Ka Ge Ki: Fists of Steel

Ka Ge Ki is the story of Ken, an undefeated boxing champion, and his fight against the Ka-Ge-Ki criminal syndicate. In order to get Ken to fix his matches, they kidnap and kill his brother. Sure, Most gangs would make threats and then sit around waiting to see whether or not their demands are met. Not the Ka Ge Ki!  They just go ahead and kill the guy, and then tell Ken what they would have wanted. Nobody ever said they were effective criminals.

Rather than give in to the gang’s already-been-carried-out threats, Ken decides to take matters into his own hands by infiltrating their headquarters and beating up everyone who happens to be there. Showing a remarkable consistency in their idiocy, the Ka-Ge-Ki members decide that the best way to deal with an enraged, undefeated professional boxer storming through their headquarters is to fight him hand to hand. And of course they choose to do so individually as opposed to, you know, all attacking him at once like some kind of gang.

Just because this is a brawl between a vigilante fighter and a gang of murderers inside of their dilapidated hideout, don’t think that it’s going to turn into some kind of crazy free-for-all. There are rules: No punching below the belt. No kicking. No biting. No hitting a guy when he’s down. And the fight isn’t over until the referee (I guess they keep one handy for situations just like this) counts the guy out, at which point he is to be thrown down a manhole by David Letterman.

I’m told this is exactly how matches are ended in UFC.

Be careful not to let the silliness overshadow what a monumentally crappy game this is, though. The slightly overhead perspective screws with your depth perception, and makes it almost impossible to hit your opponent anytime the two of you are lined up along a vertical plane. Approaching your enemy is generally like walking into a giant lawnmower of fists, and instead of blocking, your only defensive maneuver is to leap away from danger. Ken has a pretty quick jab, but it does so little damage that the only way to win is to rely on what we lovingly refer to as “the useless punch” – a giant haymaker that takes about 7 years to actually pull off.

But by far, the game’s worst feature is that people are constantly getting knocked down, at which point the fight stops until he gets up again. Land two punches? Down goes your opponent. There’s no suspense to this – each fighter has a health bar, so you always know whether or not he’s down for good. Perhaps the people who made the game just wanted you to be able to stop for a minute and savor your Ka Ge Ki experience. Repeatedly. About every ten seconds.

And so, let us pause briefly to savor the only parts of the Ka Ge Ki experience that we’ve actually enjoyed so far – revoking its Seal of Quality and chucking it down a manhole.

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