Title : Budokan: The Martial Spirit
Publisher : Electronic Arts
Developer : Electronic Arts
Genre : Fighting
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1989
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $25-$30
I haven't played any fighting games in awhile, so taking a look at Budokan, at least I have something to look forward to. At least, I thought I did. I have this problem that when I see games such as this involving martial arts combat, I always think back to the fond memories I had playing BUSHIDO BLADE with my friends. Those were the nights. Not to mention, Bushido Blade (as lack luster as some may of thought it was) was quite a revolutionary combat game. Nothing quite as satisfying as one hit kills, injuries, and chasing your opponent through snowy bamboo thickets.
Budokan sadly, doesn't offer much of the same glorious combat. In fact, the game is QUITE dull. Not to mention it's only a single player game. Seriously, what the hell EA? Why are you making a fighting game that is only one player? Unless it's two player and I couldn't figure out how to select a second player. Someone care to answer that?
No? No one cares? Didn't think so. BUT WAIT...Apparently there is a sparring mode...that's about it...still don't care enough to find it...but yeah...sparring that's it.
For those of you who don't know what Budokan is, it's a traditional Japanese martial arts tournament held at the Nippon Budokan (an indoor arena). The best of the best come to test their talents and reign supreme. That's pretty much what this genesis game is all about. Put your wits, KI, strength, stamina, and everything else you can muster to be #1!
That is, if you're patient enough to deal with one of the slowest genesis fighting games. And I thought that Brutal Paws of Fury was bad.
Don't feel bad if you're laughing at the campy title screen. i was laughing too. It's like a bad sequel to the Karate Kid movies. Unlike most fighting games, you don't select a fighter. Instead, you're selecting a weapon, and you have a choice of 4. Not much variety for a fighting game, but we have to take what we can get.
I'll compare 'em to Ninja Turtles. The Bo (Donatello), Nunchuks (Michelangelo), Kendo (Leonardo...I guess), and Karate...(well there's only Raphael left..but I'll just choose Splinter instead) See, the game bored me so much I had to turn to Ninja Turtle references just to entertain me. Sad.
Once you're done training at various dojos until you figure out which one you're most comfortable with you can move on to the actual tournaments. Where you'll have fun spamming buttons!
Tournaments work a little bit differently than a traditional fighter. You'll be briefed before each match on who you're facing, and then you can choose your weapon based on your opponent. BUT, you need to be selective with your choices, because you can only use your weapons a certain number of times. It's basically a trial and error experience. You need to figure out which weapons work best against which opponents and move on from there.
Matches themselves are quite the chore. It's seemingly impossible to pull of any combos, so you'll find yourself spamming buttons in an attempt to KO your challenger. As with most fighting games, it gets progressively more difficult, and you'll face fighters with weapons that you couldn't even choose. That's not fair....
Unfortunately, the combat itself is INSANELY slow. I'm talking crawwwwwwwllllll. I like fast-paced, nail-biting, button-smashing, combo driven combat. I want to be on edge...not slow kicking someone in the face. It's even worse because the more you use your moves, the more your stamina drains which makes you even MORE slow. I mean, COME ON. Then you've got your KI which goes up the more you block, which lets you land stronger attacks. The fighting game has turned into a strategy game...
Besides the game being slow, and the gameplay being weak at best, at least the visuals and audio carry the game somewhat. The animation reminds me a bit of the Prince of Persia games because it's actually quite fluid. The audio and music is quite appropriate for the game, and I thoroughly enjoy the grunt noises by the players.
Unfortunately, it's one of those fighting games that gets left behind. I know they were trying to do something different here, but it lacks OOMPH. It's too slow, too boring, and lacks variety. A damn shame, but it had potential to be something more.
Time go to play some Bushido Blade instead.