Three decades later, Karateka is back to kick Akuma's ass! The good news is that this is a good looking action game with a few genuinely clever ideas. Unfortunately, . The rhythm-based gameplay is unique, but it would have been nice to see a few more enemy types and deeper gameplay but a game like this should not be missed Jordan mechner and his team work hard on this game looking at the making of this game.
OK, really fast review time...
...A Karateka reboot is a very good thing indeed! Karateka was the first game Jordan Mechner created, and is the game that lead directly to the legendary Prince of Persia franchise. The 2012 version is true to the original, and the reboot is lovingly crafted into a artistic and intelligent fighter-game. Starting with the base hero, Mariko's True Love, you ascend the cliff to rescue the girl, and meat out some punishment on the minions and their master, Akuma. As you progress along the path towards your final confrontation, you deal with minions, bosses, and Akuma's pet falcon. Each fight is increasingly tougher, and the enemies have a variety of moves with which to attack your character. After every few fights, players are offered Mariko's Flowers to gain health, and should they fight well enough to fill their power symbol, they receive special attacks which shorten the fight. Gameplay relies on the fighting mechanic to propel the character along, and should players lose all health a cinematic death scene passes the story from the True Love, to a Monk character, and finally to a Brute as Mariko's rescuer should the player lose all heath a 2nd time. Victory is declared when Akuma is defeated, but victory sweetens as players compete for achievements and on leaderboards, ultimately attempting to fight a perfect fight to rescue Mariko without taking a single blow as the True Love character.
The game is worth the money (only $9.99 on Steam), appealing to both male and female players, and a lot of fun to play. My only complaint was the lack of anti-aliasing feature on the PC version; it's a minor aesthetic thing. Button-mashers fans need not apply, as this is a thinking person's fighter. Jordan Mechner has triumphed in his goal to bring a near 30y/o classic into the modern era. Simple, elegant, smashing.
...patience **** way of the Karateka is achieved not by haste, but in keeping an ear for the sound of attack and watchful eye on the stance of your opponent. Always respect your opponent, never turn your back on him!
Karateka remake is a solid effort with casual audience in mind, there's very few challenge for the player. Game is unbelievably short and simplified, rhythmical parry is a nice idea overall, but we expect something more ambitious from this reboot.
If we look at it as a remake, then it's an excellent job. If we look at it as a present-day game, then it's quite limited, very short and doesn't really ask for a second playthrough. Still it's recommended for the fans of the original one.
Overall, Karateka is not a fun experience. The whole game feels more like a mini game and less like an action title. Clunky controls and limited gameplay hurt this one badly. Before you know it, the game is over almost before it began. Even if you enjoyed the original, I can't recommend this one.
I just played the game through... took me 34:33 minutes.
While the comic style character design (the princess looks like MULAN) looks good, I would have preferred something more "sincere" - as in the original.
I must say, although Jordan Mechner himself was involved in its production, the game is utterly disappointing.
While the 1984 original was won through tactics and using timed high mid and low punches / kicks, the 2012 version is a mere series of QTE (quick time events):
First block the enemy's attacks - then attack.
You just hit the punch/kick buttons - it does not really matter which.
Funny how it seems today's computing power often hinders great game design & balance nowadays...
If you want to experience the true "KARATEKA", play the 1984 original by Jordan Mechner, which is still an amazing experience today.
Although Mechner himself was involved in this remake (which consists in an endless series of QTE's - quick time events), the game does not live up to the original.
I am still waiting for a true remake...