Published on July 17th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Indie Review: Avatar Karate
For those who have cared enough to want to clothe our avatars and maybe given them enough features to make them unique, have wondered what else are these things good for? Surely these cartoon-y doppelgangers can do more than wave lazily and make burp noises. However, since their inception, independent developers have release a whole slew (which is technically over 40) of avatar-based games for people who all they want to do is play with themselves.
Recently, developer GameJobb released Avatar Karate for fighter fans who love the idea of watching their avatars wail on each other. But is Avatar Karate a true champion or just a young grasshopper? Well, sorry to say but, this one just lacks the warrior spirit.
Avatar Karate pits your avatar against 20 different opponents. The fight is won when one of the fighters knocks the other one down twice. The moves available to you feature punching, kicking, blocking, and, well, that’s just about it. You can combine button presses for a more stylized move such as a high kick, but there really isn’t much point. I was able to win almost all bouts just by slapping at the control pad without much consideration to stringing moves together. Just hitting the buttons until you win is all that needs to take place here.
When designing a fighting game, the key component that must work well is the controls. Avatar Karate just fails at this point. Each action, punching, kicking, etc., feels slow and sluggish and some moves seem completely pointless. During the later fights, blocking became useless; trying to defend yourself while your opponent is constantly attacking, giving you no chance to save yourself from damage, can get frustrating very fast.
Don’t get me wrong though, I like the idea of an avatar fighter, I really do, and Avatar Karate does some things right. One such feature is the online multiplayer in which you and up to three other friends can duke it out in an avatar battle royale which can certainly settle any disputes on who has the best avatar. The game also has a great look overall and fitting music. But the lame fighting just stops what could have been a pretty decent game.
With improved controls this could have been a winner but, sadly, this one is taking home the bronze.
+ Playing as your own avatar is great
+ 4-player brawls can be good fun
– Sluggish controls
– Not enough moves
– Just a whole lot of button-mashing