Kung Fu was one of the first Nintendo games that I owned. My cousin had the system about six months before I did but when I got mine later that year at Christmas, this was one of the games that “Santa” dropped off with it.
I loved this fucking game and used to play it for hours, even though you can actually beat it in like ten minutes. I didn’t care about how repetitive it was and how basic as fuck the level design was, it was just a badass game with a badass dude throwing lightning fast kicks and unimpressive punches. Just use the kicks, man!
I also noticed, as a kid, that this was a lot like the plot to Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, where the hero has to fight through five levels of a pagoda, facing a tough boss on each level. I’m pretty sure this took its inspiration from that film’s general premise but it also adds in lots of baddies and unique bosses that weren’t trying to emulate the character from the Lee film.
For the time, the mechanics of this game were superb. While you can get overwhelmed by enemies if you aren’t precise, most mistakes are due to human error and not the game being a piece of shit.
There’s not a lot of strategy to this game. Just kick and don’t get hit. When you fight the bosses, sweeping the leg works for most of them. Just unload lightning fast leg sweeps and be done with them.
While this is one of the best side scrolling beat’em ups from the earliest days of the original Nintendo, it did get overshadowed by games like Double Dragon.
Still, this is one smooth game that packs a punch and is still fun to blast through every now and again.
Pairs well with: other side scrolling beat’em action games for the original Nintendo.