Remember 1984’s Karateka? Even if you weren’t born back then, there’s a good chance you played the game during your life, enjoying the 8-bit graphics but the awesome animation and martial art sequences, that had the one hit = kill rule.
Now, the game is getting an HD remake, hitting the open market on the XBOX 360 last week. Jordan Mechner, the original developer, was in charge along with Liquid Entertainment, responsible for various games over the last decade.
A few changes were made, aside from the obvious complete graphics overhaul: No one-shot deaths; in the game the player starts as Mariko’s “True Love”, as the original, but should they fail in combat, they then play as a second character, a Monk, picking up where the True Love fell, and then as a third one, a Brute. While the player can complete the game as any of the characters, the ultimate goal is to reunite Mariko with her True Love, giving the approximate forty-minute game high replayability.
The focus on keeping the game as a simple game to pick up and play led to the decision to distribute the title through downloadable game services. Back in the day, Karateka was a best seller with over 500,000 copies sold in 1984.