K-1 The Arena Fighters

T-HQ tries to bring kickboxing to the PlayStation

Publisher: T*HQ
Developer: Xing
Genre: Fighting

There was a cool mid-80s movie called Gymkata, where this guy combined gymnastics and martial arts and kicked a lot of butt. It was typical of bad Ď80s American kung fu movies, like American Ninja 3 (featuring Lucinda Dickey of Breakiní fame), and didnít really do anything to further the genre made famous by Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. What does all this have to do with K-1 The Arena Fighters? Nothing really, we just wanted to bring up some bad old movies.

K-1 The Arena Fighters, a polygonal fighter from T-HQ, attempts to take the international sport of kickboxing and transfer it into 3D polygons. Developer X-ing has chosen to go for an almost sim-like treatment of the sport, dispensing with crazy fireballs and combos for good, old fashioned punching and kicking.

This is all well and good, but the game fails miserably. Each fighter has two meters, one for strength and one for stamina. The more your punch and kick, the less strong your blows are. Youíre forced to time your attacks so as to get the most out of them. OK, we respect X-ing for trying something different, but it just isnít any fun holding back.

Stick with Street Fighter and Tekken. If you really want to experience kickboxing, go take some lessons.