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International Karate
International Karate
Programmer Uncredited
Graphics Uncredited
SFX/Music Uncredited
© 1986 Endurance Games
Advert Scans English
Reviewed by : Shaun Neary Reviewed on : 2001-12-30

At the end of the day, Yie Ar-Kung Fu has a lot to answer for. Beat em ups came flying out of the woodwork ever since Konami released it into the arcades. Imagine converted llt shortly afterwards and before we knew it, we were bombarded with clones as everyone jumped on the band wagon. You're taking part in a tournament which takes you around the world to see who is, in fact, the best of the best. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, Seen it all before. Probably quite right too but this came out two years before Street Fighter. In actual fact, International Karate is an original, non licenced product. To me, it makes it that little bit more interesting. Clones are generally not my bag at all, especially after Adam Waring's Ninja Massacre, probably the worst Gauntlet clone in history. I load up the cassette with an open mind, and see what presents me.

International Karate
Not a good start, as you taste the floor.
International Karate

Well timed kick to the mid section.

Travel around the globe with your fists and your feet being your two best friends on the tour. Skill isn't all that's going to be required on this tour either. Fast reflexes are also needed as well as a good knowledge of your characters capabilities. Action in this one is fast and furious as it starts the second the referee says begin. Both you and your opponent pull your moves off at blistering speed and I am not joking about this. Blink at the wrong time and the next thing you will witness is your guy eating the carpet. You're treated to a series of moves to use so, of course, this requires a load of joystick combinations to remember. It doesn't take a hell of a long time to become an expert as the combinations are pretty straightforward. Difficulty does get progressively harder and you will notice this straight away when you reach your second opponent in Great Britain. And of course, you're against the clock just to add to the pressure.

So even with all this in mind, how does it all pan out? Well it's nothing spectacular on the visuals front as it probably took less than an hour to port the whole thing over from Mr. Sinclairs repulsive beast. There's redemption though once the sound kicks in as it makes great use of the Yamaha chip. The music being very upbeat and fitting right in with the speed and nature of the game. While the spot effects hit the mark, especially when you nail your opponent with a well placed roundhouse kick to the mush. Loading time is a matter of minutes and is worth the wait. The sheer speed of the action in this one alone is worth the wait. Despite the speccy graphics, International Karate makes the cut thanks to having the right mixture of speed and difficulty which, puts International Karate up there with Way of the Exploding Fist and Yie-ar Kung-fu. Which always made me wonder what went wrong with Streetfighter two years later.

International Karate
Stage 2 - Brazil. Fight begins!

It also proved that Choice could program a decent game as well. International Karate is one that needs to be played at least once in a lifetime and theres no doubt that this will be appreciated. Beat-em-ups come and go but I've seen quite a lot of disappointments. International Karate is certainly not one of them. I've always stressed that graphics alone never made a game and this is a perfect example of my point. Choice did a pretty good job with International Karate and again it puzzled me on how a group of programmers could produce this and then make a complete botch job of Kung Fu Master one year later! Unsolved mystery I guess. But one thing is certain and that's the fact that International Karate is one that won't be left back on the shelf for quite some time to come. Bang it into the tape drive, load it and leave it loaded as you're not going to go far wrong with IK in your collection.

Clear and fast moving graphics for a speccy port.
Now THIS is real sound.
One for the speed freaks.
Progressively harder, a real challenge.

NVG Downloads
Title Type Language Title Screen Cheatmode Problems Upld Date Comments Launch Command
INTERNATIONAL KARATE Sports game English Yes No No 06/01/2004 ?
ADATE Downloads
Title Publisher Language Format
International Karate Endurance Games English Tape
Amstrad Action Reviews
13 Endurance 7.95/12.95 62 78 54 52 53
Amtix Reviews
12 Endurance 64

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