Yie Ar Kung Fu Review

Yie Ar Kung Fu is an accurate emulation of an arcade game that you might not remember and probably won't care about either.

Yie Ar Kung Fu is one of those arcade games that has largely been lost in time. When it was released in 1985, it was technically one of the first fighting games on the scene. But because it didn't allow for two-player competitive play, it's hard to compare it to what we now consider a fighting game. This one-on-one battle game pits you, as a generic kung fu guy named Oolong, against a variety of fighting thugs armed with swords, chains, clubs, fans, blubber, and so on. It's a relic from arcade's past that probably won't appeal to new players, but outside of being able to say "Hey, I remember liking this game back in the day," old arcade buffs probably won't get $5 out of it either.

Oolong doesn't need any weapons to knock out his enemies.
Oolong doesn't need any weapons to knock out his enemies.

Each stage pits you against a different fighter, and you work your way through 11 fights. Once you finish off the last guy who is an unarmed but savagely dangerous character named Blues, the game wraps around to the start, so you just keep playing for score. You have a punch and a kick button; these buttons in conjunction with different directions on the joystick make up your different attacks. For most fights, properly timed low attacks really do the trick, but really, the only difficulty in the game is figuring out which attack pattern to use to come out on top. That's not very tough, and if you get stuck, there are FAQs online that will surely help.

The game's two-player mode alternates between the two players, so there's no versus combat at all. A handheld version of this game appeared not too long ago, and it featured a mode that let you fight against other players. But this one is a strict emulation of the arcade version with the option for some nicely redrawn graphical updates. While there's an online mode, it's the same goofy online option that's appeared in other Konami Xbox Live Arcade games. You both play one-player games at the same time, but you don't even see the other player's screen. Yet for some reason, your game still feels jumpy, and it lags in spots, which makes it difficult to play.

It's hard to imagine players coming away from Yie Ar Kung Fu feeling as if they got a good deal for the $5 they'd spend to get the full version of the game. The graphical update is nice, but there isn't enough depth to the game, and even players with fond memories of the original release probably won't find much to enjoy.

The Good

  • Accurate version of the arcade game with a nice, optional audiovisual update

The Bad

  • Online mode is just a bad idea
  • This short and shallow game won't hold your attention for long

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.