Budokan: The Martial Spirit

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Budokan: The Martial Spirit
Budokan martial spirit box art.jpg
Developer(s) Electronic Arts
Composer(s) Rob Hubbard
Platform(s) Amiga, DOS, Sega Mega Drive, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single player

Budokan: The Martial Spirit is a computer and video game released by Electronic Arts in 1989 for various platforms. The title is a versus fighting game, pitting the player against other martial artists in a great tournament known as the Budokan (taking place at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo).

Gameplay[edit]

The player begins the game as an apprentice, and initially practices skills in four dojos, either Shadow Fighting or sparring with an instructor. The weapons and combat methods available to the player consist of the following four:

  • Bo - Classic Japanese long staff.
  • Karate - Okinawan unarmed combat.
  • Kendo - Japanese fencing utilizing a wooden sword.
  • Nunchaku - Swinging weapon with two shafts connected by a chain.

Once the player is confident in their skills, they can enter the Budokan where the player faces consecutive opponents equipped with various weapons (including, but not limited to, those available to the player). The difficulty gradually increases, with each opponent demonstrating increasing prowess when compared to the previous. Most opponents are male, except for one female armed with a naginata. The gender of a ninjutsu exponent with a masked face is presumably female, as they are named Ayako.

Each match is preceded by a briefing screen which provides the player with several words about the opponent. Based on this information (and past experience playing the game), the player then chooses which weapon to use in the upcoming conflict. Since each weapon can only be used in a limited number of matches, an overall strategy or plan is necessary in order to successfully defeat all opponents.

There are two primary attributes shown on the screen -- stamina and ki, the power of each blow. Active movements like jumping and delivering difficult blows decrease the ki, while blocking attacks increases ki. As a player's stamina decreases, movements slow down, making it more and more difficult to act. When the player's (or his opponent's) stamina is completely exhausted, the match ends. This makes the game much more strategic than many contemporary fighting games, as it is impossible to "button mash" one's way to victory. Button mashing in Budokan is in fact a quick way to defeat.

Graphics and sound[edit]

The game features graphics and animations which are relatively advanced for the time period, attempting to provide a semi-realistic depiction of martial arts combat. The DOS version of the game included 256-color graphics, and supported the AdLib Music Synthesizer Card as well as the Roland MT-32 MIDI synthesizer module for stereo music.

Reception[edit]

The 1991 December edition of GamePro cited Budokan as one of the worst games of 1991. The editors criticized the game for its bland gameplay and unrealistic simulation of the bo.[citation needed]

The game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #161 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[1]

Re-release[edit]

In August 2006, GameSpot reported that Electronic Arts would be porting the Sega Genesis version of Budokan to the PlayStation Portable as part of EA Replay.[2] The compilation was released in the United States on November 14, 2006.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (September 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (161): 47–53. 
  2. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (31 August 2006). "EA confirms retro Replay - GameSpot.com". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 

External links[edit]