Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero Download (2001 Arcade action Game)

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In most respects, Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero is a fairly typical 2D platformer in which the developers focus on graphics to set the game apart, and, in some areas, are successful. Unfortunately, the graphics are also responsible for sloppy gameplay.

The design is one of pre-rendered characters on a 2D foreground playing area, superimposed on a 2D distant background. Characters are decently rendered with plenty of detail and nice animation. Enemy creatures perform movements fluidly, and Akimbo's animation sequences are silky smooth. Background graphics are well done and make good use of details and shadows, and one world has great water reflection effects.

The playing areas, though, vary wildly in quality. On some worlds they look almost as good as the backgrounds, while on others they're amateurish in appearance. The graphics on the first level playing area are especially bad, and look like something a child with a set of magic markers might have designed.

After limited play, the lack of experience by the developers in designing successful platform games is sadly evident. Basic rules are broken, mainly in the area of graphics, causing gamer frustration. The game's large characters require that everything else in the environment be scaled up proportionally, resulting in a smaller area of the stage appearing on the screen. This, combined with the fact that Akimbo can cover more than half the screen in a single jump, occasionally means you have to jump onto a platform you can't see.

Instead of being a plus, the game's high quality animation creates another problem. Akimbo's movements are smooth due to the many frames of animation for each action, but results in sluggish control response since he must complete all the frames of animation for his current movement before he can change his action. Action-wise, this means that he simply can't stop quickly, and will often slide past the edge of a platform. Indeed, you must try and stop him short of the edge, and then carefully inch your way to it.

Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero's music is cheerful and upbeat, but the tunes are simplistic and have main themes that repeat every few seconds. Hearing the same theme five times a minute quickly grates on your nerves. Fortunately, the music can be toggled off (almost mandatory to save sanity), although it is a good incentive to reach the next level to hear something new. Sound effects are even worse, as his death throes are too high pitched by several orders of magnitude and sound like a girl screaming, totally inappropriate for the warrior Akimbo.

The game is at the low-end of desirable PC platformers. Unless you're an inveterate collector of the genre, Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero is a candidate for avoidance.

Graphics: Features good background graphics and character animations, but some of the foreground graphics are crude and amateurish.

Sound: Music is simplistic and far too repetitive. Sound effects range from bad to awful.

Enjoyment: Basic design flaws result in frustrating gameplay.

Replay Value: There's no randomization in level layouts, but each level has a number of secrets to discover.


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