Way of the Exploding Fist, The

by Beam Software: Gregg Barnett, Greg Holland, Steven Taylor, William Tang
Melbourne House
Your Spectrum Issue 19, October 1985   page(s) 17


Pain is the name of the game. And the game is The Way of the Exploding Fist from Melbourne House. Dougie Bern has been playing it for kicks!

Now I'm not Bruce Lee but as a tyro practitioner of the Martial Arts, I was a bit sceptical about reviewing The Way of the Exploding Fist. How can you capture the excitement of karate on a computer? Well, now I've seen the game and all I can say is wow - or should that be POW! This is truly a blockbuster - as any good karate game should be!

Never let anyone tell you that Speccy games aren't still the best. The graphics of the two karate combatants are superbly animated and very realistic, showing just what can be achieved with a lot of hard work and attention to programming detail.

Punch Lines
It is your task to progress through the ascending Dan grades until you attain the exalted rank of a master. But the path is arduous so be prepared to take a few knocks along the way. At each level of the game you must beat your opponent twice before proceeding onto the next stage. Use the complete karate arsenal to knock him to the ground - direct hits score a full match point but you'll still get half marks for a badly executed move. No need to commit hara-kiri just yet!

You can call on a complete range of eighteen different punches, kicks, blocks and sweeps to pulverise your opponent with. What's more, all the moves are true to life and very accurately reproduced. But watch out 'cos the more skilful you become, the more accurate he gets - so prepare to eat a few sand sandwiches as well as those of the knuckle variety.

At first you'll find yourself slightly overwhelmed by the number of options you have at your disposal. Eighteen different moves means a brain-numbing choice of keys for you to master. But the controllability and speed of response of the game are excellent and produce an amazing sense of realism. You can almost feel your fist as it smashes into your adversary 's face.

Though it's tricky at first, The Way of the Exploding Fist certainly simulates a good karate match. Definitely a game to chop around for!

Overall: Not Rated

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair - Article Re-review Issue 53, May 1990   page(s) 27

The game that launched a thousand others.Can it really be 38 years old already? Known simply as Fist to its millions of fans, this laid the foundations for all that were to follow, and without doubt remains the most famous beat-'em-up of all time.

Classic moves brought to us in Fist for the first time were the unsporting but very rewarding punch-in-the-stomach, the boot-in-the-back-of-the-head and the useful kick-in-the-shins.This last move, unfortunately, proves to be the games downfall(in one-player mode at least),as its repeated use leads to attainment of 10th Dan level within minutes.

Sonically Fist remains perfect.Music is restricted to a marvellously irritating tune at the start of each level, and the sound effects still bring tears to the eyes. The graphics, too, are examplary.

Unfortunately, rather than bow out and watch all others scrambling onto the bandwagon, Melbourne House decided to hang in there. Fist's follow-up was the forgettable Fighting Warrior, then the distinctly average Fist II. The final humiliation was Exploding Fist +, almost a direct copy of International Karate + (qv). Nonetheless, Melbourne House was there first, and can be held entirely responsible for the situation today.

Inscrutability: 94%
Wince Factor: 73%
Versatitlity: 68%
Eastern Promise: 82%
Overall: 83%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair - Article Re-review Issue 78, June 1992   page(s) 55

The program that stamped the beat-'em-up into Speccy culture. WOTEF still hangs together well as a game. Naturally best with two players, it's one of the few games to be made by the FX - they sound horribly painful.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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