
Most effective in very close fighting and the fastest move available. Beware your opponent
using it because you may not even see it coming.
There are two of these - forward and backward. Apart from the fact that these look
attractive in play (!), they are sueful for getting out of tight situation in a hurry.