KINNIKU MAN : KINNIKU OOKURAI SOUDATSUSEN
game Cover
game cartridge
キン肉マン キン肉星王位争奪戦
©Yudetamago/Shueisha.NTV.
Toei Animation
©Bandai 1987
Release: 1987-05-01 (¥3300)
DiskCard BAN-KNM
Platform / Fighting game

Kinnikuman is a simple platform/action game by Bandai and features the famous wacky Japanese wrestler and hero of a very popular comic book and anime in the late 70s and known as Muscleman in the west. At the start, each stage is filled up with demon like enemies who try to hit our hero-wrestler with their maces. Later on, some of them will even throw axes and fireballs at him. Kinnikuman can only punch and kick but his enemies won't oppose too much resistance and one hit is usually enough to defeat them. Interestingly, by pressing Start and Select during the game, the player can switch to another character - three wrestlers are available from the start but the player can only switch from one to another for a limited amount of time. A boss is of course waiting for Kinnikuman at the end of each area. They are tougher and more vicious than those weak demons and all our hero's wrestling moves and tricks will be needed to get them down for good. Those special moves are only available during boss encounters and are triggered by button combinations - like direction + A to grab and slam an opponent on the ground. The bosses vary from a skeletal robot firing lasers to the evil robot-blender who will mix Kinnikuman up to death.
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Kinniku Man (Aka M.U.S.C.L.E., Ultimate Muscle, Muscle Man) is an ultra popular and wacky manga series by Yudetamago (Yoshinori Nakai and Takashi Shimada) and was first published in 1979 in Shonen Jump Japan. Kinnikuman (aka MuscleMan), who also happens to be the prince of Kinniku Planet and gets his super powers from eating garlic, is on a quest to become the best super-hero wrestler in the world. Kunniku's enemies (Chojins) are usually wacky and strange, like giant peanuts or pachinko machines, but most of them learn to be good after fighting our hero. As a kid, I used to watch the series on the French television and I remember it being censured, and later banned, because of a character based on a German Nazi. This event and the violence depicted in Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) not only made people misunderstand, but also sadly darkened the image of Japanese animation in France in the 90s...

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Kinniku Man is a simple and now very old looking game. The main characters only use a two-frames walking animation and attacks are very limited. Also, I wished the wrestling moves were available everywhere in the game and not only during the boss encounters. Furthermore, enemies do not have interesting attack patterns and moves. The game is also very hard - bosses attack patterns feel really random and unfair and your wrestler's moves really hard to achieve. And even if you manage to defeat one of them, you do not regain any life before being thrown into the next stage. Bandai has produced many very average and weak titles and Kinniku Man is definitively one of them.




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