BATTLE K-ROAD / Psikyo / Arcade
 
 
 
Battle K-Road advertises "realistic fighting styles" on its attract screens, and while the characters are indeed each based on some established real-world fighting style with appropriate-ish moves, there's also still plenty of unrealistically athletic special moves and such being thrown around.
 
 

The other "realistic" element here is a knockdown system that doesn't actually serve much of a gameplay function. Fights proceed in the standard Street Fighter best-two-of-three-round style, but when a character gets knocked off their feet, the action freezes and both characters go back to their starting position. Again, there's no real gameplay point to this other than it basically eliminates combos as a factor and slows up the match a bit, as winning the round still requires draining the opponent's health. The end result is a game that feels oddly more like Samurai Shodown than any other big-name fighter, as the emphasis is on timing and landing huge strikes as the most advantageous play.
 
 

The 14-man roster initially seems like an interesting range of fighting styles, until you notice each style has a clone character that is identical except for their head. The clones actually battle it out in the first single-player round to determine who gets to represent their style before we get on to the tournament proper.
 
 

The gameplay is actually on the solid side, albeit without anything really innovative or interesting. The graphics are very meh, but the music is decent. If you got stuck on a desert island with it for a week somehow and had to play it, it would probably be entertaining enough to pass the time, but there's no real reason to track it down other than some goofy victory quotes and seriously bizarre endings.
 
 
 
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