Kung-Fu Master, ZX Spectrum

This terrible Spectrum conversion of the mighty arcade game, Kung-Fu Master, was developed by Ocean and published by US Gold in 1986.

It contains none of the thrills of the original arcade game… The animated figures in the game are slow, badly-drawn and badly animated. When anyone raises a leg in the game – to make a high kick – it looks more like they are trying to squeeze out a tricky fart than kick anyone… And that includes you. The animation is pathetic. The colour clash is also bad. As is the (part-time) scrolling. The sprites have a horrible, distracting judder too. It wouldn’t have hurt to use a few different colours to differentiate the levels too – they all look the same…

The gameplay is also a pale imitation of the original, which requires precision, skill, and good timing to beat, and is fun to play. This is just a turgid shuffle through a soup of frustration and slowness.

There are some great arcade conversions on the ZX Spectrum. Kung-Fu Master isn’t one of them.

More: Kung-Fu Master on Wikipedia

Kung-Fu Master, Arcade

Irem‘s Kung-Fu Master is a brilliant side-scrolling beat ’em up from the video game arcades of 1984. And it has lost little of its appeal over the years, because Kung-Fu Master is precise, violent and fun. Not to mention a huge challenge.

Kung-Fu Master was produced for Irem by Takashi Nishiyama, who also created Irem‘s 1982 arcade-hit Moon Patrol, and later designed the original 1987 Street Fighter at Capcom, before leaving to run SNK‘s videogame development division and create the Neo Geo. Nishiyama could be called the ‘Father of the Fighting Game’, such is his pedigree, and this game is one of his early successes.

Interesting side note: Kung-Fu Master was originally based on Bruce Lee’s 1972 movie Game of Death, with the five-level Devil’s Temple reflecting that movie’s setting of a five-level pagoda with a martial arts master in each level. However, the title was changed during development to make it a tie-in to Jackie Chan’s film, Spartan X (aka Wheels on Meals, 1984).

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung-Fu_Master_(video_game)