GEKIDO ADVANCE: KINTARO'S REVENGE / Interplay / GBA
First and most importantly - I dunno who Kintaro is, but it definitely isn't the one from Mortal Kombat.
That established, Gekido is a sort of throwback to the early 90s arcade brawling games that began with Final Fight, featuring larger-than-usual sprites and fluid animation. Unfortunately it doesn't get much beyond that.
The game teases you with the idea of increased interactivity over the usual monotonous brawler pattern. As it starts out, you are in a small town in which you can walk around talking to people, and the game also lets you move back and forth between areas in the style of River City Ransom and similar games. Unfortunately, after a little gameplay, you soon find out that there is really nothing to do but fight, and walking around through different areas serves only to send you hunting about for keys which you then return to earlier areas with.
Gekido is a fairly typical animu martial artist, sort of like a Fist of the North Star character who doesn't Asplode people. His enemies in this one are a demon/zombie army who are up to all sorts of shenanigans. The plot is basically juvenile, predictable stuff, the sort of thing you'd expect to be targeted at adolescent anime fans. One nice touch is that cinematics are frequently employed, with large close-ups of character faces and the like; Gekido's constant "turn in surprise" animation whenever zombies pop out of the ground does get old and silly pretty fast, though.
I suspect this was a pretty low-budget project, in spite of the focus on detailed graphics and animation; everything else about the game seems to be kinda half-assed. The fighting gets very repetitive very fast, as the same groups of monsters are continually thrown at you. There's maybe five songs in the whole game and they are horribly generic - you'll quickly get fed up with the "fighting theme", a piece of standard anime butt rock that probably should have stayed back in the last century where it belongs. A combo system attempts to add a little depth to the gameplay, but all it amounts to is alternating punches and kicks, and there's actually very few combos that you can pull off. In spite of the seemingly open-ended structure you are basically on rails for most of the game; there's little to find by going off the beaten path, and no shops or other niceties a la River City Ransom or Legend of the Mystical Ninja. The game is mostly just a generic Final Fight clone with a few little extras tossed in; it has a good basic engine, but the design team was apparently content to just not do very much with it.
* Gameplay Video