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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Art of Fighting: Parlor Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 30, 2010   |   Episode 6 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Art of Fighting: Parlor Games
[ Console: Neo Geo | Year: 1992 | Grade: B ]

"Don't worry about it, Robert. I found the bottle opener right here. Okay, fine, if you insist ..."
The Context: Talk about a bad day. Your sister has been kidnapped by Mr. Big, the biggest, meanest gang leader in town. To make matters worse, you're going to have to fight through a bunch of his heavies just to earn the chance to go cheesy name to cheesy name with him. Do you ignore all of the warnings and go fight for your sister, or are you the type of jerk that turns tail and runs away? If you're Ryo you get your best friend and you beat up just about anybody who has even heard of Mr. Big. Along the way he'll need to test his accuracy in a number of parlor games, including uncapping beer bottles and breaking a block of ice. Let's hope Ryo can cleaning prepare those beers, because his sister is scared and helpless.

The Rules: As players progress through the city, they'll be given the option to play one of three mini-games. The first is the most iconic, a trick that requires opening five beer bottles at the same time. The other two modes has players breaking ice blocks and throwing fireballs

These three mini-games will help you earn new skills and abilities!
at lumber. To successfully complete each bonus stage one will have to time their hit perfectly. At the top of the screen a power meter quickly fills up, the object is to push it as close to full power as possible. Complete this task and earn a brand new powerful move that will help you battle Mr. Big and his lackies.

The Verdict: I like that Art of Fighting allows for three choices, just in case you

While I have nothing against these three bonus stages, they aren't a good enough reason for you to pick up this anthology disc!
had a preference. All three of these stages are short and simple; just long enough to break up the nonstop fisticuffs. The three stages have similar gameplay, so there's not a lot of preparation needed. Still, I wish these three stages were more relevant to the storyline. I also can't help but notice that these stages feature animation that looks suspiciously similar to things found in other Neo Geo games of the era. But who cares if these are half-assed or not, they are easy to learn and offer a substantial reward upon completion. If that's not the recipe for a successful bonus stage, I don't know what is.

Completely Missing the Point: "Hello, is this Ryo? You don't know me, but my name is Cyril. I just knew you would be hanging out at that bar opening beer for complete strangers. Call it a hunch. Anyway, I'm calling to remind you that your sister is being held against her will in a deep, dark dungeon. I haven't been there, but I have a postcard from the last tenant and trust me, you won't be making a return visit to this place! Perhaps it's time to put down the beer and start thinking about your sister. After all, this has always been her biggest complaint. You never listen and you only think about yourself. Nag, nag, nag. I totally understand being happy she's not around, but it's time to do the right thing and save the woman that has always been there for you. She's been there in the best and worst of times, maybe you can repay the favor by saving her from rape and torture. It's the least you can do."
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