FotnS Ken’s rage 2 is one of the games I have been busy with. I decided to write this review when I completed the game, since it can take a while to get into the game itself. In my honest opinion this game deserves more praise than the Western community has given sofar. It is a Japanese game and its unfair to give it the typical Western expectations. Here are my takes of the game that I truly enjoyed playing.
Title: Ken’s Rage 2 – Fist of the North Star
Publisher: Tecmo KOEI
First of, FotnS Ken’s Rage 2 is truly to its manga / anime series, the story is straight away taken from there. I have never seen or read the series but the story has kept me interested throughout the whole game. The story takes place in an apocalyptic settings. You play as Kenshiro, the succesor to Hoktu Shinken. He is a kind-hearted man who tries his best to help the people in need. I have fallen in love with this character and his struggles. Other characters are presented in the game and wow I must say I was really taken in to their own stories. I was amazed with the character development. You can actually learn a thing or two from the story here. The story is split into two arcs. The story itself is very well presented, a bit like a comic with some CG.
Moving on to the gameplay. You have your character and as the story progresses you will get access to other playable characters and their fighting styles. Every character has their own set of skills which is really fun to experiment with.
To progress through the world, you will have to defeat a certain amount of enemies or meet the requirements such as save an X amount of civllians, kill 200 enemies or kill as many in a certain time limit etc. Tthe quests can quickly become the same ordeal which can be rather boring.
After progressing through a cerain part of the stage you will be presented with various boss fights and they can be fun! Especially the end bosses.
Enough about that, the game does offer a level-up system. Depending on how you fight you can level different fragments of your character, aura defense might etc. When you defeat enemies, especially with combos, they drop blue orbs which help you to level up. Killing enemies gives you an aura. These auras are shown as a square and allow you to use special attacks, more can be unlocked as the story progresses.
Scattered across each level, you will find food that will restore your health and aura. Scrolls are hidden in chests. Scrolls are useful to power-up your skills and some give bonuses! if you find a save-statue, you can save your game progress and you can play around with the skill grid of your character. Having the same icon on your scroll and in the grid will give you a skill neux that will greatly empower your character!
After the mission is completed, your progress will be saved and you will get a mission ranking depending how well or how poorly you performed.
Once you have finished certain arcs of the story, you can unlock characters that can be used in dream-mode. Dream-mode allows you to learn more about that character and play through special designed missions.
Sound and Music
As I said, I fell in love with Kenshiro. He is a well-developed character and so are his friends and foes. The voice-acting in this game is in Japanese and thank god they didn’t change it. The Japanese voice-over adds the charm and feel to the atmosphere. I believe an English voice-over would not give the same connection to that character as the Japanese one would. The sound is very well designed and the music! Oh I love the music, it’s metal all the way. There are different kinds of sound-tracks with the game, which are really pleasant to listen to.
On the graphics side however, the game suffers from random slowdowns. Since I play on the WiiU, I can see the game is not the best port. However, the slowdowns didn’t bother me as the overall graphics in the first story arc didn’t look that great. The second story arc offers more eye candy but nothing spectacular. Sadly to say the game uses the same enemy model over and over again. Only the bosses and the main characters differ ( they are extremely well designed btw).
How ever the graphics are quickly forgiven as the story and music are fantastic!
All I can say is that I had lots of fun playing this game. A lot of patience is required and this game isn’t for everyone. If you love Dynasty Warriors style of game and North of the Fist Star, than this game is a welcome addition to your collection.
Thank you Tecmo Koei for introducing me to such a fantastic story!
The Game Mistress