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Phantom Fighter

NES

Ponycanyon 1989

 

 

One of the good NES games that never really caught on, Phantom Fighter has you as a Chinese Kung Fu guy who uses martial arts to beat up Phantoms, or traditional Chinese ghosts. It's more of an action RPG (in the style of say, Castlevania II) than a fighting game. You travel through various towns, collecting items and such, and engaging in the eventual phantom beat down.

The game is rather larger large with a lot of levels and areas to explore, towns people to talk to, shops, etc. As with games of this type you start out with limited abilties, like one punch and kick, but as the game progresses you earn more attacks, weapons, etc, and most of them are effective. You also have this sidekick that hangs out with you but disappears whenever the fighting begins. Whimp.

Graphics, sounds, and gameplay are all there (although the fighting is a bit stiff.) The main problem with this game is that the screens scroll like chop-socky crap, so much so that it makes it hard to concentrate on what's going on somtimes. Your kung fu guy animates nicely in every respect except when he's jumping though the air, which of course you end up doing a lot to kick hovering phantoms, collect items, etc. Besides the crappy scrolling the graphics are solid and look good, sound has some nice digitized "Hyaaahs!" and the levels are long without being too repetitive.

A good title if you can ignore the scrolling enough to get into it.

 

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