[My Profile] [My Settings] [Exit]  

Home Blog My Games Reviews Friends Exit

You are not signed into a user account. Please return to this page once you are signed into your free account for additional options.

johnny_cairo sup

Title: Belated Alphabetolympics Entry
Posted: November 29, 2008 (11:31 PM)
I've been an Alphabetolympian ever since Alphabetolympiad I, where I got "V" and managed to write a coherent review of some ROM I played for about 15 minutes.

Getting "Y" for the second year in a row was a little disheartening, but I actually found a game, played the crap out of it, and then ran out of time to finish the damn review. This might be a blessing because the review was turning into a combination FAQ/horrible fanfictiony thing. Since you guys don't care for that experimental garbage, this is the only place to post the unfinished piece.

Yie Ar Kung Fu (Arcade)


The 37th Chamber of Sho'Ting

Not many horrible games end up inventing entire viable genres, but this Konami quarter muncher may or may not have intentionally invented the modern fighting game, years before Ken and Ryu were but a naughty thought originating in their mother's pineal gland. Yie Ar Kung Fu is a forgotten pioneer in video game history. Back in 1985, Super Mario Brothers represented the absolute state of the art with its colorful, detailed graphics, unique universe, insidiously catchy soundtrack, etc. No more explanation is needed because SMB knew exactly what it was and exactly how to present itself. However, there is this curiosity put out by Konami in the same year, with gameplay mechanics never before gazed upon by glassy-eyed patrons in an arcade. Five unique, highly skilled enemies, as opposed to hordes of faceless drones, would stand on the way of greenhorn martial artist Lee on his path to enlightenment. Wear down your foes' endurance with a total of three devastating attacks, but be sure to stay on your toes. Avoid missing for high score. This concept was so new that Yie Ar Kung Fu had no genre fellows to compare to, and in the dark pre-World Warrior period, the concept of different playable characters pretty much meant a choice between a blue mullet or a yellow mullet.

Suffice to say your only choice is a creepy looking ginger named Lee with blue button eyes, wearing nothing save for a pair of puffy punk MC Hammer pants for maximum airflow during combat. Sure, his appearance may be a bit off-putting, but his mastery of kung fu, coming from his years spent at a neighboring Shaolin Temple, silences any who dare to compare him to the proverbial red-headed stepchild. While he never advanced beyond the first chamber, he nonetheless studied the superior techniques of his peers as he scooped his meals off the cobblestones with aching, calloused hands. After years of washing dishes night after night, his wisened sifu decides that the Shaolin Ginger Dog is ready for a test of another sort, which will test the very foundations of his being (or at least make you spend a quarter or two).

All of Lee's duels will occur in the same rectangular room inside the Shaolin Temple, where six pink windows are arranged symmetrically on opposing sides of a huge hanging gong. There are two sets of useless but very pretty hanging green ornamental lamps hanging abreast of a huge wooden plaque, upon which hangs the ceremonial gong. On the plaque are inscribed two grand (Mandarin) Chinese characters with flowing, masterly calligraphy, perhaps representing "purity of spirit" and "rigidity of structure" or somesuch shit. As the first Master sets forth upon Lee without so much as an intro or even a cursory countdown, you will not be contemplating much beyond "how do I preserve my fragile hide without the luxury of blocking?"

The answer presents itself as soon as Wang, the first Master, advances upon you with wooden bo staff at the ready. Lee's much less agile than this hulking, mustachioed spandex-wearing warrior who could very well be a cousin to the Iron Sheik, and to make matters worse, Wang is completely willing to spam the same attack endlessly. More so if you happen to be pinned against the huge red columns on either edge of the screen. The trials and tribulations of Yie Ar Kung Fu would be unbearable if not for Lee's extraordinary longjump. Traverse the entire screen in a mere 1.5 jumps! Since the two solid red pillars on the left and right borders seem to be made of rubber, Lee will rebound with the same trajectory as a basketball off a backboard. If you dare to kick while in the air, you will discover Lee's only useful attack, and the one that will net you a whopping 300 points on contact with an enemy!

Yet, in a serious miscalculation on Konami's part, a limp-wristed jab to the belly will do as much damage as a flying kick to the jaw.

..............

and that's where I lost interest (and time).
[reply][view replies (1)]

Recent Contributions

Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by johnny_cairo. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!

Type: Review
Game: Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)
Posted: December 30, 2008 (07:24 PM)
War. War never changes.

Type: Review
Game: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PlayStation 2)
Posted: July 27, 2008 (05:59 PM)
The agonizing ride on the blue-ball express known as Metal Gear Solid is but a mere leg of the epic, despair-inducing journey of Metal Gear Solid 2. To be fair, MGS at least had an intelligible storyline and characters who did not randomly disappear and reappear under idiotic assumed names. Its sequel abandons any pretense of predictability once the prologue is over and then consumes itself whole Ouroboros-style. What we have left is an interactive artistic meltdown that is ...

Type: Review
Game: Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360)
Posted: February 20, 2008 (11:47 PM)
At long last, a medieval Grand Theft Auto crossed with Virtuosity with a whole lot of Hashishism and no small amount of heinous Arabic stereotypes. To be fair, Ubisoft Montreal consists of many people of differing beliefs and opinions, so there is no doubt the handful of Christian characters are also uptight, militant arseholes. Yes, it's the Middle East during the Crusades, the glorious 12th century AD. Even in the heart of Mesopotamia, everyone speaks in the tongue of the heretic...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Yo! Noid (NES)
Posted: December 21, 2007 (06:09 AM)
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: No One Lives Forever (Miscellaneous)
Posted: November 04, 2007 (06:03 PM)
Austin Powers might have been responsible for some good things, such as No One Lives Forever, a unique FPS that took the kitschy 60s aesthetic and blue humor and went for broke. After the dippy opening credits, complete with psychedelic light show and vocal theme music, we see heroine Cate Archer negotiating the hallways of UNITY HQ in a sinfully short bright orange miniskirt. She's out of her element before she even arrives in the office of Mr. Smith for her daily tongue-lashing. ...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Pathways Into Darkness (Miscellaneous)
Posted: August 24, 2007 (03:19 AM)
Bungie came from humble beginnings, debuting with a Pong clone in 1985, maturing in 1993 with Pathways Into Darkness, a rather grim RPG/Adventure hybrid featuring graphics rendered from a first-person POV. Technically it was their first "shooter", although shooting takes a backseat to frustrating puzzles and frequent deaths. You're an American Spec Ops paratrooper in a unit inserted deep into the Yucatan jungle. Your chute does not deploy and you fall to earth separated from your s...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Achtung! Spitfire (Miscellaneous)
Posted: August 15, 2007 (04:04 AM)
Avalon Hill's Achtung! Spitfire is a rare game in more than one way. The world-reknowned board game publisher, having produced excellent offerings ranging from a simulation of the airline business to art thievery, came up with this realistic depiction of World War II dogfighting. Apt, then, that it's based on a board game that's older than most people reading this. The formula is perfect: each turn depicts roughly two seconds of intense aerial combat. Missions range from protecting a flee...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Barney's Hide and Seek (Genesis)
Posted: July 31, 2007 (10:35 PM)
Barney is enough to convince most people that dinosaurs went extinct for a very good reason. This pacifistic mass of purple and green foam was invented solely to entertain developing children not yet sophisticated enough to speak or eat with a closed mouth. We were all once like that, but even now I can recall never being inclined towards this goofy-voiced Tyrannosaurus Rex bursting with love, even at an age when one isn't expected to have discriminating tastes. My Kindergarten classmates...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Medal of Honor: Frontline (PlayStation 2)
Posted: July 25, 2007 (08:28 PM)
For the love of Goebbels, EA, I get it already. Saving Private Ryan was a milestone in film. This does not make it a template for all your subsequent World War II games to follow to the letter. What else should we attribute the big, loud, overlong battle sequences to, if not the defining vision of WWII for this generation? The influence of popular cinema on the Medal of Honor developers is essentially helping to ruin a franchise that was once so full of promise, any original ideas ...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Medal of Honor Underground (PlayStation)
Posted: July 25, 2007 (06:18 AM)
May 1940. Hitler has moved his Nazi war machine into France after a hasty surrender. Flanked by Goebbels, they watch gleefully as a formation of SS goose-steps down the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe looms in the background. Standing for a photo opportunity, the Nazi leaders pose before the Eiffel Tower. Surely this black-and-white film will motivate troops fighting abroad, poised to lunge into the vast Eastern Front. The Thir...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Metal Gear Solid (Game Boy Color)
Posted: July 16, 2007 (11:42 PM)
Treating Metal Gear Solid as an unchangable work of art probably wasn't the most intelligent thing Konami could have done with this 8-bit re-imagining. Its story is almost an exact retelling only with different character names and a less snowy climate, while its gameplay is quite faithful to the terrible standard set by the original. There's even VR training like you would find on the PSX incarnation. A drastically stripped down version, anyhow, but they get their two points for trying. I...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Syphon Filter (PlayStation)
Posted: July 14, 2007 (04:22 AM)
In the spring of 1999, following the milky virtual explosion known as Metal Gear Solid, Sony had their precisely engineered follow-up with a similarly nonsensical title: Syphon Filter. Part Tomb Raider, part GoldenEye, wholly derivative; a "syphon filter" is not something you use when stealing gas out of your neighbor's SUV, but rather a fictional supervirus that makes ethnic cleansing as easy as A-B-C. A worthwhile thing for terrorists to steal, for sure, which is wh...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation)
Posted: July 06, 2007 (04:43 AM)
This alleged PSX "classic" has been ravaged by the years, made totally irrelevant in less than a decade. Even when Metal Gear Solid first hit, consensus was it was "too easy" and contained "too little gameplay"; even though either of those things could kill your garden-variety stealth adventure, most of the overwhelming praise was directed towards its storytelling, rather than actual content. Leave it to rock star game designer Hideo Kojima to make the first interactive spy/romance...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Final Fantasy Tactics (PlayStation)
Posted: July 03, 2007 (05:49 AM)
It is hard to remember any games that rival Final Fantasy Tactics in longevity, depth, and dare I say beauty. Obviously this is nothing more than a piece of software, but it is a pure fusion of RPG and strategy, combining the best aspects of both and enhanced by (although not in service of) one of the most elaborate and intrigue-filled stories ever concieved in any medium. The unique magical kingdom of Ivalice combines a medieval aesthetic with a bestiary bursting with all sorts of twiste...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Time Killers (Genesis)
Posted: June 30, 2007 (11:50 PM)
The foulness of Time Killers is legendary, but only in the form of its woefully belated Genesis port. The version which hit arcades in 1992 was a direct and pretty sleazy response to Mortal Kombat; Strata's only strategy was to feature more dismemberments and 16-bit gore fountains than Midway's seminal fighting opus. Instead of digitized actors, it used a homey hand-made approach which made it a little more disturbing. While it wasn't too much of a looker, the sprites and backgroun...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Coryoon (TurboGrafx-16)
Posted: June 22, 2007 (11:35 PM)
Shooters are often characterised as incredibly hard, intense games so it's only natural that someone in Japan had the brilliant idea of making a pure shooter aimed squarely at kids. Behold Coryoon: Child of Dragon, the garishly cute product of that idea. Surprisingly enough, it all works well enough that any kid could pick it up and have a blast... until they die. And die. And die again. This sporadically brilliant game is nearly killed by its one major flaw.
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: F-15 Strike Eagle II (Genesis)
Posted: June 20, 2007 (02:22 AM)
The Cold War is over, America having triumphed over the hypothetical Russian threat. Our military technology won out over what the Communists tried to call an "air force". As a downside to that, lots of cheap USSR military surplus became available to neighboring regions, such as the newly formed and conflicted Eastern Bloc territories and further into the Middle East, a mecca for terrorism. In short, the region has not yet been fully stabilized. Enter you, The Destabilizer, in your pimpin' F-15 ...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: Gears of War (Xbox 360)
Posted: June 03, 2007 (05:50 AM)
Upon its explosive debut on Microsoft's next-gen console, Gears of War was almost universally lauded as a classic of its genre, the "killer app" for the 360. Its lineage is certainly impressive, with Epic having previously done the immortal FPS Unreal Tournament -- which still remains just as stunning and addictive almost a decade after its release -- before tackling the tactical shooter with Gears. Visually it's a masterpiece, an impossibly beautiful piece of technical wiza...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: The Punisher (NES)
Posted: May 27, 2007 (06:32 AM)
"A hitman is just another fighter waiting for The Punisher's knockout punch," says the titular hero, strangely referring to himself in the third person like one of his many eccentric nemises. This would seem to indicate right away that LJN, notorious for exclusively developing horrible licenced titles, is conducting business as usual, this time on Marvel Comics' vigilante demi-god. It's clear they just don't get much out of the material, other than "shoot criminals", just like the makers of Dolp...
[reply][leave comment]

Type: Review
Game: The History Channel: Civil War (Xbox 360)
Posted: May 16, 2007 (09:09 AM)
During the rare occasions when the History Channel isn't airing something related to Nazis, they will cover this dark chapter in our nation's formative years. The Civil War! A conflict waged by men able to fire muskets accurately from hundreds of yards away, reload in a flash, and single-handedly decimate companies of weaker soldiers with awesome skill. In other words, here's the most intense combat of the 1860s rendered with the Call of Duty engine. Yes, it's every bit as snooze-inducing...
[reply][leave comment]

eXTReMe Tracker
2005-2012 HonestGamers
Opinions expressed in this blog represent the opinions of those expressing them and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of site staff, users and/or sponsors. Unless otherwise stated, content above belongs to its copyright holders and may not be reproduced without express written permission.