There is something unabashedly entertaining about cheesy martial arts combat, and Haiiii-Ya! (published by A-I Games) manages to capture this feeling exceptionally well. Haiiii-Ya! is a hybrid of a miniatures game and a role-playing game, and can be played effectively in both formats. Either way, the result is a fast and funny game that prides itself on its own ridiculousness.
The game is most similar to a role-playing game, as players make characters and control them throughout each session. However, Haiiii-Ya! is as much about style as it is about substance, so some seemingly unimportant things can have a significant impact on your character. Your character has such traditional role-playing components as statistics, movement, and powers, but the fun comes from the non-traditional aspects. Each character must choose a “side”—Good Guy, Bad Guy, or Ronin. Each “side” has certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, a Bad Guy can summon nameless thugs at any time, but always becomes overconfident at the end of the fight and has bad luck. In addition, your character has a Signature Quote and a Signature Move. Your Signature Quote can be used to stun opponents, but can’t have more words than your Brains attribute. Similarly, your Signature Move gains a bonus to attack that’s equal to the number of words in its name, which the player must shout out when he uses it.
Though the game does have solid combat mechanics, its best feature is its sense of humor. It is designed around having quick, ridiculous battles with outrageous powers, and it embraces this fact. You will laugh when you play this game and you will enjoy it. Pick up a copy today.