THE WAY OF THE EXPLODING FIST (1985)
By Mark Nobes
Featuring gorgeous character animation and digitised speech (although its very crunchy), combined with a wide variety of realistic moves, The Way Of The Exploding Fist was almost the perfect beat-em-up in the mid eighties. In fact, this game set a new standard for this type of game, and surely influenced many games that followed it, such as International Karate and the 90s Street Fighter series.
The game was first developed for the C64 by Beam Software, a team consisting of Gregg Barnett, Bruce Bayley, Neil Brennan and David Johnston. It was published by Melbourne House (you can see the Commodore version in the video clip above) and then, after becoming a huge success, it was quickly ported to other systems including the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and Commodore 16 Plus/4.
Most people are in agreeance that the best-looking version of the game is on the C64, but that doesn't mean the other ports are bad, and they did a really good job with the ZX Spectrum version considering the its more limited capabilities.
Screenshot of the gameplay from the C64 version. The detailing and colouring is top notch.
Sound Effects and Music
Critical response and Awards
Amstrad CPC screenshot
The BBC Micro version looks not too dissimilar to the Spectrum version, although with coloured sprites.