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Ka-Ge-Ki: Fists of Steel (Genesis) artwork

Ka-Ge-Ki: Fists of Steel (Genesis) review

"Let’s not drag this out too much, it hurts. "

Let’s not drag this out too much, it hurts.

Ka Ge Ki: Fists of Steel is a Pit Fighter-esque beat-‘em-up, replacing the cliché strongmen and kickboxing champions with your Puerto Rican hero, out to spoil the party of some Japanese bullies. For some reason, they’ve kidnapped some shorthaired dame and carried her to the top of a building. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no escape from the top of a building! It’s the end of the line! But logic is not an issue here.

On each floor of this devastated edifice awaits a set of non-threatening goofballs looking to tap-dance about your face. Irritatingly tiny and disproportionately large-skulled, these moronic pushovers rely exclusively on just one move: the quick punch.

You, the undaunted conqueror, have twice that. The standard quick-fire jab, and the wait awhile, staring blankly at your opponent while getting dreamy-eyed, then throw a stronger punch tactic. Is the time it takes to ‘charge-up’ this heavier-hitting blow an even exchange for the increased damage it will deal?

It doesn’t really matter, because you can manipulate your opponent’s movements so that they walk directly into your fist. Back-peddle, and as the fool dumbly follows you, commit to your ‘takes forever’ blow. By the time he catches up to you, he’ll be greeting your knuckles. Land two of these, or a series of the quick strikes, and he’ll be on the floor.

And then, he won’t get up.

He’s still not getting up.

Oh, God, it’s awkward.

But he’s twitching. He’s not dead.

Did I remember to pay the phone bill?

He’s alive!

The price you pay for knocking these dumbasses off their feet is that they won’t return upright for what feels like millennia. In the meantime, they’ll yell things in “digitized” incoherent spurts, such as “UhhhhhuuHhhhuHHuHH!” and “Hey, le’sh figh!”

On the other hand, what Ka Ge Ki does offer (aside from horrible attempts at sound effects, downright insultingly thin gameplay, and an idiotic variety of Asian opponents who, for the most part, look more like handicapped gameshow hosts than “warriors”) is a terrible attempt at psuedo-three dimensional fighting. Instead of simple left-to-right movement, you can actually move ‘north’ and ‘south’ around the rooms, and your Puerto Rican will rotate around the opponent, remaining facing him. The animation and character models become downright silly at this point. Outstretch your arm in attempt to punch an enemy ‘below’ or ‘above’ you, and watch as your character’s arm gets long and stringy. I don’t know, don’t ask me. Being knocked down at this angle reveals that your arms are the length of a gorilla’s. It’s like he becomes some sort of foreign Stretch Armstrong or something.

I don’t have much else to say. Play Ka Ge Ki for one reason: watch the session of grab-ass that occurs following the 9 fights. It’s not funny. It’s more sad and depraved than anything.

But I can think of no other reason, and there’s a reason for everything.

dogma's avatar
Community review by dogma (August 12, 2009)

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