Despite Fist of the North Star Ken’s Rage being an utter failure and largely disliked as a whole, Koei still decided to revisit the it with Fist of the North Star Ken’s Rage 2. With a brand new combat system, new/different alternate stories, several new characters and an expanded story, it certainly sounds like a much-needed improvement. However with so many changes to the original game, will it be enough to distance itself from the problems of the original or was the series better left as a stand-alone title?
Lets look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Fist of the North Star Kens Rage 2.
Covers Fist of the North Star “Part 2”
Similar to Dragon Ball, but more closely related to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Fist of the North Star is typically known and limited to the “first half” of the manga/anime. While people generally agree everything that comes after the final fight between Kenshiro and Raoh was garbage, this section will still offer you some interesting characters, plus some pretty intense fights. In addition to this, the first half as been redone with a few extra stages/fights included.
Closer to the Traditional Dynasty Warriors Gameplay
One of the biggest complaints with Ken’s Rage was how slow and clunky the game was, but this has been addressed in Ken’s Rage 2. Every character has received a serious speed boost and the jump button has been replaced with the ability to dash to the next location. Besides simply playing faster, Ken’s Rage 2 is an extremely simple title that anyone can pick up and play without a hitch.
This is largely due to characters having a fairly basic move set, plus some of the slowest “quick” time events I’ve ever seen. Koei also added the ability to evade attacks, which has fairly lax timing when compared to say Bayonetta, so even button mashers will have the thrill of a more flashy fight. Finally those who hated the QTEs in Ken’s Rage will be delighted to know they’ve been simplified to a mere press of a button. Sadly it makes the kills a little less satisfying, but that is a welcomed trade-off for not having to do them.
1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Backwards
While many people might think this is a sequel to the original Ken’s Rage, it’s actually more of a reboot of the series (as the Japanese name suggests). Just about everything feels like it was changed to be more ‘Dynasty Warriors’ like, which isn’t exactly a bad choice, but it also makes the title less unique than the original. The first and most apparent change comes with legends mode, as it’s a real step backwards for the series.
One of the best parts of the original game, was the ability to SOMEWHAT explore the world around you. Some places had some admitting annoying platforming segments, where as other places had special walls you could break by performing a specific attack. These two elements helped to make the game feel less linear and were removed in Ken’s Rage 2. The new legends mode has an increased focus on story, which has resulted in stages comprised of 20 – 40 minutes of dialog apiece. If that’s not bad enough, most of these cutscenes are done in the manga style, so they’re lifeless pictures with virtually no movement (including mouths) that can get fairly boring to watch. Besides the increased focus on story, legends mode doesn’t feature a whole lot of combat. These can range from a little combat before a boss fight to fighting a ton of enemies to get to the boss to simply fighting a boss or two and nothing else. Needless to say, all of these things can combine to make an extremely one dimensional and boring mode.Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2 (Import),