MMOs or Massively Multiplayer Online games are a dime a dozen these days… but while most are fantasy RPGs, the Korean-made Kwon Ho: Hero of Fist sets itself apart from the rest in that it’s an online one-on-one fighting game, in the vein of Virtua Fighter and Tekken. After installing the game’s client on your computer, you create your brawler from five different schools of martial arts (Muay Thai, Ba Ji Quan, Taekwondo, Judo and Tai Chi Quan), dress him or her up and get down and dirty in the ring.
The graphics of Kwon Ho are no VF5 though- the stages and characters are on the generic side and can’t even hold a candle to any of the PS2 VFs or Tekkens. The most can be said is that it looks a little better than the Playstation One version of Dead or Alive, though Tecmo’s game animates better and has flashier, cooler moves. But even with all that, Kwon Ho looks decent and the combat animations are smooth and well done. The fighting is similar to VF and DOA, with Guard, Punch and Kick buttons making up the controls. You can move forward and back, dash either way, and sidestep. The controls are simple enough to play on a keyboard, though true fighting enthusiasts will want a gamepad.
The characters, by nature of this being a Create-your-own-Badass, are generic; you have a few choices of hairstyles, body shapes (buff, thin, buffer), skin tones and faces. Clothing has a lot more choices, but you have to buy stuff from the store. Since gameplay is actually free, the real money made in the game is via players purchasing stuff to dress up their fighters, items and so forth. Not a bad way to go by things, I guess.
I was able to play a bit, and the game is decent, though it really takes getting used to controlling with the keyboard. Still, I liked Kwon Ho enough to not uninstall the game afterwards. Let’s see what else this game does in the months ahead.
You can check out Kwon Ho: Hero of Fist here, download stuff and even try out the game, and other stuff from the gamemakers at ijji.