Feb27

Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 Review

If you’re a fan of Fist of the North Star and enjoy beating up hordes of enemies in a dynasty warriors-esque fashion, then I know a game that you may enjoy.

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Release Date:  February 5th, 2013 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) February 7th, 2013 (Wii U)
Genre: Beat ’em up
ESRB Rating: M for Mature - Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Developer: Koei
Publisher: Tecmo Koei

Fist of the North Star (or Hokuto no Ken if you’re that anal about it) is a classic anime/manga about a man named Kenshiro who knows the most broken overpowered fighting technique known to man, Hokuto Shinken. The way this overpowered fighting technique works is that it destroys you from the inside out. This generally results with the guy on the receiving end of the blow becoming chunks of meat. So how does Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 show off this badass technique of massacre in a playable form? Well… it ain’t pretty.

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Starting with the main story of Ken’s Rage 2 you will immediately notice (unless you’re blind) that the games cutscenes are supposed to be styled like manga panels. Everything happens in freeze frame panels with a camera panning effect. While I can respect them for trying to make it feel more like the manga, it’s no excuse for using horrendous models to do the cutscenes with. Along with these terribad models is the most bland environment I have seen in a long time. I understand that the games scenery is supposed to be dull and resemble a wasteland, but this does not look right.

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Moving along to the plot of Ken’s Rage 2. You follow the bizarre adventures of Kenshiro as he is looking for his fiancée Yuria in a post-apocalyptic world. Since Ken is such a nice guy, he decides to instantly kill anyone he deems to be a villain in the most brutal ways he can think of which include but is not limited to, punching them 100 times, kicking them hundreds of times, creating a walking time bomb out of them and of course simply reversing their attacks.

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I would normally go on to explain the gameplay but I believe the last bit I wrote sums it up pretty well. I will however, say that this game only has 2 true attack buttons, square and triangle (X and Y for you 360 players). By swapping between normal attacks (Square and X) and heavy attacks (Triangle and Y) you do a deadly combo which will be guaranteed to burst whatever peon you’re beating the shit out of.

Pros

– Spamming the hundred crack fist can be pretty satisfying.

– Long story mode. They cover essentially all of the Fist of the North Star story which results in a somewhat lengthy game for better or for worse.

– Co-op mode was a nice touch even though you’re already overpowered enough to do everything solo anyway.

- Omae wa mo shindeiru

Cons

– Character models look poor.

– Repetitive gameplay gets stale after 2 hours.

– Linear levels can get boring really fast.

– Manga styled cutscenes allure goes away after about an hour. After that it just looks lazy and unprofessional.

– No gore. I normally would not hold this against anyone, but to keep this game faithful to the original series it’s almost necessary. So what did we get? Sometimes when people die they leave a blood puddle on the floor.

– Added in levels which don’t make sense just for the sake of adding gameplay. Ex: When Kenshiro breaks out of jail in the first chapter, the jail was not supposed to be a mile long hallway filled with enemies.

– $60 price tag.

– Bland Environments and color palettes.

– The scroll system was a horrible idea

Final Verdict: While this game gives you plenty of levels to run through, the poor gameplay acts as a deterrent to wanting to complete them. Unless you’re a big fan of the Fist of the North Star series this game will only be entertaining for the first hour. I give Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 a 4.5/10. If you really care about the story but don’t want to endure the price tag or the gameplay then go read the manga.

Posted by RHExcelion under PS3, Video Game Reviews, Xbox360 | Permalink

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