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Ka-Ge-Ki: Fists of Steel

Genre: Fighting Developer: Kaneko Publisher: Sage’s Creation Players: 1-2 Released: 1991

Most of you that have been around here for a while have probably read a majority of my reviews, seen the low scores I’ve given to most of them, and you must be thinking that I’m some sort of crazy masochist that just has to play bad games and only bad games. I promise you though that I’m not a masochist for these games in any way or form. No really, I’m serious; I’m not a masochist. I guess it’s one of the curses of having so many games. I try to play each one of them and see if they are any good or to find some value in them. Hey who knows? you never know when you’re going to find a sleeper hit in the pile of duds right?

Well fellow Sega fans, the name of the game is KA-GE-KI: Fists Of Steel, it was one of those games that arrived in a pile of games that I got in a trade and I wanted to try it out as usual. It’s a fighter/beat-’em-up hybrid, well at least someone’s convoluted idea of a fighter. This game was released early on in the Genesis’ life, programmed by Kaneko nonetheless, and it seemed to try to cash in on the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat craze and maybe even Streets of Rage. Actually, the game comes off as more of a Pit Fighter clone. Well, at least a less violent and more slapstick rip off to be quite honest.

Don’t worry if you haven’t played because you’re probably in the majority and also, to put things lightly, it’s really bad, and not just mediocre bad, I’m talking worthless bad. Remember just how much you all liked Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat and other fighters in the day because of the smooth graphic, great characters and the plethora of moves that could be pulled each with their own button combination? Well take all that greatness and just toss it out the window. KA-GE-KI is a fighter with the tired old story of having to rescue the damsel in distress only this time in a high rise with what seems to be a gang. There’s nine floors, each with their own main enemy and a few wimpy enemies to fight before him. This time around there’s only one character to choose, and he only has two moves; no you heard me right, he has two moves, a hard punch that’s slow and tough to connect and a quick but weak jab that’s easy to hit your opponent with but also does little damage at all. If you really want to get technical you can jump too, but you can’t attack, and it does little to evade your enemy’s attacks. Is it sounding like a formula for a great fighter yet?

Remember how I said this game more closely resembles Pit Fighter than MK or SF II? It’s because the view is from same awkward angle as Pit Fighter is viewed from. If you walk up or down you will face that direction as can your opponent and you can also fight in that position too (I guess that’s their idea of strategy), just don’t expect any of your punches to connect thanks to broken collision detection from that angle.

The game is pretty much the same thing for nine long fights except each opponent is a little stronger, a little faster, and has a bit more health and even better. Moreover, several of the opponents will become angry halfway through a match and turn a weird color and regain most of their health, adding more time to the game. After you win each fight your character runs off screen, and a ref calls 8-9-10. The head of the gang then comes out, picks up the fallen opponent and proceeds to throw him down a sewer lid located in the middle of each floor. Man I’d love to throw this game down that same sewer too. The last fight of the game is against that mysterious leader, and guess what? He gets defeated in one hit. Nice one Kaneko!

The audio is so generic and unremarkable that I can’t even remember it enough to comment on it, and then there are the graphics. Yeah, let’s talk about the graphics. You want to talk about pitiful? Honestly the best way to describe them is to take Pit Fighter and slap it into the Kunio Kun world (the universe that Super Dodge Ball and River City Ransom are a part of). That’s about sums the visuals up except in 8-bit quality instead of 16-bit, and yeah, most enemies look the same, and most backgrounds practically resemble the last one.

There’s not a heck of a lot more to say about this. There are minimal options and no two-player mode of any sort, making the overall value even less. If you want a good laugh then check out the cheesefest that is the box art. Better yet, check out the Japanese version which is even worse. Needless to say, this game wasn’t in the console for long, and it when it was there the last time, it was there just long enough for me to hate it and for a friend of mine who was watching me play it to say “wow, this looks like a really easy game to make fun of.” I didn’t want to give this a bottom of the barrel score, but the more I think about it, the more honestly I can that I can’t find one redeeming quality in it. I’ve figured out a equation that sums this game perfectly (KA-GE-KI = Pure Fail).

SCORE: 1 out of 10

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