??!! ??? © 1994 Culture Brain
Osu!! Karatebu is a one-on-one fighting game by Culture Brain based on a popular Japanese manga series by Kouji Takahashi (it is apparently the first and only video game released for the franchise). The game stars the boisterous Takagi Yoshiyuki, the central character of the series and a skilled karate fighter who sits at the head of the youth gangs in Osaka. However, this enviable position of leadership comes with a lot of hate, and Takagi is frequently challenged by others would-be claimants for his title. Osu!! Karatebu consists of four play-modes - namely Story, Arcade, Versus and Team Battle. In story mode, the player takes control of Takagi and the narrative is told through elaborate anime-style cutscenes. The goal there is to fight against a variety of opponents in one-on-one battles, and for Takagi to ultimately train with the old and reputable K? Ry?un in an attempt to reach his full potential and become the Super Takagi! Unlike other typical fighting games, Osu!! Karatebu matches last for only one round - but there is an interesting twist to this formula. Each fighter comes with Konjou energy (spirit or Chi energy, symbolized by a blue bar located right below the health bar), and this feature is a core mechanic and essential to succeed in the game. This power can be used to survive a knock-out by hammering the action buttons (up to a certain limit), or to release powerful super attacks. These attacks come in two flavors - short range attacks can be charged up by holding any attack button, and highly powerful ones can be unleashed by pressing button combinations. However, this Konj? energy isn't easy to come by - the player starts with no energy at all (this can be changed in the option menu though), and the meter can be slowly charged up by holding any shoulder button while blocking, or by receiving a direct hit. Although Osu!! Karatebu only stars Takagi Yoshiyuki in story mode, the game nevertheless features twelve selectable fighters (as well as two hidden optional characters!).
* Unlock Honda Momochiyo and Super Takagi: On the title screen, press Left Shouder, Left, Down, B, A and Right Shouder. A sound (a scream) should confirm that the characters have been unlocked. Honda Momochiyo and Super Takagi should now be available to play in all the versus modes.