Look, I've done too many martial arts game reviews, so let me say at the outset that at no point will I say "Heeeeee-yaaaahhhh!" or "Aiiiieeeee" or any variety of motorcycle. Nope, I won't be swayed on this. No way... Aw, alright. Aiiieeeeeeeeyaaaa!!! Hah! Take that! (Thwak!) Suzuki! Yamaha! (Phew, that's much better.)
Yep, it's that time again. The sequel to Yie Ar Kung Fu kicks off with our hero Lee, having mastered the martial art of 'Chin's Shao-Lin', trapped in the Evil Temple by the Triads. Sounds painful, a bit like being slapped in the Urals, I suppose. Any road up, he's not down-hearted. No sirree-bob! He's willing to take on these rough guys, kicking them to bite size pieces, even though some of them take three or four hits to keel over.
Magic? No, not the little bald midget on the telly (not a lot!), this is fiendishly clever ancient Chinese magic. When Lee conquers certain opponents, a ball of triad magic flies off them, which he must catch to absorb the magic. Although it wears off eventually, it can be very handy to have fireballs flying from your toes at a time like this.
The game is faithful to the original coin-op in almost every detail except the colours. The attribute problems have forced the programmer to use single colour screens, but in spite of this, the game looks just the same, right down to Lee exclaiming GUTS! (?) at the end of each level.
This game's a lot of fun, and very addictive. It's an elusive quality that makes the difference between a brilliant game and a boring one, but whatever it is Shao-Lin's Road has it. Simple to play, but hard to beat, with just enough incentive to keep you going. It just goes to prove that, once again, the simplest ideas are the best. Ah-so!
Here's a martial art you may never have heard of: Chin's Shao-Lin (it's secret, apparently). It would help if you did know a bit about it, though, as you've been trapped in a temple by the Triads (who are 'evil', no doubt). Fortunately, mastery of the technique seems to be mainly a case of waggling the joystick around and pressing fire. The game is played over three 'floors' on the screen and, along with the extra weapons, range of baddies etc., is a pretty standard affair.
Although it's getting on a bit (it must be coming up to its fourth birthday fairly soon). Shao Lin 's Road is tidily presented and modern-looking. All it's really lacking is a bit of variety. All the levels I reached were more or less the same, and as far as moves go there are only one or two. Hardly a spectacular little number, but quite neat at the price.
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