Kung-Fu Heroes is an adorable game! The character sprites are big and goofy looking. It is a unique style and looks great for an early NES game.
This is a port of an Arcade game called Chinese Heroes, the first game in the Super Chinese series. It is a single-screen beat’em up game. You fight waves of enemies until the game decides that the stage is over and the exit appears.
It is an early example of a beat’em up game. The controls are good, and the graphics are goofy. I probably like this game more than I should.
TLDR: Kung-Fu Heroes is a Simple but Fun Arcade Game.
This game has a story in it! I know what you’re thinking, “Of course it does, dummy!” Well, arcade games in the mid-80s didn’t always have a story. Kung-Fu Heroes has a story, even if it isn’t anything special.
The land this game takes place in has no name, but that doesn’t matter much. Monsters kidnap the princess, and ten treasures are also stolen. Because the military of this land is either incompetent or non-existent, it is up to two heroes, Jackie and Lee, to set everything right.
That is the story. It isn’t all that interesting, but it gives the player what is happening, why, and who these people are. It gives you more than you might expect from an arcade game from 1984.
This is a single-screen game where you fight off waves of enemies. At random points, or at least random to me, a door will open at the top of the screen, letting you advance to the next level.
There are a handful of power-ups and items that you can pick up in this game. These items include:
- bonus points
- unlocking bonus levels
- extra lives
- increasing your attack power
There is also a key that you can find by punching rocks, blocks, or other obstacles. If you hit the right one, a key will appear, and once you get it, a staircase will appear. This staircase leads you to a bonus level where you can get more points.
Because Kung-Fu Heroes is a port of an arcade game, points play a big part in this game. Many of the items you can pick up are related to points. This is pretty standard for arcade games and their ports from this time.
You have two attacks, a jump kick butt stomp thing, and a punch. I have no idea what is going on with the jump attack, but it seems to kill the enemies, so I like it. You can also pick up a limited-use weapon where you can shoot fireballs.
The gameplay is decent overall. Kung-Fu Heroes has everything that you would expect from an arcade game. The only difference is that it has an end goal. It can also take some time to get to it. It is a nice example of an early beat’em up.
I love the look of this game. It won’t be for everyone, but I love this art style. It looks like a cartoon from the 80s.
The stages aren’t anything special, but the character sprites look good. For the NES, the sprites are big and relatively well-detailed. It isn’t going to blow anyone away, but as far as NES games go, it is a good-looking game.
You can compare the graphics to M.U.S.C.L.E. However, Kung-Fu Heroes looks much better with more sprites on the screen. The animations look better than M.U.S.C.L.E., and the controls are much better than that game.
The blocks you can break and the items you can pick up are easy to see. However, it can sometimes be a little hard to line up your attacks. This is a minor problem with the game, but it does get a little annoying because of the one-hit deaths.
Overall, the game looks good despite the graphical hit it took when being ported to the NES. I like the Chibi art style that the developers went with. It makes the game look adorable, even when fighting a monster.
7/10. Kung-Fu Heroes is a fun single-screen arcade game. It has decent controls, and it is an easy game to learn. However, it has repetitive gameplay even though the game tries to add new enemies and fights. It can be a difficult game to get through.
- Pick-up and Play
- Good Controls
- Decent Graphics
- Repetitive Gameplay
- One-hit Deaths
- No continues
Kung-Fu Heroes is a fun distraction from the other games on the NES. It is a game that I discovered in the late 2000s when I was trying to get a complete set of NES games. I bought it, tested it, and then forgot about it.
Playing it for this review was a fun experience. It isn’t a spectacular game, and I wouldn’t consider it a hidden gem or anything like that. It is a good port of an arcade game, which is what you should expect from early NES games.
It has good controls, decent graphics, and it can be fun to play for a while. Kung-Fu Heroes does have issues that are in every arcade port. There are no continues, which can be annoying when you’re playing it now.
Despite its flaws, Kung-Fu Heroes is a fun game. It is an early example of a beat’em up released before genres were created. If you’re looking for something different, this might be the game for you.