All aboard the 8-bit express, Prince of Persia developer Jordan Mechner's 2D classic Karateka returned in all new 3D rendering in late 2012, all new HD graphics and visuals that stand out really well. The characters, playable and none playable however, appear rather chiseled with too much upper chest muscle (showing off a Jonny Bravo physique) and not possessing the ability to talk, all in all renders characters too animated (cartoon) and unrelatable due to lack of personality.
The story of Karateka is rather basic, you are one of three characters (suitors) out to stop the evil warlord Akuma and rescue a held captive princess Mariko. The three playable protagonists are Mariko's true love, a brute or a monk all following the same plot and path that renders the brute and monk needless as main protagonists.
The game-play is very simplistic and linear, full exploration of your surroundings cannot be found in Karateka, no you will simply follow the path in front of you (like a one way system) defeat Akuma's guards until you reach your goal. Upon engaging combat with a guard, you'll block his attacks (mainly one, two maybe three max) and strike back with a combination of attacks, but only using two buttons that are provided for the game-play controls. Fighting well will also help to build up Chi, allowing you to stun your opponents so you can deal more damage while their guard is down, you may get hit a couple of times but eventually it becomes predictable to know when your opponent is about to strike. But in case you should ever need to heal on your journey into the fortress you will find bundles of Mariko's flowers that will fill your health gauge back up to full.
Karateka may not have the most solid game-play or story that will entice you every step of the way but for a retro arcade beat em up it can certainly keep you entertained enough if all you're looking for is a simple none frustrating game with stunning background visuals, easy to use two button controls.