Exploding Fist +

by Bill McIntosh, Raymond Bradley
Firebird Software Ltd
Crash Issue 60, Jan 1989   page(s) 30

Yet more karate capers

Producer: Firebird
Bandages and Ointment: £7.99 cass
Author: Beam Software

After the original Way Of The Exploding Fist kicked off a whole new genre of games we now have the third, with the appropriate innovation of adding a third player.

Once the game starts you have sixty seconds to beat the living daylights out of your computer or human opponents. To do this you've a quite lethal array of moves, plus a cartwheel to get out of trouble. When a human player is knocked out of the bout, the computer takes over. But at the end of every two bouts the surviving players are sent onto a bonus screen. Here each player is individually faced with a derelict building and a cursor. As various monsters pop-up you must hit them with a shuriken star to stop them rushing you. There's 250 points for each hit and no penalty when you die.

Sad to say Exploding Fist + did little to impress me, while graphically okay, gameplay is very limited. Both the beat-'em-up and shuriken star screens prove repetitive quickly. In one-player mode the game is very simple, with the computer opponents tending to attack each other, leaving me to strike whilst they weren't looking. If you've got two friends then things obviously improve, but only for a while and it's unlikely you'll return to it often.

MARK [61%]

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the fighters are fairly well animated, but there's only one backdrop for the combat
Sound: beepy, oriental title tune, but merely bashing spot effects during play
Options: up to three players can take part

Well this is a bit of a surprise: after the brilliant IK+, I thought we'd seen the end of karate clones for a while. But no here's another, with the unique feature of a three-player option. Certainly it needs some novelty factor since like many of these games there's a bug where one repeated move can always defeat the computer players. Two- or three-player games are slightly more fun, but despite this, and the smooth animation, + is finally just another mediocre clone.
PHIL [58%]

Groan! Not another one! There's an oriental tune at the beginning and punching effects in the game to add a bit of spice, but so what? Similarly unexciting is the bonus section. Apart from the addition of the three-player option this seems time-warped out of another era - best forgotten.
NICK [42%]

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Presentation: 61%
Graphics: 65%
Sound: 55%
Playability: 54%
Addictive Qualities: 50%
Overall: 54%

Summary: General Rating: Even with the three-player option, it's nothing special.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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