Taekwondo Grand Prix – Review

There was a time where a player could only find fighting games on consoles. Thankfully after many years we can find many different fighting games, from well known IPs to indie specific sub-genres. One of them is Taekwondo Grand Prix by Hello There Games.

This is a 2D perspective game with 3D modelled characters that puts you in the place of a Taekwondo fighter, battling others in the dojang. The game is very light in content and that is expected, since it is a remaster from their previous mobile game.


Taekwondo Grand Prix is fast and its fighting mechanics are really interesting and responsive, even if you only play with a keyboard and not a gamepad. The moves are motion captured from professional athletes and the realism shows, you can feel the impact of every kick as it hits. Besides the movement keys you’ve got a block key, a dodge key and six more keys that let you do a variation of kicks, punches and strong kicks, that you can also change depending on the direction you press on your keyboard. The strategic element is there, since you can block high or low, dodge a kick and immediately answer with one of yours.

The fact that the game is fast means that some times you can get by with button mashing, since the opponent can’t really read the moves easily, something that can happen to you too. To counter that, there’s a stamina bar that depletes depending on what moves you perform. If it reaches below a certain threshold you risk getting knocked out if a heavy kick hits you. The problem I found though is that your stamina depletes even if you guard without the opponent hitting you. Seems a bit unrealistic to me, since guarding is considered time to take a breather.


Taekwondo Grand Prix is unfortunately missing a lot of content and the content it has at this moment can’t keep someone playing for long. The game is focused on multiplayer, with options to play against a friend, against random players or take part in the ranked season, competing for actual physical prizes, which is really interesting. I live in Europe and I tried finding a match, with no luck. I tried two different times of different days, let the game search for an opponent for twenty minutes and in the end I even changed server to North America. I could not find a game against a player. I checked the steam community page and it seems others have the same problem, the servers are underpopulated.


The single player content is also very light, you can only train or play an endless mode where you fight AI opponents that become increasingly harder. There is no tournament or a story mode to keep someone playing for long and aim for something. There is no reward after a fight to make you feel like you achieved something.


You can chose one of 7 players but since they wear the same suit and head gear you don’t feel you play with different characters, they don’t have something to make them look different or unique. The devs also say there are four dojang stages but I could only play in one, I didn’t find an option to change and it didn’t change on its own as I started each fight. I got tired of watching the same visuals after a while.


What I would suggest is a single player story mode that would keep a player entertained for a couple of hours. Hopefully, if the single player experience is good enough players will start populating the servers and we could actually enjoy the multiplayer. Karate Master Knock Down Blow 2 did that very fine. It wasn’t the best story mode, but you don’t need the best, you need people playing the game. Which is a shame at the moment because the mechanics are good.

You can find Taekwondo Grand Prix on Steam. At the moment of this review the game is on sale, 75% off and it costs 2,04€.


VERDICT

Taekwondo Grand Prix is a fighting game with good and fast mechanics, kicks that you can feel the impact but unfortunately with very light single player content and pretty much non existent player base to populate the multiplayer servers. It needs a lot of content to even entertain the players for a couple of hours, which it can’t do at the moment.



+ Fast gameplay
+Good mechanics

-Very light single player content
-Underpopulated servers which makes multiplayer useless
-Fighters look the same
-I could only play in one dojang

Score : 5,5/10

~Dimitris “Dimi Kaye” Kalyvas

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