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K-1 Pocket Gran Prix
  opened by paleface at 03:18:52 11/23/04  
  last modified by paleface at 03:27:36 11/23/04  
  paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Fighting; loc=NA]
Beefy super-deformed licensed kick-boxing fighter from Konami. Really well produced with nice fighting moves on the fighters and good sound effects. There don't appear to be very many stadium backgrounds, but there are a lot of fighters, so that more than makes up for it.
Each fighter has his own repertoire of punches and kicks and of course two or three super moves, which can be just really hard punches and kicks, or a flurry combo or something. You get four super charges per round, which you can use for those supers or just to engage a brief speed-up mode where you get a little afterimage and can attack really fast.
Left shoulder button is guard/dodge/shimmy and right activates the speed boost. These work pretty well, good choice not to put attack buttons up there. There's no jumping in the game which feels weird if you approach the game like a regular 2D fighter, but on the other hand that gives you another type of kick/punch (up+button). Also, it let them make the fighters pretty darn tall onscreen.
The kicks and punches fly thick and fast, but there's some strategery here as well. If you attack too hard you'll run down your power meter and won't be doing much damage. On the other hand, you can target a particular body section, such as the legs, and if you get some good hard hits in there, the opponent could just crumple even though they have lots of health left (Hoost is just deadly at the leg thing). You can also just hold out for clinches and try to get a TKO with knockout moves. Oh, and there's a tiny window right after the opponent starts a super, wherein if you can hit them with a quick jab they'll get knocked out of their super. With all this stuff in the mix fights tend to have a distinct flow to them, with both sides trying to get in a good rhythm, but also trying to watch out for that quick knockout.
You have Gran Prix mode, in which you fight through a bunch of people to win the championship, and various custom bracket team/tournament modes, as well as a Vs. against the computer (Super Fight) and a Training mode. There's also a link-up mode, but I haven't tried that and probably never will.
The fighters don't seem incredibly balanced, some just go down like tissue before others, but I suppose that's sorta realistic, and this way you can challenge yourself by taking a weaker fighter. Gran Prix wasn't really too tough on Normal difficulty (the default, and lowest), but then again I was using Hoost, who rocks.
Oh I guess I'll list the fighters, spellings are from the manual:
Ernest Hoost
Alexey Ignashov
Nobuaki Kakuda
Jerome Le Banner
Cyril Abidi
Stefan Leko
Nicholas Pettas
Peter Aerts
Francisco Filho
Mike Bernardo
Mirco Cro Cop
Jorgen Kruth
Ray Sefo
Oh yeah, the game has a zoom thing when you move near and far from the opponent, to keep both characters in view like in Samurai Shodown. It isn't too pretty zoomed out, but you really don't spend much time far away unless you're trying to regain some health/stamina by resting for a moment.
Each fighter has a taunt, and then when they win the do a signature little victory pose, and most of those are pretty funny (they even got Hoost's little dance in there :).

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