The Karate Kid


Genre: Action

Publisher: LJN

Total time played: 1 Hour

Short review:  A very short action platformer filled with cheap hits and bonus stages that feel more like a chore than a fun mini game.

Interesting links related to The Karate Kid

I appreciate what LJN tried to do with The Karate Kid game but they failed miserably in every respect.  The game follows the plot of the first two movies, kind of.  The game starts at the karate tournament from the end of the first film.  You are forced to fight your way through 4 unnamed fighters who look exactly the same.  This stage could be beaten with your eyes closed, just tap the B button to kick and you will easily defeat each opponent.

Stage 2 takes Daniel-san to Okinawa, Japan during the day.  This is where things start to suck.  There are always 2 identical enemies on the screen trying to attack you and sometimes cabbage plants jump out of the cabbage patch and fly at you (I don’t remember that from the movie).  Every time I get in a rhythm and start making progress through the level I accidentally find a hidden bonus stage.  The bonus stages are a chore as you get nothing for completing them.  The stages are as follows:

  • Ice Block chop – hit B when the meter is full to chop through ice blocks (personal best was 4 out of 5)
  • Fly Catch – catch flies with chopsticks (personal best was 4 out of 6)
  • Dodge the Hammer – I have no idea how to do this one but I accidentally dodged it once.

After beating Okinawa during the day you play Okinawa during the big hurricane from the end of part 2.  This level is a nightmare.  The wind and rain constantly push you towards the left of the screen as you try to dodge birds and flying debris and are being attacked by 2 enemies at all times.  I played through the game about 6 times before beating it and 3 of the times I didn’t beat this stage.

The final stage appears to be in a desert and I don’t remember it from any of the movies.  Rocks and tumbleweeds are the on screen projectiles and now the enemies take 2 hits instead of 1 and sometimes they have a spear.  This level is nearly impossible but I stumbled upon a secret.  There can never be more than 2 enemies on the screen at one time so if you can get both enemies behind you and slowly advance towards the right no more enemies will spawn.  This way you can just slowly walk through the stage while being chased by two bad guys.  The bad part is that if you aren’t careful you will enter a bonus stage and after completing it you have to try to get the enemies behind you again.

I finally was able to get to the  final boss who you fight on a platform.  I expected to have a tough time but knocked him right off the platform and into the water…which didn’t kill him but refilled his life.  Luckily I just kicked him a few times after his life refilled and he died.  The end screen is just Mr. Miyagi telling you that you are now a martial arts master followed by “the end”.

The game tried to incorporate stuff from the movies but did so poorly.  Mr. Miyagi, the love interest and her father all appeared in the game randomly and if you approached them they disappeared and refilled your life.  The controls of the game are horrendous but thankfully it is short enough that if you try a few times you will probably accidentally beat the entire game.



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