Creator Defends Karateka Rhythm Game Mechanics

The remake was designed to introduce new ideas to modern gamers

The remake of Karateka launched in late 2012 came under attack for its limited playtime and rhythm-based combat, but the creator of the game believes that they exist in order to remind players of what games offered in the past.

Jordan Mechner believes that gamers need to be reminded of the days when you could pick up a video game and complete it in a gaming session no longer than 40 minutes.

Speaking with Touch Arcade, he states, “And yet, even after you’ve finished the story and rescued Mariko, you might still want to pick it up later that day and just play it again to try and reach a happier ending.”

The developer also approached the idea of rhythm-based combat, which has had limited appeal to players.

He added, “I was looking for a way to update the combat in a way that would create a cinematic feeling, and also that sort of feeling of back and forth that we also had with the Apple II game – so that it wouldn’t just be a button masher.”

The aim for the design on Karateka was to deliver a game experience that was easy to learn for all players and allow them to have fun while trying to defeat a variety of enemies.

The most interesting aspect of the new game is the way it adjusts difficulty by allowing the player to lose characters as the game progresses.

Mariko would like to be rescued by her true love, who is gracious in combat but has limited hit points, but most players will only be able to get to her using the Monk or the Brawler, who have more powerful moves and can take more damage.

Karateka can be played on the Xbox 360 from Microsoft, the PlayStation 3 from Sony, the PC and devices that use the iOS.

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