Yie Ar Kung-Fu

Xbox Live Arcade

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 3

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2


Yie Ar Kung-Fu is one of those retro titles that slipped through the cracks and accidentally became a classic. Remembered most likely for its countless ports and leading to millions of people playing this as kids, the nostalgia for this early one-on-one fighter is the only reason the title is being discussed today. It's definitely not something you'll come back to in the midst of the countless other Live Arcade games.

Long pre-dating Street Fighter, Yie Ar lets the player control a fighter named Oolong on his quest to take down various martial arts masters. Clichéd today, the concept was fresh in 1985. The solo combat is an odd design choice given the obvious nature for competition present here.

Each opposing brawler has a pattern that must be studied to finish them off. Oolong has a surprisingly robust set of moves, including multiple kicks and punches, appropriate for any combat scenario. As a two-button fighter, the extra attacks are performed in conjunction with the D-pad.

This leads to the first of countless problems. There are moments when moves refuse to register, and trying to land any jumping attacks is a worthless waste of time. The reach of the enemies is also ridiculous, and Yie Ar becomes a game of luck because of it.

Collision detection also feels off. The games fast pace makes it harder than it should be to land simple attacks. Even with the variety of foes, Yie Ar fails to hold interest for long, and it comes back to the basic mechanics. They don't work, and even if they did, it's not particularly exciting to begin with.

Mildly update graphics do a fine job on the backdrops, while barely touching the sprites. The ghosting behind the characters feels tacked on. There are no additional modes of play or features to make a purchase feel worthwhile.

Time has not been kind to this fighter, and if you're spending any amount of time with it, you'll begin to question why you're not playing Street Fighter II instead. It's an obsolete retro title that doesn't belong here, and it would be questionable in a budget compilation.


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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 09:49 PM