Smash 'em in the teeth", I screamed, "Kick 'is head in! Go on! Kill 'im!" After 10 minutes of Panza Kick Boxing I was shouting at my screen with murderous intent and trashing my joystick with all my might.
Meanwhile, the neigbours were casting nervous glances at the walls and dialling 999. This game was getting under my skin in no uncertain fashion.
Panza Kick Boxing is the sort of thing your parents might have refused as a Christmas present. It is pure unadulterated violence and great fun to boot.
The gameplay is based on the French kick boxing sport, savate, as taught to the Foreign Legion. This was itself derived from Indionesian martial arts, so it's no surprise that the action can become positively blood-
The object is to mangle and maim your way up the leg-
To win will require you to develop your boxer to the point where he becomes almost superhuman, and to aid you in this endeavour some handy options are provided.
Unlike most games where you have a choice of 16 moves - the eight joystick movements with and without fire button pressed Kick Boxing offers a total of 56 kicks and punches, which you can tie into specific joystick actions.
In this way you can customise your boxer, giving him his own style of fighting, and changing it to suit his opponent. There are still only 16 moves available during play, but at least you have a say in those you can use.
You can inflict long sweeps, short jobs, or crunching kicks on your opponent, and all of them are apparently based on recognised moves from the sport itself.
Whether they ar realistic or not is immaterial as they all ponder shamelessly to that good old human instinct mindless violence.
If you want to cause maximum damage you'll have to put in some training, and to this end a gymnasium section is included.
If you're good enough here you can build up your reflexes, strength and stamina through skipping, weight
The fighting itself is well animated and follows the general theme of such games. The bout takes place over at least three rounds, punctuated by a ridiculously bimbo-filled statistic screen.
The two boxes are viewed from ring level and a referee on call to shout "break" or count you out as the occasion demands. This goes on until someone is knocked out or the bout ends and is decided on points.
During the fighting you can judge how close you are to losing by a row of lights above the ring. These are progressively extinguished as you boxer comes closer and closer to doing a Tyson, until he finally flops to the canvas. You could say that you fight until you get your lights kicked out.
I know that some people consider this kind of game reprehensible and unnecessary, but I have to confess that I enjoyed it a great deal.
There's nothing more fun that venting your aggression in trashing the living daylights out of a bitmapped opponent. When the game is as well carried out as Panza Kick Boxing it certainly beats chess hands down in the instant gratification stakes!