Sometimes I'm at a loss when it comes to writing these reviews. I'm a person who was weaned on 8 and 16 bit goodness, so at times it can be a bit hard for me to identify with games on the older and newer systems. Especially the older systems. For instance, how does one who's teenage years were spent playing Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Samurai Showdown, and Street Fighter II review a fighting game that came out when fighting games were in their infancy?
Very badly I'm afraid. In this game you play Chuck Norris on a mission to go save some monks or hostages or something from a group of evil ninjas in a monastery. I 'm quoting this from an online summary I read because I in fact have never actually gotten that far on account of the game sucking balls so much.
The game is played over two basic screens, the first being an overhead map-type where you walk along a path. Normally this would be pretty easy but it's not; The funky Colecovision controller sucks so much you'll have trouble staying on the dirt path, and for some reason you're not allowed to walk on the grass. There is no way to "die" in the game, the only way to lose is to run out of time, and walking on the stupid grass is one way to do that. You would think that moving along an easy to see dirt road would be easy for a karate master like Chuck Norris. You would be wrong.
Randomly you get attacked by bad karate people who look almost like you except they're made of a different color. The game switches to a semi-side scrolling thing where you have to fight said bad guy. Chuck is animated rather well, akin to Pitfall (although his walk cycle looks a little weird.) Chuck can bust out an amazing four moves, a punch, kick, block, and "superkick," which is like this spinning cartwheel thing.
Problem with this is that the way the moves are done is via the fire buttons and pressing the controller in a certain direction. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but the field allows for vertical movement as well as side to side. This coupled with the Colecovision monkey controller makes it next to impossible to actually hit anything. What happens is you go to kick the guy by pressing forwards or backwards and your character actually moves in that direction before throwing the attack. Thus the guy could be standing right next to you and you'll be like wailing on the buttons like crazy and you'll still hit air. Thing is there is absolutely no reason for this; The Colecovision controller has like 57 buttons on the damn thing, yet they choose to go with a one button control scheme. That's called "laziness," as in they were too lazy to reprogram the controls away from the Atari 2600 version to take advantage of the Colecovision controller.
In the mean time as you struggle with the ridiculous retarded banshee controls the other guy is gleefully beating the crap out of you and repeatedly nailing you with ninja stars over and over and over. Even without trying to kill him you still move too slow to dodge them. The fact that you don't "die" but your time merely whittles down actually makes it even more frustrating for some reason. You can't even run away from these little encounters, you're stuck there until you kill the other guy. Lame.
Supposedly you get to the temple and actually fight ninjas that can turn invisible and stuff, but I've never bothered to get that far. I don't know, maybe I'm just spoiled by games with controls that actually work.
Graphics: Simple but not too bad. Chuck has defined pants, shoes, and jacket, and you can even see the blond early 80's Luke Skywalker hairdo. The bad guys are pallet swaps of Chuck. The rest of the game is pretty crappy; Generic green grass backgrounds without much detail.
Sound: A bleep when you get hit, and a weird little whine when you get knocked down.
Gameplay: Yeah I suppose there is a game under here somewhere.