Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
Sports games that include an element of fighting have not been very abundant on the Sony PlayStation. However, over the past year, we were treated to quality wrestling games like WWF WarZone, and some boxing games like Knockout Kings. Now, with the introduction of Jaleco's K1 Revenge, an exciting kick boxing game has entered our lives.
K-1 is simply the most demanding martial arts fighting tournament in the world. The "K" in K-1 refers to the many martial arts disciplines that start with, or have the letter "K" in them, such as: Karate, Kung-Fu, Tae-Kwon Do and Kickboxing. The "1" in K-1 represents #1; K-1 is the competition that determines who is the best (#1) in full contact martial arts. The rules of K-1 are designed to allow martial artists from all styles (even those without the letter "K") to compete in a format that favors no particular martial art or fighting style. The rules of K-1 competition are also specifically formulated to ensure fighter safety while providing K-1 spectators with the most exciting and action-packed fights possible. K-1 events are held throughout the year. The first K-1 event in the USA was held in Las Vegas on August 7,1998. Among the various K-1 events, the most important is the K-1 Grand Prix where the world's elite martial arts specialists compete for the title. The K-1 Grand Prix has been held once a year since 1993, and the champions for the last three years are as follows: 1996 Andy Hug, 1997 Ernesto Hoost, 1998 Peter Aerts The winner of the Grand Prix earns not only a considerable purse, but is also given the undisputed K-1 title of World's Best Fighter.
After that interesting history lesson. We are pleased as always to have the Dual Shock support. The standard punch and kick controls are there. Pressing up or down will produce a high or low variation of it. Combinations of these buttons can create special moves. These controls are very easy to remember with practice. Combos are an important part of the game, so you might want to use the training option to work on these.
There are all of the basic modes of play to choose from in K1. One Player, Versus, Tournament, and Training are all there. There is only one point to this game, which is win. You must knockout your opponent, or knock him down three times to win the match. There are a variety of fighters to choose from, each representing a country. Each fighter is different in terms of speed, stamina, and power, as well as having a special punch/kick. These things are visible throughout the fight, meaning a slow guy can't counter as quickly as a character with a high-speed rating. It appears that bonus fighters can be opened up through winning matches. Surprisingly, I found this game to be pretty hard. Whereas in most games I can jump right into the ring and win. This game requires plenty of practice to become the world's best fighter.
The players' bodies are done pretty well. Muscles are easily noticed, and the skin color (whatever it might be) is nicely done. The arenas and ring are very bright and colorful and the crowd compliments this well. Special effects (sort of like mini-explosions) are shown at times when a certain move is completed. Unfortunately, I've noticed some slight break-up in graphics during the fights. Not a major problem though. Something that may seem funny for a fighting game is that there is no blood! Well it doesn't take anything away from the game, it does downgrade the accuracy to real life.
There appears to be some play-by-play, although it doesn't happen frequently enough. Even with the crowd roaring, you can hear the sounds of punches and kicks landing. The music track, with what little is there is a nice touch, and keeps the pace of the games. Which is fast, and furious like greased lightning.
Jaleco definitely did not fail in publishing a game like K-1 Revenge. It provides extreme fun through its arcade features and is a blast to play, especially with a friend. The Training feature is a nice touch. K-1 Revenge has the stuff that any credible fighting game has and is even a good title for the younger kids as well. I would recommend this game, just on that factor alone.