For those of you not familiar, the plot of the game goes something like this: man fights man, man wins. Man fights another man, man wins. Man fights woman, man wins – and continues in this way until man loses. The details aren’t important, except to say you can play one of four characters, and you must fight another nine opponents in separate contests so that you may be crowned winner. Each of the characters are completely different in terms of agility and abilities, so during the course of the tournament you face plenty of different challenges.
The players’ distinctive characteristics are accentuated by their heavily caricatured features, such as Dug, with his huge beer-gut and shovel hands, or Ninja with his huge sword and black balaclava helmet. It’s very realistic in a cartoony sort of way. The sound is mostly good quality too, with a tune to match each of the seven different fight settings and lots of sampled speech, which give the game a good atmosphere.
Control is via a normal one-button joystick, and different combinations of directions and the fire-button will enable you to perform different moves. As well as the normal punch/kick moves, each character has between two and five special abilities, such as energy bolts and whirlwind kicks. To get an idea of the different players’ abilities, see below. Fighting takes place in seven different areas, including the Shaolin Temple and Inja Cavern, along with some additional scenes such as a Russian Laboratory and a building site. It plays absolutely brilliantly, just as a beat-em-up of the 90s should.