Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Shaolin Road Reviewed by Chad Reinhardt on . Rating: 20%
Shaolin Road
Shaolin Road
  • Review Score:

  • D
Very little is known about this game, aside from what I've ascertained by playing. No one is a talking about this one online; they probably don't want anyone to know they've actually experienced the tragically ludicrous adventure of which we are about to embark. Shaolin Road tries to be an open-ended kung fu experience like no other...which I guess it sort of is. There are very few kung fu oriented games that manage to cheapen the centuries old majesty of martial arts in less than five minutes!

Insert recycled, hackneyed plot here: old martial arts warrior is slain at the hands of the evil emperor, and it is up to one man to avenge his death by mastering a deluge of varied karate-type skills. See what I mean? Definitely not the stuff of legends here. This is yet another in a long, sorrowful line of CDi games that are animated in a very unappealing fashion. The colors are bright, and the characters themselves are void of any shading or detail.

This game aims to determine how long you are actually going to play it right out of the gate. When you are given control of the cursor, your first task is to choose your belt. This serves to protect you from the royal ass-whooping you will receive from characters you meet, if this is your first time playing. However, by choosing the white belt, for safety reasons, your interactions with characters will be extremely brief, and lead you to believe your character is just an oaf in white pants and no shirt that no one else takes seriously. You approach a character, click on them (as they are usually the only thing you can click on once approached) and receive a short, curt message about how you are foolish, and the next scene shows your character galumphing away to the next rejection. Talk about edge of your seat thrills combined with deep character interaction! And in the same game, no less!

Occasionally you will find a trial to complete which play as clunky arcade-style mini-games. You will have to shoot a snake into a basket with a bow and arrow (?), engage in some fast-paced kung fu matches, or play a tedious memory game with Chinese characters. All of these games play poorly, but do provide a break from the monotonous walking around aimlessly.

You really shouldn't have one of these systems, unless you're a collector like me and need every system, regardless of quality. Such is the plight of the collector; one must often sacrifice quantity for quality. This is a superb example of that struggle.
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