All Star Karate

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
All Star Karate Game Poster Image
Control problems mar mediocre martial arts adventure.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Overall, the messages are positive: Physical fitness, practice, discipline, and pride in your achievements.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Your character is a boastful, overconfident youth who learns discipline through karate. All of that is good. He (or she, depending on your choice) does, however, follow a strange man that he just met to a little beach shack in order to learn karate from him. Following a stranger is behavior that is troubling and ought to be discussed with your child.

Ease of Play

The motion controls are very finicky and tempermental. There are many times you are sure you just made the appropriate movement, and you get a big "FAIL!" across the screen. Also, the story progresses through a complicated flow chart of "scenes" that is bizarrely hard to follow.

Violence & Scariness

Your character will kick and punch at opponents, but mostly in training sessions or competitions, not actual fights. Winning means scoring points for successful moves, forcing an opponent out of the ring, or wearing down his energy meter. People are visibly knocked back when hit and make groaning sounds. In certain mini-games, you will also chop and break inanimate objects.

Language

No bad language, but in one mini-game, you can hit a whoopee cushion, which will make it's signature sound when you do.

Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Star Karate is an active Wii game that will require your kids to move around a bit while playing, but that it is entertainment and in no way an actual form of martial arts instruction. Its instructions are not always clear and the controls can feel glitchy at times.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In ALL STAR KARATE, a young man (or woman -- your choice) tries to come to the aid of an old man beset by a group of ninjas on the street. But it turns out the old guy doesn't need any help -- he's a karate master. But he thinks you have potential, so he invites you back to his beach shack (which houses its own \"Danger Room\") and teaches you martial arts so you can enter tournaments and work your way up to black belt. Under the tutelage of the overweight, Hawaiian shirt-wearing sensei (a bizarre amalgam of Santa Claus and Jimmy Buffet), you win competitions and eventually even take on the ninjas.

Is it any good?

All Star Karate tries hard, but never quite succeeds. The developers seem to have known they were working with low-budget-looking animation for the cut scenes, so they tried to camp up the story, sound effects, and voice acting, which helps a bit. But campiness can't alleviate confusing instructions or troublesome control mechanics. And the story flow chart -- you click on the scene you want to play, which after completion unlocks new scenes on different paths -- is just plain confusing. It's very easy to accidentally replay a scene you already did or get lost and literally not know where the next open scene is on the chart. All Star Karate has its heart in the right place, but can't get past its development problems.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about taking karate classes in real life. Does playing this game make you interested in learning a real martial art? How different do you think a real karate lesson would be from the ones depicted in the game?

  • You can play the game as either a girl or boy. Would you ever choose to play as the opposite gender? Why or why not?

  • The main character chooses to follow a stranger to his shack by the beach to learn karate. Families can talk about how going anywhere with a stranger is not appropriate or safe behavior.

Game details

Themes & Topics

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