30 Games Of April – Day 13

Black Belt
Factfile
Developed by:Sega
Published by:Sega
Released:1986
Format played:Master System



Much like with the NES, I never owned a Master System as a kid. I grew up on a diet of Game & Watch, handhelds, Atari 2600 and then Speccy and so revisiting these machines now is something of a new experience. What wonders lurk in this hidden domain? What gaming treasures am I yet to unearth? Well if this drivel is anything to go by, the Master System would be better named the Disaster System.

There’s some plot or other but I won’t bore you with that old flannel. Let’s cut to the chase, we are in Kung Fu territory here. You move left to right across 6 stages of basically the same thing, kicking and punching people in the face and leaping about a bit.

Things don’t get off to the best start. As soon as the game begins, a bunch of identikit topless thugs in black jeans come sprinting across the screen like someone has just told them there’s a sale on at the chip shop. Whack! goes the first. Pow! goes the second. Kapow! goes the third. And the fourth, and the fifth and the, well you get the idea. These brainless drones offer absolutely no resistance, just lining up to take their medicine. But, and get this, when you strike them, THEY EXPLODE. I mean literally explode, in a shower of body parts.

In between this brainless fare you get sub-bosses, weapon wielding goons who put up a little more resistance. Finally after what had begun to seem like an endless journey, you get to face the end of level boss. Who promptly flattens you. Actually in fairness these bosses require a change of tactics. Much like Punch Out, Frank Bruno et al, the bosses have a ‘tell’ and a specific move from your arsenal is required to take them down. Once you figure it out, the encounter is straight forward and you pound your foe into oblivion.

Your reward? Another monotonous street of mindless thugs, this time looking like a rejected face paint template for the Legion of Doom. But these guys are a notch above the lost mob. Watch out for their devastating brain power as they figure out that they can jump over you. Then you get to kick then unchallenged in the face from a different angle.

I guess it’s competent enough. Your guy moves quickly and is responsive. It looks alright for a mid-80s game. Sadly it’s just utterly generic and monotonous.

Black Belt? Cack Belt more like it.

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Jon wood

Hahaha don’t remember the game but I think if we had played it at the time we’d be as fond of it as IK+. “Cack belt” almost made a little wee come out too. Bravo!