When I first saw this game I immediately thought “Samurai Shodown”. In fact, the best way to describe Kabuki Klash would be to call it “Samurai Shodown with Kids”. If you have ever played Shodown, then you will instantly recognise similarities between the two.
The first thing you will notice is the character similarities. For example, Yuki looks very much like Nakoruru, because a wolf, which she uses as sort of a projectile attack, accompanies her. Manjimaru is kinda similar to Haomharu as well (See above screenshot). When you play the game you will also notice other traits in some of the other fighters, which are similar to their SS counterparts. Also, just like in SS you occasionally get different objects dropped into the arena, this time by a bird flying overhead instead of the announcer like in SS. Objects include extra health, strength and defence power-ups, not to mention that old comedy favourite, the banana skin which makes you fall over!
Kabuki does actually play fairly well too, except for one big flaw. Once you start to get into this game, you will probably enjoy up to a certain point. You see, before I played this game I read a review of it elsewhere, which mentioned that the bosses could be annoying. I decided that I would try the game out, thinking at the time "yeh but they can't be worse than most other Neo games can they?". But boy oh boy they really were! If you get annoyed at the first boss, when the stupid Ape S@!T does THAT move over and over (You'll know which one I mean when you get there!), then wait until you get to the third boss. By the time you have beaten him, you will have broken your your joystick in frustration and will have probably put one of them through the monitor or arcade screen. Yes, it is really that bad. And then when you DO beat the third guy, you get treated to the final boss called “Lucifeller”. Guess what? He's even cheaper than all 3 of the other bosses put together!!!
In truth though, they can all be beaten very easily if you know how. If you either play this game on the easiest difficulty setting, or if you discover the one move that will let you beat them with ease every time, (and keep trying because it IS there) then you can finish them off pretty quickly. But this is not the point really. I don't want to play through a game on the easiest difficulty and I don't want to have to resort to cheap measures to win either. This is the one thing that spoils an otherwise decent game. This is a real shame in my opinion, but it won't make too much difference if you play two player matches more than single player.
Graphics & Sound:
I liked the graphics in this game but I didn't feel they were as good as the ones in Samurai Shodown. The fighters themselves look good and are reasonably well animated and move around quite quickly. The backgrounds range from O.K. to very good, with some decent detail on them. All in all they are nice, if not amazing. The sound in this game is actually quite nice though, with some really nice tunes on one or two stages, and some reasonable spot effects and speech.
Basically, Kabuki Klash is an enjoyable, if flawed game. It's worthwhile playing with it for a while, but if you have a short temper then be careful, because you may end up with a broken Neo Geo or controller before too long. When all is said and done though, is there any reason someone would play this game over Samurai Shodown?
Game play: 7/10
Replay Value: 6/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
There is a version of this for the Neo Geo CD, which is called "Far East of Eden", but it is actually the same game. I was told by Neo Alec (whose Neo Geo site is now dead) that this game is actually part of a series of games in Japan called "Tengai Makyo".
These games are on the PC Engine/Turbo Grafx system, not the Neo Geo, and the series also includes a few RPG's, one fighting game and a puzzle game.
Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:
Above links open in
a new window.
Other weapon based beat 'em ups:
Any of the games in this great series will do, particularly 2 and 4!
NEOGEO is a registered trademark of SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION.
All intellectual property rights related to NEOGEO products and others belong to SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION.
Non SNK software titles belong to their respective authors.
This website is tested with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Best Viewed at 1024x768 or higher. Although it is tested with Firefox and IE, it should work with other browsers without problems - please contact me if you notice any issues!