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The ten greatest martial artists have returned to Brutal Island to compete against each other for the coveted Belt of Heaven. The ritual occurs every four years as the combatants are invited to the great Dali Llama's private isle in a test of the best warriors. Not only does he judge them on pure fighting ability but how far they possess the "warrior spirit" as well.
Brutal: Above the Claw is a fighting game designed with cartoon characters as the central warriors. Each of the ten main fighters has a diverse background, distinctive abilities and moves and represents one of the paths of wisdom. The character-fighters and their paths include Kung Fu Bunny (understanding), Tai Cheetah (mindfulness), Kendo Coyote (resolve), Rhei Rat (speech/action), Prince Leon the Lion (effort), Foxy Roxy (livelihood), Chung Poe (power), Psycho Kitty (love), Ivan the Bear (action) and The Dali Llama (meditation).
Two additional characters are available, The Pantha, a bloodthirsty beast, and Karate Croc, an interloper with no training who feels qualified enough to join the fight. As in most fighting games, you choose one of two combatants and fighting consists mainly of punching and kicking with specific moves attached to each fighter's style — squats, spins, crouches, sweeps and so forth.
The player gains levels, or belts, as fights are completed successfully. Only after completing the game at the black belt level or higher is a code given that allows you to fight as the Dali Llama. The manual includes full background histories of each fighter as well as a short glossary of martial arts terms.
Get ready to kick cartoon butt in a game with stylized combat, philosophical overtones and a diverse set of martial arts characters in Brutal: Above the Claw. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide