Hands-onK-1 World Grand Prix
We had a chance to check out Konami's upcoming K-1 game for the PlayStation 2.
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Konami had the Japanese version of K-1 World Grand Prix on display at its press event, and we had a chance to play the game for a few minutes. The game is based on the K-1 fighting league, which is a mix of various martial arts (such as kung fu and kickboxing) and boxing. Participants can't perform grappling moves or take each other to the ground, since the knockout rule is in effect. The game will feature a number of actual K-1 fighters from around the world, all of which have been individually motion-captured to make their video game counterparts a little more realistic. The end result is punch and kick animations that are unique to each fighter.
As far as gameplay is concerned, K-1 is quite in-depth. At the top of the screen, you'll see a silhouette of a human body with a certain color, which essentially represents your stamina. Depending on what type of move you execute, your stamina meter will travel from the head of the silhouette downward, so if you perform a powerful punch, your stamina will drop drastically. In addition, you'll see three points next to the silhouette--these indicate which parts of a fighter's body have received the most damage and are subsequently more vulnerable. If your opponent's head has received substantial amounts of damage, the dot next to the head will turn red, and if you continue to focus on that particular part of the body, you have a better chance of getting a knockout. Likewise, if you focus on an opponent's legs, he'll have trouble walking around the ring.
The control scheme is fairly intuitive. Like in Tekken, punches and kicks are mapped to two different face buttons on the PlayStation 2 controller. You can execute blocks by holding down the L1 shoulder button and then pressing the left analog stick to perform high blocks, low blocks, or even a dodge maneuver.
Konami is currently working on localizing the game for the North American market. This includes English commentary as well as translation of the various menus in the game. We'll have more on K-1 World Grand Prix before its summer 2003 release.