Kuri Kinton (Arcade) review
"He can see it now. It looks like a tiny, rusted shack, but it’s actually the entrance to one of the most extensive underground fortresses in the world. You’d think that criminal masterminds would come up with a less obvious entryway (because we all know that little shacks in the middle of the desert are so commonplace), but none of that matters now. Kuri Kinton zooms forth on his oversized motorcycle, leaps over a rocky embankment, and charges toward his fate. About halfway there, he rele..."
He can see it now. It looks like a tiny, rusted shack, but it’s actually the entrance to one of the most extensive underground fortresses in the world. You’d think that criminal masterminds would come up with a less obvious entryway (because we all know that little shacks in the middle of the desert are so commonplace), but none of that matters now. Kuri Kinton zooms forth on his oversized motorcycle, leaps over a rocky embankment, and charges toward his fate. About halfway there, he releases the handlebars and charges up a powerful laser blast from the palms of his hands. The ensuing fireball rips roasts the air and leaves the nearby shack in utter ruins. Meanwhile, our hero calmly dismounts and prepares for battle.
Needless to say, Kuri isn’t your typical arcade action hero. Sure, his red-orange gi and flapping bandana make him look like a Dragon Ball reject, but the man knows Super Kung Fu! Not content with being a random badass martial artist, Kuri has transcended his peers and developed some truly epic skills. Unfortunately, he doesn’t think you’re worthy of witnessing such glorious moves; he’ll only perform a few awkward punches, kicks, and jumps for you. As the first wave of evil flunkies (all of whom seem to think that gas masks and safety suits are stylish) flood out of the ruined shack, our hero lets loose with some of the least impressive fighting moves ever seen. He marches up to the nearest Mr. Gasmask, screams HAI!, and plants his manly fist into the guy’s stomach. A few more HA!s and HO!s later, the entire platoon is left bleeding and broken.
Upon entering the fortress, he’ll wander through a massive hallway of emerald green titles with poorly drawn skulls hanging everywhere. With an endless amount of enemies now descending upon him, Kuri decides that maybe you are worthy of his skills and lets loose with his ultimate trump card: his Fashu energy attack. It can knock out nearly any enemy on contact (not burn them to a crisp, because turning your foes into charred corpses is a little too ‘extreme’ for gaming in 1988), making it far more deadly than any punch or kick. Unfortunately, it also takes about three seconds for the Fashu to charge up completely, thus making it unwieldy when you’re faced with foes that can wreck Kuri’s concentration with a single hit. If anything, your real secret weapon involves not doing anything at all; let Kuri stand there for a few seconds, and he’ll start charging, complete with a glowing aura and a few dramatic shouts to boot.
But after a few minutes of crusading through the vast underground network, you’ll realize just how stupid the enemies are. It’s not just how the fortress is basically a bunch of spike-pitted green floors connected with elevators (complete with an onscreen directional arrow if you really are that inept), but how easy it is to beat. Most of the Mr. Gasmasks you’ll face will either stand still for a few seconds, or wander around aimlessly before deciding to attack. Sure, there will be other enemies like Mr. Gasmask with Uzi and Mr. Gasmask with Throwing Stars, but most of these guys are just as inept as their more basic brethren. There’ll also be the occasional Generic Karate Dude to serve as a mini-boss, but they rarely prove a challenge to Kuri’s mighty blows. The only challenging parts are with the bosses that, after making grand entrances with dragon statues and screaming BASH!, will kick your ass with flying daggers, flurries of punches, and equally deadly clones. While they may look tough, beating them requires little more than getting them into a corner and mashing the attack button for all you’re worth.
In the end, that’s all that Kuri Kinton really amounts to. Aside from overused plot, you’ll never get the chance to learn more about Kuri and his role beyond kicking bad guy ass. The controls are simplistic, the combat is shallow, and the gameplay is utterly repetitive. Sure, there are a few little tricks that you can perform, but they’re difficult to execute and are rarely useful. In a world of Shinobis, Axels, and Mike Haggars, Kuri Kinton is nothing more than a joke of an action game character. But hey, at least he knows Super Kung Fu. That’s got to count for something.
Community review by disco (August 12, 2007)
Disco is a San Francisco Bay Area native, whose gaming repertoire spans nearly three decades and hundreds of titles. He loves fighting games, traveling the world, learning new things, writing, photography, and tea. Not necessarily in that order.
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