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Harte Kerle & weiche Birnen

body blows logo

Die Jungs von Team 17 haben zwar noch nicht viele Games produziert, dafür aber praktisch nur gute: Mit „Alien Breed", „Project X" und „Assassin" wurde bereits das Actiongenre geadelt, nun droht dem aktuellen Prügelkonig „Street Fighter II" der Knockout…

Body Blows Erfahrung mit digitalen Faustkampfen konnte das 17-er Team ja schon bei ihrem Erstlingswerk „Full Contact" sammeln, einer Karate-Klopperei, die hierzulande leider ziemlich untergegangen ist. Dieses traurige Schicksal dürfte dem Quasi-Nachfolger jedoch erspart bleiben, denn der hat momentan die Messlatte in Sachen Kontaktsport fest im Griff!

Noch ehe die erste Runde eingelautet wird, gilt es, sich im Optionsmenü durch eine Vielzahl von Einstellungen zu kämpfen: Das Zeitlimit für die einzelnen Fights kann auf 60 bzw. 90 Sekunden begrenzt oder ganz ausgeschaltet werden, die Anzahl der Runden lasst sich bis maximal drei varieren, und man muss sich entscheiden, ob mit oder ohne Begleitmusik aufeinander eingedroschen wird. Schliesslich ist noch die Frage nach dem gewünschten Spielmodus zu beantworten, denn neben Solo- und Zwei-Spieler-Auseinandersetzungen steht auch ein Turnier am Programm.

Einzelkampfer dürfen zunachst ihr digitales Alter Ego aus vier verschiedenen Radaubrudern wahlen, anschliessend werden sechs computergesteuerte Recken einer nach dem anderen vor jeweils neuen Hintergrunden aufgemischt. Wollen sich zwei Spieler gegenseitig auf's Kreutz legen, so stellen sich alle zehn Kampfmaschinen des Spiels zur Verfügung, dann muss noch der Austragungsort bestimmt werden - etwa die Wrestlinghalle, das Ghetto, die Baustelle oder ein Shaolin-Kloster. Jetzt steht man sich Auge in Auge gegenüber; auf Wünsch sogar im (aus „Streetfighter II" bekannten und dort nur uber einen Cheat erreichbaren) Championship-Modus, wo beide Kontrahenten mit demselben Recken antreten. Richtig furiös geht's dann freilich beim Tournament ab, wo sich bis zu acht Teilnehmer um den Monitor scharen dürfen! Hier wird bis zum Finalen Obermötz Mann gegen Mann bzw. Spieler gegen Spieler gekämpft, die Steuerung des Schlussgegners bleibt jedoch stets dem Rechner vorbehalten.

Bei einem derartigen Variantenreichtum ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass auch die Fighter allesamt mit einem individuellen Schlagrepertoire sowie ganz speziellen Fähigkeiten aufwarten. Dan beispielsweise ist relativ schnell, sehr beweglich und verfügt über Allround-Kenntnisse in Sachen Handkante und Fusstritte, seine Schlage fallen jedoch vergleichsweise schwach aus. Kossak hingegen ist ein wahres Kraftmonstrum - wo sein Ellbogen landet, da wächst kein Barthaar mehr! Jedoch ist der Kerl wegen seiner schweren Muskelpakete für flotte Hüpfer kaum zu gebrauchen. Maria wiederum ist gerade für ihre grazilen Sprungkicks bekannt und legt auch einen ebenso kunstvollen wie für den Gegner schmerzhaften Spagat auf's Parkett. Ob Streithahn oder Streithenne, alle halten sie zudem zwei spektakuläre Spezialschlage parat. Das klappt zwar nur mit einer prall gefüllten Energieleiste, dann aber fliegen Blitze durch die Arena, der Körper verwandelt sich in einen rotierenden Wirbelsturm oder ist nur noch verschwommen als nahezu unsichtbarer Schemen erkennbar.

Body Blows Die Abwechslung kennt also kaum Grenzen, doch wie sieht's mit der gerade für solche Programme so wichtigen technischen Umsetzung aus? Nun, wie von Team 17 nicht anders zu erwarten, wird der Amiga bis an seine Grenzen getrieben: Die diversen Hintergrund-Grafiken erstrahlen samt und sonders in vollen 32 Farben und sind teilweise so gar animiert, das horizontale (und auch ein wenig vertikale) Scrolling übertrifft alle Erwartungen, und die Kämpfer sind nicht nur schon gross und bunt gezeichnet, sie bewegen sich zudem ausserst behende über den Screen. Ja, auf dem A1200 fallt sogar das leichte Ruckeln weg, das allerdings selbst ungetunte „freundinnen" nur hochst selten belästigt. Die Läuscher dürfen sich während der Schlachten an zahlreichen Musikstucken sowie digitalisierten Schreien und Grunzem ergötzen, bisweilen tont darüberhinaus ein wenig Sprachausgabe aus den Boxen. Die Handhabung geht ebenfalls voll in Ordnung, selbst mit nur einer Floppy halten sich die Diskwechseleien in Grenzen.

Allesentscheidend ist freilich die Steuerung, denn mit ihr steht und fallt ja das Gameplay. Doch keine Sorge, gerade in diesem Punkt trümpft Body Blows so richtig auf: Endlich wird der Beweis angetreten, dass man auch ohne komplizierte Steuer-Kombinationen oder überbelegte Joypads problemlos satte 21 Schlage pro Mann und Nase verwalten kann - tatsächlich schlagt die so erreichte Spielbarkeit alles, was es bisher am Amiga an Vergleichbarem gab! Wenn es dennoch nicht ganz zum Hit reicht, dann deshalb, weil es an wirklich Unverbrauchten und ganzlich neuen Ideen letztlich halt doch mängelt und beim Kleinkram ein wenig gespart wurde: Warum wird die Highscoreliste nicht gespeichert, weshalb gibt es keine Bonusrunden? Doch von derlei Detailmangel sollten sich eingefleischte Raufbolde nun wirklich nicht abhalten lassen, denn unter dem Strich ist Body Blows das derzeitige Nonplusultra im Genre. Ein Salut für den neuen Konig der Gossenhauer! (rl)

Amiga Joker, April 1993, p.p.30-31

BODY BLOWS
(TEAM 17)
KAMPFSPORT
83%
"SAFTIG"
Amiga 
Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
82%
84%
79%
81%
85%
80%
VARIABEL: 2 STUFEN
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
3/JA
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Body Blows logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Have Team 17 come up with a contender for Street Fighter 2's crown? Tony Horgan dusts off his trunks and prepares to get pasted.

O body blows pinions on the Amiga version of Street Fighter 2 seem to be divided. While some maintain that it's a brilliant conversion of the best beat 'em up ever, others say it's a slow, barely playable game that's only got by on the strength of its illustrious coin-op cousin.
If you are of the former opinion, then fine, but I can't honestly say that I am. It could have been a lot faster, and the increase in speed would have resulted in smoother graphics, more responsive controls, and generally far superior gameplay. But it wasn't, and I'm still on the lookout for an Amiga beat 'em up to rival the console offerings. At least, I was, until Body Blows arrived.

YOU SPILL MY PINT?
So it's better than the legendary Street Fighter 2 then? In a word, yes, but of course it doesn't have the 'coin-op in your bedroom' appeal of the latter. If you've fallen for the charms of SF2 to such a degree that you can now be found prancing around the house in a pair of red underpants, pretending to be Zangief, then I'd say you need to see a doctor.
Okay, I don't want a show of hands, but if that sounds like you, then it's time you took off your Street Fighter blinkers (and put your trousers back on), and introduced yourself to the super speedy world of Body Blows.

CONSOLE YOURSELF
It's a strange state of affairs, isn't it? We're all singing the praises of the Amiga, saying how much better it is than consoles, but one of the highest compliments paid to the best Amiga games is that they're just like their console variants. Body Blows fits into that category, thanks to the slick programming and flashy graphics that have made Team 17 one of the most respected developers on the scene.
Originality doesn't come into it. We just want a decent arcade beat 'em up, and that's just what Body Blows is. It's not enough to just have a couple of characters these days, so this game offers a hefty 11 fighters. In one-player mode, you can choose to play as Nik, Junior, Dan or Lo Ray. Your first four opponents are roughly equal. To keep you interested in the early stages, you're pitted against them in a random order, so even if you're completely useless, you shouldn't find yourself getting pummelled by the same opponent all the time. There are two skill levels for the one-player mode, but you can only complete the game if you play it on the harder level - the easier mode stops the game just before you get get to Max, the final big champ.

Two-player mode lets you take control of any character except Max. Player two can choose the same character, which should settle all those 'it's not fair, I've got a weaker character!' arguments. There's also a tournament mode - not a simultaneous multi-player free-for-all unfortunately, but a kind of round robin competition with up to eight human players randomly drawn against each other.

TODAY'S SPECIAL
Apart from a wide variety of characters, the other essential ingredient for a good beat' em up is special moves. Each character has his or her own special moves, generally two each, but some have a third. The trouble is, standard joysticks just have a single button, so some of the moves aren't as accessible as they might be. Even so, whoever you're controlling, you've always got a repertoire of high and low kicks and punches, available from the usual fire-button/joystick combinations.
Depending on the current character, you've usually got at least one hot move that's accessible from the normal joystick positions, but for the real super-special 'stitch that mate' moves, you've got to hold down the fire button and store up a bit of 'Chi'. Once your inner strength reaches a climax, you automatically let rip with your trump card (fortunately, minus that irritating 'Hiujit!' grunt that emanates from SF2).

MR SMOOTHIE
So the screenshots look good, it's got loads of tasty features, and best of all, it lives up to all this when it comes to gameplay! If you've played any of Team 17's games in the past, such as Project X or Alien Breed, you'll know the kind of technical standards to expect. The game runs at 50 frames per second, so the scrolling and sprite animation are really smooth. The other advantage of the fast pace is the good joystick response - there's none of that horrible squishy feel you get from certain other beat 'em ups.
Some of the backdrops aren't as ornate as SF2, but they're all pretty big, with little incidental animations of bongo-playing Buddhist monks and excited onlookers. It's unlikely that you'll notice much of the background activity though, because the action is so fast you can't take your eyes off the players for a split second. As far as I can tell, there's no 'safe' move.

Even so, the computer-controlled characters could do with a bit more intelligence. The lower-ranked fighters seem to give a more varied performance, drawing on the whole range of moves. As you progress, the fights get a little more predictable: a few blows are exchanged, then the computer player decides he should be winning and launches into a massive attack of special moves, before setting down again, then repeating the process.
The game is at its best in two player mode. The option to pit any two characters against each other, gives a lot of scope. Whether your sparring partner is completely inept or a video wizard, you can always set up a reasonably matched fight, and best of all, you can both play the same character. Street Fighter 2 was declared the best ever beat 'em up on the Amiga, but its reign was a short one - Body Blows has just taken the title with a knockout in the first round. Slick graphics, decent soundtrack, and palm-sweatingly frantic gameplay make this one a must for anyone with a penchant for mindless violence. Don't miss this one.

CU Amiga, April 1993, p.p.54-56

Arenas in Body Blows
Here's selection of some of the areas where you'll be meeting your foes. They range from a wrestling ring to a Buddhist temple. Overall, the backdrops are nothing to shout about, but who cares 'cos the game plays so well.

TEAM 17 £26.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
TEAM 17, MARWOOD HOUSE, GARDEN STREET, WAKEFIELD, WEST YORKSHIRE, WF1 1DX. TEL: 0924 291867.
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
OUT NOW
BEAT ‘EM UP
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
3
1-8
NO
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
84%
90%
84%
95%
The best Amiga beat' em up money can buy.
OVERALL: 91%

THE CONTENDERS
Meet the gang 'cos the boys are here, the boys to put you in hospital...
Nik
NIK
He reckons he's tough, our Nik. You can tell, because he goes around in a baseball cap and ripped jeans. As it happens, he's tough. Being the leader of a local gang, he gets plenty of practice when it comes to punch-ups, and packs a hefty uppercut. Such is his hatred for his elder brother Dan, that he can channel his rage into a bolt of pure electricity.
dan
DAN
Big brother of Nik, Dan has a remarkably similar fighting style. He's also a bit of a gangster, and has prefected the family specialty of lightning bolt emission. He seems a bit of a sad character actually, tagging along in his little brother's footsteps, but when it comes to the crunch, he's as tough as the next man.
Junior
JUNIOR
Billed as a 'solid British boxing bulldog', Junior has learned his trade through the years of sparring with the best in the world. Now he's thrown Queensberry rules to the wind and wouldn't think twice about giving you a good kicking, above or below the belt. Junior's trump card is a blindingly fast flurry of jabs from his iron fist.
Lo Ray
LO RAY
And you thought monks were soft? Lo Ray gave up his strict Buddhist life at the Shaolin Temple, lured by the big bucks of prize fighting. His discipline has served him well enough, enabling him to withstand extreme pain, leap around with the agility of a cat, and perform a deadly kind of flying cartwheel move that never fails to flatten his opponents (well, almost never anyway, but that doesn't sound good, does it?).
Cossak
COSSAK
Much as he tries to deny it, Cossak used to be part of the USSR national dancing team, and has a whole cabinet full of trophies and medals proudly displayed back at his mother's home in Moscow. Infuriated that his dancing secrets were revealed, he set about building himself the perfect body. A true man of steel, Cossak is almost unbreakable. The price he pays for this unbelievable strength is a severe lack of speed. This doesn't usually bother him though - a few clouts from his gargantuan forearms and his opponents are out for the count.
Dug
DUG
At last, someone with a sense of humour! Dug is like those old wrestlers you used to get on World of Sport on Sunday mornings (before American wrestling took over). Most of the time he just flails his arms around like a six month-old baby, but his flying body splash is one to look out for. Dug's special move? He's got such a gut on him that he can jump up in the air and cause a mini-earthquake as he lands, sending devastating shockwaves through any opponent.
Maria
MARIA
Equal opportunities have given Maria the chance of a bit of a fisticuff with the boys. Lithe in her skin-tight outfit, she uses her stunning looks to distract her opponents form the job in hand. Unfortunately, Maria is rather outclassed in the power stakes, but her speed goes some way to balancing things out. If all fails, she can call upon her 'spin around very fast and bump into you' special move.
Ninja
NINJA
Just so you don't forget his name, Ninja insists on yelling it out every time he gets a little distressed. At best, he's a tricky one to handle, using his powers of invisibility to evade your attacks, deftly stabbing you with feet, fists and a glinting blade. At worst, he's a spinning ball of razor-sharp steel and flying limbs. Definitely a cut above your average Ninja.
Mike
MIKE
Something big in the city, or so he'd like to think. Mike isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and mix it with the best of them. They call him the Grey Man, but underneath that drab 'man from Accounts' exterior, Mike is actually a bit of a nutter. Like the Raybans concealing concealing his emotions, his orthodox fighting style conceals his ability to transform himself into a whirlwind.
Yit-U
YIT-U
Yit-U is certainly not a character to be messed with. What he lacks in family history, amusing anecdotes and general personality, he makes up for with a weird special move. One secpnd, he can be at an apparently safe distance on the other side of the screen, but within the blink of an eye, he can turn himself into a blur of proton particles, and rematerialise right in front of you, piling a nosebreaking punch right in your face. Who needs personality anyway?
Max
MAX
The overall champ, Max is just a general all-round hardman. If you get this far, you deserve to give him a right pasting. Whether you will or not is another matter entirely. I won't spoil it for you by spilling the beans, but he's got a pretty dirty trick up his sleeves - all is not what it seems!
 


Schöne Schatten

Body Blows logo...  ENHANCED VERSION

Während der 1200er noch bis Herbst auf seine Spezialversion warten muß, dürfen Amigas alter Schule bereits härter zuschlagen - Team 17 hat eine verbesserte Fassung des Prügelknallers nachgereicht!

body blows Was soll man über dieses Spiel sagen, das nicht schon im Test der April-Ausgabe breitgetreten wurde? Etwa, daß man allein, zu zweit oder gar mit bis zu acht Teilnehmern aufeinander einprügeln kann? Oder daß hier vom Fettklops über eine schlagfertige Lady bis zum Ninja alle möglichen Kämpfer vor allen möglichen Kulissen gegeneinander antreten? Geschenkt, wenden wir uns lieber den Neueringen zu.

Am augenfälligsten sind natürlich die optischen Korrekturen: so werfen die Sprites neuerdings Schatten, was nicht nur gut aussieht, sondern auch zur besseren Übersicht beiträgt. Vor allem aber wirbeln die Update-Fighter deutlich rasanter über den Screen was das ehemals schon flotte Tempo zur Blitz-Klopperei geräten läßt! Die restlichen Änderungen betreffen den Spielablauf. Ab sofort dürfen auch Solisten das Zeitlimit ausschalten und die Anzahl der Runden bestimmen, außerdem wurde die Charakterauswahl im Solo-Modus von vier auf zehn Kämpen erweitert.

Somit ist das Update ein klarer Schritt nach vorne; gut, daß ab sofort alle Originale in der neuen Version ausgeliefert werden. Besser noch, daß auch alte Haudegen in den Genuß der Verbesserungen kommen: Einfach die erste Disk (und nur die!) in einen Umschlag stecken, vom Postamt einen Internationalen Antwortschein über 2,50 englische Pfund besorgen, selbigen dazupacken und das Ganze an Team 17, Marwood House, Garden Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1, 1DX schicken - und schon bald wird schöner, schneller und schattiger gekloppt! (rl)

Amiga Joker, June 1993, p.100

BODY BLOWS UPDATE
(TEAM 17)
KAMPFSPORT
84%
"NOCH SAFTIGER"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
83%
86%
79%
81%
85%
81%
VARIABEL: 2 STUFEN
PREIS DM 79,- (BZW. 2.50 £)
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
3/JA
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Body Blows logo...  ENHANCED VERSION  CU Amiga Super Star

TEAM 17 OUT NOW £2.99 OUT NOW
body blows
B ody Blows is without doubt one of the star performers so far this year, knocking most other games for six. As if it was not good enough already, Team 17 have produced an upgrade disk to further extend its packed list of features.
This is to Body Blows what the Turbo Edition is to Street Fighter. Speed is the major factor in the enhanced game. It is much faster than the original, running at almost twice the speed of the A600 version. The immense difference this makes to the challenge is almost reason enough to buy the disk, but it does not stop there.

You can now control all 10 characters in one player mode, which is excellent fun. And just in case you are having difficulty with the increased speed you are also given extra credits to extend the playing time. The strengths of the players have also been altered so some are not as strong as they used to be, while others are a lot tougher. Finally there have been a few minor changes, the most notable of which is the addition of shadows under the fighters. All you are required to do to take advantage of this offer is send back your boot disk with a check for £2.99 which is a paltry sum for the extra features on offer.

This is an exceptional offer and let us hope that more software houses follow suit. Not only does it nobble the pirates, it also extends the longevity of the game. If you have Body Blows and like it, you would be out of your tree to miss this offer.

The address to send your disk to is: Body Blows Upgrade Offer, Team 17, Marwood House, Garden Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1DX.
Mark Patterson

93%

CU Amiga, July 1993, p.59