Monday, November 8, 2010

Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage | Review

Synopsis: Fans of the anime series, Fist of the North Star, have a reason to rejoice with the release of Ken’s Rage, a new beat em up from Koei. You play through the game as Ken and have the ability to play as other unlockable survivors through progression, each with their own special moves and techniques. With a number of special and standard moves along with a destructible environment makes for almost limitless ways to take out dozens of the vicious gang members that inhabit the resource pillaged wastelands. With the visuals reproduced from the comic series, all the levels provide an accurate representation of the world. Let the button mashing begin for the review of not Dynasty Warriors.

Praise: I have not followed the anime and actually found out about it after telling someone I was reviewing this title. But like the intro states this is made by Koei and is NOT a Dynasty Warriors game, it didn’t even feel like one, even when fighting a screen full of baddies. The graphics are amazing and the move lists are plentiful, meaning less button mashing and more strategic planning of moves. It has a strong story element and makes more sense that it is following an anime series, but the gameplay feels more like you are playing a solid IP. Ken's Rage is rated M, and for good reason, as when you strike and kill your opponent, there will be blood and lots of it.

Gripes: How many of our loyal readers remember the movie, Hook, well it almost seems like an Easter egg that Ken's face resembles Rufio, of the lost boys, so strongly. The voice acting is also not something to write home about but with the exception of a few characters, helps move the story along throughout gameplay. Camera control, yes I have to bring it up as I felt like I was fighting with the camera about as much as I was fighting wasteland riff raff. Also, for a game that focuses on action, the moves are executed slower than you would see in other current beat em ups, this isn't a huge issue, but will take some time to slow down your move inputs.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Fist of the North Star, possibly because I was expecting it to play like other previous beat em ups from the same developer. There is a lot of replay value behind Ken's Rage, as you will be able to go back and experience the other playable characters' rage as well and experiencing the story through their point of view. gives Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage a 8 out of 10.

Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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