Body Blows (ECS)

Title           Body Blows (ECS)
Publisher       Team17 (1993)
Game Type       Beat-em-up
Players         1 or 2
HD Installable  No
Compatibility   68000/020
Submission      Emmanuel Henne

In 1993, two games fought in the best sense of the word for supremacy in
the genre of "beat`em up" games.

One was "Streetfighter 2", the other was "Body Blows". One had the arcade
machine on its track record, the other came from the creators of
mind-blowing top-class action titles such as "Superfrog" or the evergreen
"Alien Breed".

Body Blows was in the very tradition of any T17 game of that era: Detailed
32-colour (but ECS) graphics, fast, smooth scrolling and that certain T17
style that makes you want more.

You start as one of four characters (Nik, Junior, Dan, Lo Ray) and fight
your way through 10 different levels, where you encounter a rich variety
of frightening enemies. Like in "Streetfighter", the emphasis was put on
originality and character, each champion has his own special weapons and
moves, and with every character, the game has to be played in a different
way. There`s no deep storyline, nor are there any breathtaking
cutscenes. Not even the bonus levels You`re accustomed to from

But "Body Blows" is strong where it needs to be: The playability is great,
and this is mainly because the controls are very sophisticated and the
enemies are not too hard or too stupid ("Rise of the robots", anyone ?).
Every move can be controlled with a single-button joystick, be it one of
the spectacular special moves ("Power Punch", "Arrow Hand") or the
standard moves for attack (kick, punch) or defence (high/low block).
Everything is easily accessible and cleverly thought out so that you don`t
have to relearn the moves with every new character.

So much for the gameplay, but how about the rest ? The graphics are very
"good" for 1993, but not topclass. No wonder, since there were only 32
colours available. But "Streetfighter" had a better look, and the cast of
characters was also more imaginative. The scrolling and the special moves
were indeed very impressive, even though the sprites were HUGE in
comparison to other titles. The sound, well, the digitised speech was not
exactly great, but it was acceptable and since CDs weren't on the rise at
that time, You could live with it. The music was rather "average", more of
the techno-stuff, nothing special.

At the end, what these games come down to is playability and fun, and
"Body Blows" had tons of both. A few bonus scenes wouldn`t have harmed it
though, and the soundtrack could have been better.

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