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Did you enjoy the first Fist of the North Star game from Tecmo Koei? The whole Dynasty Warriors schtick recycled for the popular violent anime brand may or may not have worked to the liking of fans, but reviewers hated the original game and they seem to hate the sequel in equal measure.
The game is roughly about a secret martial art that enables the user to explode body parts on the target, and it's set within a dystopian cyberpunk future where various characters are vying for power, knowledge or complete control of what's left of civilization. Players will hop into the role of one of many different main characters from the Fist of the North Star manga and beat the royal crap out of all the wasteland gangs and bosses that were prominently featured throughout the violent story of heroism and vengeance.
Well, pleasantries aside, Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 sucks royal cajones, according to the review scores. Jim Sterling's review of the game from Destructoid sums up most of it with this comment here, where he states...”Many of the boss encounters from Ken's Rage are regurgitated here, but with features seemingly removed.” Replace the word “boss” with anything game related and that's pretty much what the review repeats throughout until it nails a 3.5 out of 10 into the coffin.
The Koalition's review isn't any nicer than Sterling, saying that the sequel is a “bloody mess of a game” and it “fails to surpass the bar set by the previous entry in the series.” Koalition also rags pretty bad on the game's graphics, noting dated and “murky” visuals stripping away from the game's presentation. Koalition ended up giving the game a 40 out of 100, noting that the game's boring level designs and easy-enemy encounters made the game feel too much like a Dynasty Warriors clone and not enough like Fist of the North Star.
CheatCC does a better job than other reviews of breaking down what works and what doesn't regarding the story, noting that Omega Force attempts to retell a better version of the same story from the first game but makes the mistake of ruining the game's pace by interweaving too many images and breakpoints in the action, creating an inconsistent flow between the cinematics and the gameplay. They also make a noticeable point that by removing the jump button the game ultimately loses tons of flavor in level design as platforming is completely taken out. In other words, levels are more samey and there's less gameplay variety...if you're up for less gameplay variety. CheatCC ended up giving the game a 2.5 out of 5. Ouch.
Hardcore Gamer just kind of reiterates what ever other review states, noting the repetitiveness of the game's levels and gameplay, noting that “make no mistake, players will see plenty of the same stuff time and time again.” This is in regards to both the visual aesthetics and the gameplay mechanics, which isn't a good thign at all. Much like CheatCC, Hardcore Gamer employs a measure of praise towards Koei for ramping up the combos and versatility of the moves, but notes that it's still very limited and it isn't long before you're trudging through levels looking at the same moves on the same bad guys “time and time again”. They rounded out their score with 2.5 out of 5.
Overall, it seems the recurring theme throughout the reviews was that the game could have been fun had it not been so repetitive. The comments about the story cinematics ruining the game's pace seem plausible and outdated graphics is basically something that's up to the eye of the beholder, unless we're talking about Minecratf.
I guess next time Koei should send some Doritos and Mountain Dew to Geoff Keighley, Jim Sterling and the guys and gals at CheatCC and Hardcore Gamer if they want some better coverage.
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 is currently available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.