Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Real Kickboxing - Real Problems"

-Visuals 6/10-

Bringing home the ways of kickboxing, to your Playstation in terms of realism, K-1 Arena Fighters does so with that sense of actually being there...but watching the fight from seats in the back row. From the starting screen, you get a close in shot of your fighters face, and what they look like, their style of fighting, and so on, but once the fighter is selected, it goes into some sort of detail-less mode of which you cannot tell your fighters apart.

The only true detail here, is the actual coloring of the fighters trunks, the color of their skin..that's really the only two ways that you'll be able to tell the two fighters apart. Detailing, was not really much of an option apparently, as the fighters look rather faceless, and there isn't alot of detail in the way that their bodies are shaped either. You have your general assortment of stages that you fight in, but as you fight, you'll notice that there isn't a crowd anywhere to be seen...

Well? Where are the fans and the crowds of this spectator sport?!

That question will remain a mystery as you fight through the stages against various opponents. Mind you, these fighters, for the most part, are actual competitors of the K-1 Kickboxing Contests, and their movements match what they actually do in these contests. Speed is a big part of watching this, and it's not substituted for anything else, as they blaze across the screen...however, this leads to another varity in what they can do.

How many times can you actually watch a fighter backfist another before you get bored?

-Sound 5/10-

Unmoving, and very uninspired music for K-1. You'll be looking for something else when you hear the music of this's a cross between what I believe to be a dance-rock mix, but it's not placed into the game with the correct highs and lows of what you like it to be. It's rather dull, and you'll tire of listening to it after about 20 or 30 minutes of playing. Too bad.

The sound effects are the general assortment of thuds, punches, kicks, grunts, and the bell ringing at the end of rounds, or through a TKO. You also get the pleasure of listening to the referee count to 10 if you or your opponent is floored with one of the high hitting moves. But that's all the bang for your buck that you'll get out of this title...again, disappointing.

You would have hoped, that with some sort of effort, they could have added in a few more sound effects, and perhaps did a better job conducting the music of the only makes you want to hit mute, and turn on the radio to keep you fighting.

-Control 6/10-

Simple, yet ineffective. You have a punch and a kick, with a guard button. Sure, that sound about right, and it's easy to use...until you try to move out of the way of an incoming strike, and don't block the right area. With K-1, the aspect of techincal fighting came into play, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of being able to block effectively, and being able to pull off various moves in turn to strike at your opponent...very frustrating.

The game control is slow, as is the interface...gaining a mastery of the control will take time, effort, and alot of coffee to figure out. Not a good combination, when you consider that a fighting game, should have the moves easily available to you, and you should be able to crack heads without having to study and write down every single movement for what you think is right.

-Gameplay 6/10-

Real kickboxing at it's best...or so you may think. Pitting you up against several other well known, or in some cases unknown kickboxers, you fight your way through match after match to get to the final master of kickboxing. Sure...this seems like it would be alot of fun, but with very little varity in terms of the moves that you can pull off, the characters which are rather undetailed, and very very slow, to the fact that some matches can take up to 20 minutes to fight, because of all the blocking going on, you may have a hard time staying awake to get that far.

Also, with the game interface as slow as it is, the computer can be cheap at times, and keep flooring you with one move, over and over again until you either get a TKO called against you, or you just shut off your Playstation and drop the controller. This is very very frustrating to handle, and very annoying to play when all you want to do is kick someone's butt. And two player options? Well, you have a versus mode...that's it, and it plays just like any other versus mode would, but is lacks the speed and ingenuity to be above anything else...

All in all, this game has alot of problems, in terms of what it is capable of, what it has to offer, and what the final product is...there isn't a replay value to, once you have beaten it through with the fighters, no other fighters are unlocked for you to play that brings it down might have been nice to have a create a fighter option...but hey, that's wishful thinking.

-Overall 6/10-

Where K-1 tried, it gives you realism, but with none of the detail that you would expect from a fighting game of this type. The sound..well, let's not talk about that, and the control is slow with very little in varity of what you can, and cannot do with your selected fighter.

All in all, this game is a rental only, and not even a consideration for a purchase unless you like the true realism of kickboxing...if that's the case, then this game is a perfect hit...but for the majority that look for a lot of action, and alot of flashy special moves, with awesome visuals...look elsewhere...cause K-1's empty.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/06/00, Updated 04/06/00

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