Arabian Fight (Arcade) review
"When compared to greats such as Streets of Rage 2 or The Punisher, Arabian Fight just doesnít make cut. It tries very hard to push forward new graphical innovation that, to be fair, are rather original for its time but falls completely short by giving us fighting engine so basic that it makes the original Golden Axelook like Forgotten Realms: The Demon Stone. "
When compared to greats such as Streets of Rage 2 or The Punisher, Arabian Fight just doesnít make cut. It tries very hard to push forward new graphical innovation that, to be fair, are rather original for its time but falls completely short by giving us fighting engine so basic that it makes the original Golden Axelook like Forgotten Realms: The Demon Stone.
Arabian Fight is a rather mundane four-player beat-em-up, which takes a page out of the book of that aforementioned rusty old classic. Set in a world that fans of the recent Prince of Persia series could relate to, the evil wizard Sazasbizz has kidnapped the princess Lurana. As you can probably guess already, Arabian Fight isnít exactly the pinnacle of creative thought. Cue in four able heroes and youíve got yourself a cookieócut storyline perfect for any action game!
These four able heroes include Sinbat, a middle ranged fight whose youthful appearance and average strength simply reek of ďmain character.Ē Then we have the token female fighter, Kamaya, who is arguably the fastest of the bunch. Datta, a rather sluggish Hari -Krishna wannabe and Gondor, ďthe beast from the Middle EastĒ make up the final two members of the cast. Itís actually quite surprising how little variance there is between the four fighters. They all have the ability to attack normally and perform a health consuming stronger attack (taking a page out of Final Fightís book.)
Collecting magic lamps that you may find scattered around the place donít give you three wishes, but they do something even more enchanting. Yes, with one of these in your pocket and press of both attack buttons, your character will leap into the foreground, right in your face, and perform a devastating magical attack which will wipe all of the enemies of the screen. You see, Arabian Fightís gimmick is its complete reliability on the use of scaling. This scaling technique looks like the choppy animation that Sega CD FMV games are famous for. It looks exactly like it has been cut from an anime and slapped bang in the middle of the game, except that the animation is horribly jarring. Watching your character torch up the floor with his powers certainly looks incredibly pretty, but watching him move towards it can be rather painful. Imagine someone with an incredibly beautiful voice developing a stutter. Thatís what the scaling of Arabian Fight looks like.
Unfortunately, this flawed visual innovation is underappreciated when compared to Arabian Fightís rather poor mechanics. As I stated earlier, the four characters have very little to differentiate from each other, aside from Gondorís cool ability to pick up enemies and have them directly thrown into you. It does little to distance itself from anything more than a standard beat-em-up. You use your basic combo to beat the enemy (who have no health bars) and move on to the next one before the time runs out. If you successfully defeat all of the enemies on the screen, youíll be transported to the next area.
Everything else about Arabian Fight is as interesting as watching paint dry. The enemies, despite being rather varied are all rather bland. The turban wearing soldiers all look the same and they keep on coming back after you like a bad rash. The hunchbacked lizard-men look like incredibly tame versions of Ridley, from the Metroid series and the evil orc-like things look like they want to hug you, not rip your head off. Even the bosses are woefully painful and suffer from the fact that they keep re-appearing in later levels. Despite being rather tricky to defeat, you canít exactly pull off any fantastic moves to make the fight any more interesting than a trade off between punches.
Despite looking like a dream and over-using some extremely interesting scaling, Arabian Fight remains as one of the most brain-numbing beat em ups that I have ever played. With little to distract you from the dull gameplay, youíll soon find that the game is rather bland with nothing more to offer than a prettier version of Golden Axe minus weaponry, nasty dragons to ride and threatening enemies. Thankfully, playing it with a friend can reduce AFís repetitiveness but it canít really escape the fact thatís a wafer thin title that only the truly hardened beat-em-up fan could truly enjoy.
Community review by goldenvortex (March 08, 2006)
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