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whatshot Dead Space 3 PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2
Reviewed by
James Wright
on
Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2 PS3 Review. 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.
Rating:
3.0

Gameplay 6.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.5
Value 5.5
Distributor: Mindscape
Rating: MA15+
Review Date: Feb 2013
Reviewer:
James Wright

6.0


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 pale comparison.

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 satisfying throw. 

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.

Graphics/Audio

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.

Final Thoughts?

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.


 





 

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