Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu
Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, known in Japan as ジャッキー チェン [Jakki Chen] "Jackie Chan", is a platform beat-em-up developed by Now Production and published by Hudson Soft Company for the NES in 1990 and the TurboGrafx-16 in 1991. In the game, you play Jackie Chan who is trying to rescue his sister (or girlfriend in the TG16 game) who has been kidnapped by a Sorcerer.
I first heard about this game because it was a prize on a children's television game show, but I never saw it played until years later using an emulator. While the game looked good and seemed interesting, I first dismissed it as just another NES platformer. Years later, while looking for video game music to record, I played the game's NSF file and was impressed by the music. Wanting to know where in the game a particular song was played, I took to playing the game through and got to the third level. This was more than enough to demonstrate to me how enjoyable the game is, so I decided to play the game for real. On my second attempt, I was able to beat it.
I do not own the game, but I have beaten the NES version.
- Overall: 6/10
- Best Version: ?
- The game has really attractive graphics. The characters are well animated and feature some of the best cartoon drawings on the NES. May of the sprites are also hilarious.
- The music is also very impressive making good use of the hardware. The soundtrack uses a coherent timbre throughout the game and it has a wonderful traditional Japanese sound.
- The controls are very responsive and fluid.
- Each stage has a unique set of backgrounds, enemies, music, and a boss.
- I like how there are multiple secret stages, each which requires a new set of skills to master.
- Unlike many NES titles, the game isn't too difficult, which is a nice change of pace. Rather than kill you, areas with tricky jumps punish you by setting you back or merely injuring you.
- The game includes a lot of interesting Chinese and Japanese mythology.
- With only five levels, the game is too short. I would have loved to see another two or three levels.
- While I like that the game doesn't punish you unfairly for mistakes, it's a bit too easy with the default number of lives. They could halve this and it would be more realistic. The manual even gives you a cheat code to get 99 lives.
- There isn't much to explore in the game. Once you discover the hidden bells, you've found everything the game has to offer, and it's just a matter of honing your skills.
- Although the NES manual suggests that Jackie's sister Josephine is a Kung Fu master with abilities comparable to Jackie, she shows no skills whatsoever. The TG16 manual describes her as Jackie's girlfriend, which is probably why she's just another damsel in distress.
The American NES release has a nice colored-pencil drawing of a young Jackie Chan with kung fu silhouettes in the background. It certainly gets the point of the game across, but it doesn't quite address the silliness of the game. I don't care much for the gray backdrop or the lettering, but it's still my favorite box.
- mobygames.com/game/jackie-chans-action-kung-fu - MobyGames.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Chan%27s_Action_Kung_Fu - Wikipedia.
- gamefaqs.com/nes/563426-jackie-chans-action-kung-fu - GameFAQs (NES).