I love the Wii very much, but what concerns me is the number of games that have almost made it into my regular playlist.

Sadly, All Star Karate by THQ falls into that category.

This is the kind of game a 13-year-old boy would get off their nan at Christmas, having asked for a fighter such as Capcom vs. Tatsunoko, which oozes style, substance and excitement.

I can see the face of that child, as I was once one myself, doing his best to feign excitement at a game he's not really heard of (never a good sign), and is not the one he asked for.

"Well he likes fighting and karate, and this one looks fun," thought nan as she shopped in the alien world of Game or HMV, unaware of the great differences from game to game and the importance of getting that one must-have title.

Surrey Comet: Game review: All Star Karate - Nintendo Wii

For an all out brawler this is not - it's more of a karate simulator mixed with a rhythm dancing game, in which the Wiimote must be moved in a certain way, at a certain time to maximise the effect of the attacks or carry out combos etc.

Initially the game promises much fun. Your customisable character (limited at first, but the options keep expanding) goes to the rescue of a strange old man being attacked by ninjas. In exchange for your help, he offers to train you in karate.

The one player story mode works fine eventually, but 13-year-old Timmy may well have lost interest by the time the fun stuff actually starts, because the tutorial is an absolute monster.

Every move is gone through, from the simple punch (move Wiimote or nunchuk forward), to the slightly more difficult kicks (hold button and move Wiimote or nunchuk).

While it initially prospers from feeling similar to the discipline needed to master a martial art, it becomes so tiresome so early on that you really have to persevere to get anywhere decent, and your arms will ache before you've made a dent.

Surrey Comet: Game review: All Star Karate - Nintendo Wii

Between each tutorial is a stupidly lengthy cut scene. Well, I say cut scene, in reality it harks back to the early console games which had a set background and characters with voice bubbles whose lips move and nothing else, as the story unfolds, leaving you angry and pressing buttons as fast as you can to get through the damn thing.

This is clearly aimed at younger gamers (again) but the developer forgets too easily that younger gamers these days have short attention spans, and the ones who do have the tenacity to continue are more likely to be found learning actual kata routines ahead of the ones in this game (you can design your own, which is mildly satisfying but still pointless in the grand scheme of things).

There are mini-games interspersed throughout the story mode, which provide some relief, but again it's a case of trying to get through as quickly as possibly, getting increasingly infuriated at the constant interruptions, load times and other such nonsense.

I quite like the look of the game - it's a nice cartoony-style with decent looking in-game characters, and a couple of the mini-games are decent enough, but personally I'd rather use my motion plus sword in Wii Sports Resort and if I want to give someone a good kicking I will stick to Brawl or the aforementioned slug-fest by Capcom.

I could go on about gripes with the sensitivity of the motion controls (yes, the perennial favourite problem rears its head again), or the silly waggling that is the two player versus mode, or the lack of scope to freestyle effectively and put together combos, but I won't.

Surrey Comet: Game review: All Star Karate - Nintendo Wii

Retailing at a lower price than a full Wii game, this effort is yet another almost.

I do not think the low price will entice too many people - this would have been better placed on the virtual console.

It does not offer the fitness benefits it could have, nor does it allow for easy pick up and play action.

As it stands, I will look out for All Star Karate II, with the hope it will improve on its predecessor's efforts and offer a bit more fighting fun.

Until then, I'm back fighting as Donkey Kong in Brawl.

Good points
In game characters look nice
Tries something a bit different
Some entertainment from mini-games
Customisable characters

Bad points Lengthy, boring tutorial
Control niggles
Supposed depth is in reality quite shallow
1980s cut scenes
Poor two player effort

Rating: Chopping through five blocks of concrete out of 10, resulting in a broken wrist.