(Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

Karnov's Revenge (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

Game Review

Karnov's Revenge Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Karnov should stick to side-scrollers

To say that there were a wealth of Street Fighter 2 clones during its reign of popularity in arcades would be an understatement, but none were quite as blatant as Data East's Karnov's Revenge. In fact, the game was so similar in many respects that it drew the ire of Capcom, not to mention a failed lawsuit attempt. Now the game's returned, appearing on Virtual Console to give Wii owners a chance to experience the infamous Street Fighter 2 knock-off for themselves.

As far as fighting systems go, Karnov's Revenge is fairly basic, much like the original Street Fighter 2 was. While there are some simple combos that can be executed, they're mostly pulled off by transitioning from blocking or using a simple attack into a strong attack. Since the game was created for the Neo Geo system, the 6-button system of the arcade original release had to be modified in order to fit in with the Neo Geo's 4-button controller. To accomplish this, the medium punch and kicks were removed leaving you with weak and strong attacks. To liven things up a bit there are some special attacks that can be pulled off at any time, some more intuitive and easy to execute than others.

One rather unique gameplay touch revolves around a character's "weak point". Each character has his or her own unique weak point that generally has to do with a specific article of clothing. If you are able to land attacks on a character's weak point it will eventually fall off leaving that character dizzy and vulnerable to an attack. While this can add a nice dimension of strategy to the experience, it can make some characters a bit too susceptible to attacks, thus altering their effectiveness and balance.

The main drawback of the game would have to be its slightly loose controls and sometimes erratic special moves. Even with the Street Fighter 2 ideas, the game sometimes turns into more of a button-masher than a strategic fighting experience. It does seem to become a bit easier the more you play the game and familiarise yourself with the system, but for anyone that's played a Street Fighter 2 release, it will feel extremely sluggish by comparison.

There are some impressive visuals in the game's scenery, some featuring a good amount of animation in the background. The characters are also fairly well drawn, but their movement animations seem to be a bit unrealistic at times. The changing of day to night is a nice visual touch and one that helps make up for the few rather bland backdrops you'll encounter during your run to the end of the game.

The audio presentation in Karnov's Revenge ranges from average to terrible. Many of the music tracks don't even seem to go along with the area you're fighting in. The announcer tends to be equally annoying most of the time as are many of the various character voices you'll hear at the end of matches. It's pretty clear that not much effort was put into the audio of the game, so don't expect to want to crank this one up if you do end up downloading it.

Conclusion

Data East borrowed many facets of Capcom's Street Fighter 2 release, but for some reason it wasn't able to implement them with the same level of quality. The weak point and one-two attacks are a nice twist, but even they don't seem to be enough to lift the game any higher than many of the other average one-on-one fighting games released on the Neo Geo system. Unless you just can't get enough Street Fighter 2-style fighting action, you might want to pass on this one especially considering that there are plenty of superior Neo Geo fighting games already available on the Virtual Console.

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User Comments (22)

outrun2sp

#1

outrun2sp said:

I think this games alright. Quite allot of fun but I can see why it gets mediocre scores.

Spoony_Tech

#4

Spoony_Tech said:

I had this back in the day and enjoyed what was there. Can't disagree with the score though as I will never play this game again.

EdEN

#6

EdEN said:

I remember playing this one back in the day. Had some fun with a quarter here and there.

dom77

#9

dom77 said:

Why do Nintendo seem to release a glut of same genre games all the time?
Why not release Yoshi's Island- it almost seems cruel?

StuffyStuff

#10

StuffyStuff said:

Maybe if Karnov put a shirt on it would have received a higher score. "Clown" isn't exactly a creative name for a character either.

FluttershyGuy

#11

FluttershyGuy said:

Now that we've got this is making the VC rounds in some countries, I'd like to see it as a sign to have hope for the release of classic Karnov for the NES! :)

gojiguy

#12

gojiguy said:

Woot NEO GEO VC games that arent already out on disc compilations!

Can you give us the low down on the button configuration, though? Don't wanna get burned again.

Sabrewing

#14

Sabrewing said:

I know this is alternatively named "Fighter's History Dynamite", but wasn't it the ORIGINAL Fighter's History that prompted the lawsuit attempt?

ThreadShadow

#16

ThreadShadow said:

Karnov was a firebreathing Russian muscleman (picture the German airfield mechanic in Raiders), not a fat asian.

Pokeman

#17

Pokeman said:

I don't get why villians want to rule or destroy Earth. I bet it's because a fat guy was watching Tv and wanted excersice and he couldn't excersice and he had a temper tantrum. He was probably so frustated, he wanted to create this video game about himself to show off how powerful he was and THEN beat up people like a villian. Now don't let start with superheros.

motang

#18

motang said:

I remember playing this way back in the arcades...and I also remember not really liking it. So I am going to pass on this one.

Wolfenstein83

#19

Wolfenstein83 said:

They should have at least made Karnov put on a potato sack, or just a shirt.
Review sounded cruddy but I have never played this before.
Maybe I should give it a whirl?

Bass_X0

#20

Bass_X0 said:

Only if you have all the better fighting games on the VC already and still want more.

Caster8

#21

Caster8 said:

Different Reviews say that this is expensive and a hidden gem of a game
I got this on Mame , its decent enough

kartus

#22

kartus said:

Irritating review, irritating comments. Now there's your "mediocrity"! This game easily deserves at least an 8, never mind how useless scores are.

The original Fighter's History was indeed what brought the lawsuit from Capcom; it failed because Data East tried to pull the same stunt when Street Fighter was released (because it was a clone of Karate Champ).

FHD is a very different game from SFII, as is Fatal Fury 2. In the case of FHD here, many moves are "ridiculous" and many characters feel "broken"; it works, and it's pretty fun. I don't know if the other two games (FH and the SFC game) are like this, as FHD is the one that gets play.

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