Karate Champ - Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - Worst Video Games Ever Made

In the original packaging, Karate Champ arrived on your doorstep inside a bag of flaming dog poop. The kids loved it. This is the official advertisement from Nintendo Power. Data East really knew how to market their games appropriately.
In the original packaging, Karate Champ arrived on your doorstep inside a bag of flaming dog poop. The kids loved it. This is the official advertisement from Nintendo Power. Data East really knew how to market their games appropriately.

The Kind of Bad That Is Legendary

Karate Champ isn't just bad, it's that special kind of bad that only comes around once or twice in a lifetime. This game is beyond horrible. It's hard to really describe how bad it is unless you've played it. If you have played it lately, you likely only played it for about 10 minutes before wanting to do something more interesting - like your taxes. Who would've thought that a Nintendo game could motivate like this? Get away from that NES, now!

While playing, one player would get turned the other direction and it would be very hard to hit the opponent. Data East clearly had no idea how to program an effective fighting game. How is it acceptable to fight facing away from your opponent?
While playing, one player would get turned the other direction and it would be very hard to hit the opponent. Data East clearly had no idea how to program an effective fighting game. How is it acceptable to fight facing away from your opponent?

The Gameplay Video. Watch At Your Own Risk of Boredom.

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Even the referee lady doesn't appear to want to be in this game. Maybe this represents the programmer's reaction to what they made. Who knows? I sure don't care.
Even the referee lady doesn't appear to want to be in this game. Maybe this represents the programmer's reaction to what they made. Who knows? I sure don't care.

It's hard to describe how bad this game is unless you've played it. The concept is good enough. It's basically an early attempt to cash in on the success of movies like The Karate Kid - but in the most ass way possible. Even the referee (who looks like an old fat Chinese woman) is unhappy about being in the game.

We're Actually Playing This? Oh, No...

Okay, so on to the game itself. You take control of one of many identical Karate Fighters that all seem to be flipping each other off with their middle fingers. The object is basically to kick someone or punch someone and score a point. It's like a real karate match from the end of The Karate Kid. In other words - it's lame and stupid.

In Karate Champ, the goal was to flip the other player the bird and smoke a lot of cigarettes. If you flipped off the other player then kicked him in the nuts, you basically won by default. Take that crap out of your NES and slap in Contra. Please.
In Karate Champ, the goal was to flip the other player the bird and smoke a lot of cigarettes. If you flipped off the other player then kicked him in the nuts, you basically won by default. Take that crap out of your NES and slap in Contra. Please.

Sounds like Street Fighter II right? Yeah, you wish. This is the lamest fighter ever. Basically you mash buttons, jump around unrealistically like Dhalsim from SFII, and worst of all - you constantly attack in the wrong direction! You can even turn around and start fighting the air instead of your opponent! What the heck was Data East smoking when they made this crap?

Music? What music? Music is for chumps. You don't need music. You don't need a game with fighting mechanics that make sense. You don't need fluid controls. None of it! Basically, this game should have come with a reminder slapped on the cartridge to "Do Your Homework You Lazy Kid!" Seriously, the game is so terrible that homework feels like an exciting prospect after playing for about 8 minutes.

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A reminder like this on the game cartridge was printed in later edition North American cartridges. The game was used to get kids away from their Nintendo Entertainment System and back to work on homework.
A reminder like this on the game cartridge was printed in later edition North American cartridges. The game was used to get kids away from their Nintendo Entertainment System and back to work on homework.

Snoozefest

The game is literally so boring and awful that it might as well have come with a reminder to go do something more productive with your time right on the cartridge. Why fart around with your NES when you can do something like shaving your dog's ball sack, or licking filth off of the street? Even with this game being an early 1986 release, it's still poor by those standards. This game makes Excitebike seem like hours of fun in comparison. Excitebike was fun - but seriously - not that fun.

Is This Game Any Good at All?

  • I like this game a bit.
  • This game is okay.
  • This game totally, completely sucks.
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Kennedi Brown profile image

Kennedi Brown 2 years ago from Richlands, Virginia

That wasn't even GOODbad to the point where I can laugh at it, like Sonic 2006. It was just tedious. Maybe this game was a secret plot to make people think video games were so boring they weren't worth anyone's time.

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