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SummaryA PC beat em-up is always welcome
The GoodI liked the fact that I actually had a "beat em-up" to play, as a PC Gamer in the early 90s!
The BadIt was nowhere close to Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat though...
The Bottom LineIn “Body Blows” our task is to defeat the vicious underworld leader, Max. Allegedly, he conceals a terrifying secret that we will try to reveal. We select our fighter from up to ten diverse characters, each one with unique skills and techniques. We will have to be victorious against the other nine, before we reach Max.
The game features graphics that are passable even today. The characters are well represented and nicely vary in height and size. There are also some beautiful, but static, backgrounds. Digitized voices and powerful hard-rock electronic themes enhance the fighting atmosphere.
There is a fair amount of different moves for each character. The controls are quite simple too. No difficult combinations of keys are required for the special abilities. Every move is achieved by pressing the action key along with a direction one. All the characters have a ‘super move’ apart from their special ones. These are executed by holding the action key down, enough time for the ‘power bar’ to fill up.
In the ‘One Player Game’ we can play as all the ten contestants, whereas in the more demanding ‘Arcade Game’ we choose our competitor out of the available four. The game has a two-player mode and also supports a tournament. There, up to eight human players start from the quarterfinals and get disqualified on the way to the final. We are allowed to modify battle rules according to our likes, through several options. Among others, we can determine the number of rounds and their time duration.
The area in which “Body Blows” presents its major weak points is the quality of combat. Winning is mainly about making a rush on the enemy. Rather than elegantly and stylishly neutralize him, we struggle to take our adversary by surprise and overwhelm him with continuous hits. The ‘Mercy’ option attempts to amend this, with ‘Mercy’ on we can not make any attack moves or prepare a ‘super move’, when our opponent is on the ground. Another issue is the somewhat rigid way the sprites behave. They do not seem to have sufficient flexibility and fluidness in their design and animation. Finally, it would be much better if an actual scenario, with good character profiles and endings, existed.
Overall, “Body Blows” is a nice and pleasant game. If we take in account that the PC has not seen many upstanding games of this genre, this one is definitely recommended. All characters are colorful and enjoyable to play with. Also, Max’ mystery is a nice element that is worthy of playing to unravel. Memory adjustments and slowing down might be needed to play this game.