Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Mar 04, 2006
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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The only positive review you can find at MobyGames

The Good

Recently, I looked up Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero on the net and I was quite shocked to find that no matter what gaming site I was on, there was always a bad review waiting to be read. Most of them I read say that the game is outdated, and everything about the game is uninteresting. Well, I disagree with all of them, as this is a decent game for the PC. The reviewers don't realize the fact that the PC didn't have a single platform game since Jazz Jackrabbit 2. Up until now, the platform genre was basically doomed to live its life on modern-day consoles, regardless of whether they be 2D or 3D.

Akimbo, a kung-fu master who is looking for adventure, stumbles into a seaside cave. There, he closes his eyes as he concentrates on the languid landscape and let nature take its course. Akimbo finds out that he is sprawled face first in the yellowing sands with a bottle containing a note inside it. He opens it and reads the note. Akimbo finds out that it is addressed from the shamens of Turtle Island, who say that a dragon called Fang has released an evil curse that enslaved the inhabitants of the islands. So feeling like helping, he sets off sail for Turtle Island and finds this dragon.

If you have played at least one platform game in the late eighties to early 90s, you should know what to expect from Akimbo. Akimbo can jump and destroy enemies that he comes across using his punches. But rather than just punching, Akimbo can perform a variety of moves, which include low kicks, side kicks, round kicks, flying kicks, spin-downs, and even backflips. Doing one of these moves will knock out an enemy for a few seconds before he goes about his merry way, but you can pick him up and toss it at other enemies. On the way, Akimbo gets hungry and needs to replenish his hunger by collecting fruit and vegetables.

Power-ups can be collected along the way. These include double jumps and the Spin-O-Copter. These are useful for finding secret areas. When I played this game, I always tried to find secret areas along the way, rather than just hurry to the exit. The only problem with finding secret areas using these power-ups is that you may fall off the bottom edge of the screen, causing death, but that's the chance you need to take. Secret areas can be found by using keys that you are carrying to open the appropriate door.

The game behaves similar to Donkey Kong Country. At the start of the game, you are presented with a map of Turtle Island, and by clicking on an area of the island (highlighted in green), you are given an overview of the levels that you need to complete. Once a level is completed, a dotted line appears between the level you have just completed and the next one, allowing you to move on to that level. There are nested levels in the game, but these levels can't be selected from the overview. They can be accessed either by going through an opening or entering a teleport which often requires a “greenglow”. You can go back and complete levels again, to discover any secrets you may have missed or to take a different route in the level. Lives are indicated by potions. If you get hit by an enemy, a potion is emptied out, and the game is over if all of them are empty. There are also coins to be collected in the game, and collecting 100 of them in the game results in an extra life.

The environments in Akimbo are breathtaking, and include jungles, forests, ruins, and mountains. Enemies include deformed tarantulas, fireflies, hedgehogs, crazy seashells, and giant wasps. By jumping on them, they can help you get to secret areas that are not possible by using power-ups. The enemies themselves are drawn nicely and they have good animation, and the same thing can be said about the bosses that you encounter at the end of each area.

The music is a pleasure to listen to, and the sound effects are appropriate when coming from Akimbo or his enemies. The sound effects that I enjoy is when the tree stump runs toward you in the forest, and when Akimbo falls through the bottom of the screen. The controls are easy to get used to. You use the [Left Ctrl] key for jumping and [Right Alt] to attack. From playing too many games from Apogee, I already got used to this configuration.

Some levels have puzzles that require a bit of thinking. This involves just pulling a sometimes-hidden lever to lower a bridge to firing yourself out of a cannon in an attempt to land on a platform not accessible by foot. In some levels, you even have to climb ropes that are about to be burned from the bottom-up.

The Bad

Although Akimbo does not access the CD while you play the game, you need to place it in your CD drive before each play, which I found annoying. But it stop piracy from spreading.

After completing each area, there is no way that I can meet Fang. And as of this writing, I found no FAQs or general hints on how to meet him. I think that you can only meet him when you reach a certain percentage of the game.

The Bottom Line

From Swedish developers Iridon Interactive, Akimbo is a brilliant attempt at resurrecting the platform genre of the eighties and nineties. The graphics and sound is great, and the gameplay is similar to that of the DKC games. There are plenty of power-ups to help you complete levels. If you are not a fan of kung-fu but you like platform games, then this title will keep you entertained for a while.