Friday Flashback: Kung Fu Heroes (NES)
When I got my NES on Christmas 1987, my brothers and I also got a few games. The Mario/duck hunt pack in, Jaws, the Legend of Zelda, and Kung-Fu Heroes. Of the group, only Kung-Fu heroes are 2 players at the same time(no duck hunt doesn’t count). This means that having 2 other brothers, we played a lot of Kung-Fu Heroes and maybe due to this, and the nostalgia factor is why it is one of my favorite NES games.
It is a port of an arcade game called “Chinese Heroes” and the players control one of the characters, Jacky or Lee, or as we called them, red or blue, and kill bad guys. After a certain amount of enemies are killed or time passed, the door at the top of the room opens and allows you to progress to the next level. Enemy attacks and types change as the game progresses, some requiring special abilities and items. Throughout the levels are hidden bonus areas as well as warps to levels father in the game. Warp may not always be wise as the game does get fairly challenging in later levels and the items and powerups you get going through the levels normally will defiantly help you.
The controls for the game are okay but not super great. The special attack that is needed to kill some enemies is A and B togeather, but it seems like it sometimes does not want to go off when you need it. The punch sometimes seems to miss on enemies as the hitbox is slightly shorter range than the actual fist in the graphics. These issues are usually pretty uncommon though and do not often really affect the gameplay.
As for graphics, the interface is the classic NES point and info bar across the top of the screen, passable and keeps it out of the way. The characters are big and bright, as are the bad guys. The levels are one screen each, with rocks and other obstacles and everything is identifiable and clear. It is nothing groundbreaking but was a solid early NES design that still holds up quite well.
The sound is okay, the music basic, but gets caught in my head. The sound effects are passable, the good guys and bad guys both Kiai/kiap when they attack, and both are distinctive from each other.
Overall, I love Kung-Fu Heroes. It is a fun game best played with another player. The graphics are clear, the gameplay fun and is fairly challenging. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, basic, 2 player beat-em-up.