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Chuck Norris Superkicks (Atari 2600) artwork

Chuck Norris Superkicks (Atari 2600) review


"I think it's safe to say that Chuck Norris is truly a legend among men, and he deserves nothing but the utmost respect and reverence for being able to legitimately kick anyone's butt."



When I found out about the sudden Chuck Norris supercraze, someone suggested to me: "Hey, you should review that 2600 game, Chuck Norris Superkicks." That someone was me, because I have no friends. Fortunately, I do have Chuck Norris -- a hero who has lived deep inside my heart for as long as I can remember. Even in kindergarten, even before Missing in Action (and long before Conan O'Brien), I already knew his name. His name is Chuck.

Although his recent "fame" is born from sarcastic scorn, Chuck Norris actually spent six years smashing skulls as the undefeated World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion (hereafter referred to as WPMKC). Undefeated... for six whole years! Baki the Grappler routinely beats the tar out of 8-foot wrestlers and monstrous forest apes, and he's only been undefeated for THREE years. That doesn't even compare to what Chuck has accomplished! I think it's safe to say that Chuck Norris is truly a legend among men, and he deserves nothing but the utmost respect and reverence for being able to legitimately kick anyone's butt.

This review needs some fitting music. Hang on while I crank up the Godsmack.

It's important to keep in mind that Chuck is no brainless goon. Inbetween wholesome movies like Slaughter in San Francisco and An Eye for an Eye, Chuck Norris invests valuable time and thousands of dollars teaching schoolchildren the principles of self-worth and responsibility through martial arts.

Maybe that's what's wrong with the bousouzoku -- they never trained their minds by studying karate. Misguided Japanese youths often join up with bousouzoku motorcycle gangs, wasting their lives away in hopes of someday being recruited by fat chain-smoking yakuza bosses. The bousouzoku really aren't very scary; they're mostly just bored teens with Grease-inspired hair and noisy choppers who value style over competence. If they ever rode into the mean streets of L.A., the ensuing slaughter would be like the Jets trying to take on the Bloods.

Now you understand how it looks when three puny yakuza try to take on Chuck in Superkicks' first level! Without any physical training, the most these overgrown bullies can do is bowl Chuck over with their fat bodies. Every now and then, when they stop running around like frightened schoolgirls (understandable since they're facing Chuck Norris), the yakuza actually hurl a Chinese Star or two.

Throughout the entire game, Chinese Stars are the only thing that can pierce Chuck's titanium hide. That's why they call him "Der Bulldozer" in Germany. (English translation: The Bulldozer)

By holding "down" and pressing the 2600's awesome orange button, you can channel a bit of Chuck's magnificence and teach these yakuza their first inspirational lesson: the THRUST KICK. It's not as cool as a roundhouse kick, but it does send unfortunate goons flying off the screen, Last Battle style.

Enough about bad Genesis games; let's get back to talking about Chuck Norris.

In 1993, when Walker, Texas Ranger first came on the air, I cried... but my tears were a bittersweet blend of joy and tragedy, for the glorious Walker replaced the touching tale of Raven, which was the Jeff Meek vehicle about a man who murdered an entire ninja clan to locate his long-lost son. That's a pretty kick-butt premise... as far as shows not starring Chuck Norris go.

My issue with Walker, Texas Ranger was not its sassy star. Never that! Although I loved Jeff Meek's frizzy hair, he could never hope to compete against a living legend like Chuck Norris. My issue with Walker, Texas Ranger was that Chuck's martial arts talents were WASTED on cowardly thugs and thieves. This is the man who can destroy ninjas! This is the man who starred in Return of the Dragon's climactic, finely-choreographed, final battle! This is the first westerner to achieve an 8th degree Grand Master Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do!

Fortunately, Chuck Norris Superkicks delivers on the promise of its mighty name. With frequent battles against masterless samurai, crazy masked bandits, and Goemon, Chuck Norris Superkicks is mostly a primitive (and fun) fighting game... but it's also a FABULOUS QUEST to locate the mysterious monastery where "famous leader" is being held prisoner.

On the overworld map, Chuck Norris is presented with up to three paths to travel. While wandering along the road, the screen might shift into BATTLE MODE. Defeat enough enemies and you'll increase your rank from white belt to orange belt... and eventually all the way up to the honorable BLACK BELT. After achieving the green belt, Chuck even masters a new attack: the somersaulting SUPERKICK. Battle screens, levels, and new abilities... that's right, Chuck Norris Superkicks is an RPG-brawler hybrid! That's pretty darn innovative for an old Atari 2600 video game.

Never again can Dragon Warrior be credited with inventing RPG concepts such as "battle screens" or "level building".

Unfortunately, reaching the monastery is not so simple as walking and fighting. Chuck must use his sixth sense of intuition to choose the correct path. Unfortunately, since you're just pretending to be Chuck Norris and do not actually possess his psychic talents, this boils down to "guess and pray for luck". If you choose the wrong path, all your fighting will be for naught -- the road will be blocked by a BIG LOG!

Pull your finger away from the reset button; you're still allowed to turn around and choose a different path. Of course, that uses up valuable time from the clock, as do losses in battle. (Chuck Norris can't die, after all. The best the enemies can do is slow him down with their Chinese Stars.) Just don't let the timer run down to zero, or else Chuck Norris will be so upset by your incompetence that he refuses to let you disgrace his good name any longer!

No discussion of vengeful video games is complete without a nod to Takeshi's Ultimate Challenge. You see, in Japan, there's a film director named Kitano "Beat" Takeshi. He purportedly hates both videogames and videogame players. Fueled by this all-consuming hatred, Beat Takeshi once designed a Famicom game intended to TORTURE the people who bought it. In Takeshi's Ultimate Challenge, as one of several ridiculous obstacles, the final boss must be hit twenty thousand times.

That boss was too easy for Chuck Norris.

For Chuck's final battle, he squares off against an ARMY OF NINJAS. In most battles, Chuck only needs to defeat four or five opponents -- here, he faces at least twenty (I lost count).

At first, the ninjas appear to behave just like any other villain; in other words, they hurl lots of Chinese Stars. However, after killing three ninjas, they quickly realize what you've known all along: this is Chuck Norris, and Chuck Norris must be taken seriously. Deadly seriously.

That's when the ninjas start disappearing. The more you kill, the more often they disappear... until they're almost completely invisible. This is Chuck Norris Superkicks at its most dramatic; only by summoning all of your intuitive powers to predict the ninjas' locations can you adequately honor Chuck's pixel-based image!

It's a daunting battle, but if you perform well, you will be rewarded. After all of the ninjas are dead, Chuck gets to run around the empty monastery until time runs out. That's the game's ultimate prize -- you're allowed to pretend to be Chuck Norris for just a little bit longer!

Astute gamers will notice on the game's cover that Chuck Norris has no beard. That's because Superkicks was released before Chuck grew his hair out for Lone Wolf McQuade -- the feature film that inspired the entire Walker TV series. This game chronicles Chuck Norris's dynamic high-kicking youth. This game pays tribute to Chuck's legacy of inner strength as a heroic warrior, a brilliant actor, and one of the most powerful martial artists of all time (thanks to the Total Gym exercise machine). Honor his holiness by playing Chuck Norris Superkicks... not by mocking his goliath-toppling roundhouse kick.

THE END.

//Zig

.....

Unfortunately, this review doesn't end until Chuck Norris lets it end.

Chuck inspired me when I was little, and he's still inspiring thousands of children today. To learn more about Chuck Norris, visit his official website. He even speaks as the page loads, so be sure to crank the volume up so you can hear Chuck Norris's golden voice.

Rating: 7/10

zigfried's avatar
Staff review by Zigfried (January 23, 2006)

Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.

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