Fist of the North Star
Ken's Rage 2
Koei have certainly
taken some bad rap over their latest Fist of the North Star game, Ken's
Rage 2 and although it can be repetitive and long-winded at times,
there's sometimes something refreshing about mindless violence in this
third person fighter. This is quite a bloody game when it comes to
dispatching your enemies.
The game itself is based
on the highly popular Manga series, Fist of the North Star and
having seen some of the Anime, Koei should be commended on their
accuracy in translating this to a PS3 title. In this game, the main
protagonist is a very angry Kenshiro (Ken) who uses the powerful
fighting style called Hokuto Shinken to dispatch justice. Thugs
and armies beware!
However if you despise
the Dynasty Warriors franchise than you better look elsewhere because
there are some strong similarities in both titles. One may against an
army. With that said, Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2 is
unfortunately a little dated on the PS3 and with games such as Dead
Space 3, the rebooted Devil May Cry game DMC or the soon to be released
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Ken's Rage 2 is unfortunately a
There are two things
that prevent Ken's Rage 2 from succeeding and that's the repetitive
combat and the sometimes annoying camera. Both these aspects create some
gaming frustration apart from controller rage. However in all of Ken's
and some gamers rage, there are a few gems hidden away in this title.
The story, although
quite Asian inspired is actually an "ok" story and each of the
characters have their own original storylines. Characters are relatable
and there's some fun stylized cutscenes. However in order to spruce up
the single-player aspect of the game, I do suggest you play this game
online with co-op. Versus is "ok", however playing with another person
does make the game a hell of a lot better, especially the co-op part. If
you take the game online, you can play up to 8 people in some epic
battles. Unfortunately it does become a little repetitive.
At its core, Ken's Rage
2 is a fighter that pits the player against a dozen foes, however as you
progress, these foes increase considerably and it's not uncommon that
you need to defeat in excess of 100 enemies. This does turn the game
into a button masher and you will get tired in some of these battles.
Generally once you have kicked your opponents collective asses, you will
then need to fight a boss that does require some strategy.
With 20 plus character
to play, each character has their pros and cons who can also pull off
some kickass combo attacks. Controls are well mapped on the DualShock
controller with light (Square) and strong (Triangle) attacks, a dodge
ability (X) and circle to do your character's special maneuver. L1 is
used to block and L2 to taunt your enemies with R2 to perform a
Special maneuvers can
only be performed once your aura is at a the certain level but once
unleashed, I never tired of this powerful move. Chaining combinations is
also an option and can actually get quite ridiculous. There is a "light"
leveling system employed by the game which allows you to tweak the
attributes of your characters, including special items to boost your
characters on the battlefield. It's apt but just a little dated.
Graphically, Ken's Rage
2 does look like a game from 2008 or somewhere around that year and
although characters look mildly detailed, the backgrounds are rather
bland and the special effects are quite pedestrian. Audio is used well
and the soundtrack is quite metal sounding with its fast guitar rifts.
In conclusion, Fist of
the North Star Ken's Rage 2 is a game that would have been better if it
was released several years ago. It suffers from dated graphics and
gameplay that is not only repetitive but hampered by the fiddle some
camera. Fans of the series however will be pleased with the new Dream
Mode which allows you to play other characters from the books and is a
nice side addition. There is some decent replay options when it
comes to online play and there's lots of unlockables for your gallery if
you can manage to soldier on.