Martial Arts Themed MMORPGs

Guns are for pansies. I’m sure Bruce Lee would have echoed that sentiment as he was snapping thugs’ necks with lightning fast kicks and one-inch punching them to kingdom come. Ok, so maybe Indiana Jones had a slight advantage when he drew his pistol against that sword-wielding show-off, but he was still a fan of a good left hook. Although people like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan are the poster boys of the martial art movie genre, I doubt they would ever sit down and player an MMO themed around their passion for ass-kicking, but martial arts MMOs are a good way for us regular folk to experience lots of karate chop action without actually having to nurse broken limbs.

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Dragon Oath – One of Many Martial Arts themed MMORPGs

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” – Lao-Tzu

In December 2010, the MMO churner Perfect World Entertainment launched Legend of Martial Arts open beta, a light-hearted game with a couple of nifty features. First off, there’s in-dungeon PVP, meaning that not only do players have to take on monsters, but they have to watch their backs to see if others are sneaking up to take a quick kill. Another nice touch is the vast array of items players can get hold of that will transform them into creatures or even items. This means that you can swig some of this juice, or whatever it is, to become a dragon or a wolf, which will buff your stats, or just turn into a lamp post, which is just for a laugh I suppose.

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Legend of Martial Arts Gameplay Screenshot

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities” – Bruce Lee

Whilst Legend of Martial Arts is taking its first baby steps into the world, there’s no doubt that one of the most famous MMOs of the genre, World of Kung Fu is still chugging along nicely. Although the game is situated in a mythical land, the world does feature Chinese territories and Chinese traditional culture. When a player creates a new character they don’t choose a class, but must venture out to create their own style of Kung Fu using skill books. World of Kung Fu also has its own transformation system using cards to re-skin players into a host of cool things, including Bruce Lee in his yellow Game of Death jumpsuit.

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World of Kung Fu – One of Many Martial Arts themed MMORPGs

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” – Chinese proverb

If you’re looking not just for the Kung Fu look, but also some accurate martial arts then Blade Wars has you covered. Developed in China by ChangYou, Blade Wars has gone as far as recruiting a Sanchou champion to help get the moves as realistic as possible. The game boasts a whopping 398,000 actual Kung Fu moves and 99 different combat styles. Ok, maybe Bruce Lee would have enjoyed this.

There are a slew of other martial arts titles to get stuck into if you’re that way inclined, including Twelve Sky 2, Dragon Oath and Jade Dynasty, each having their own special features. Whether you want to play in a land that is completely made-up or one that parallels ancient China or other countries, there’s something out there for everyone who prefers using their fists instead of a pistol.

By, Scott Malthouse

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