“Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage” by Mr Riddler

2 Men were battling each other in a great hall. An on looker approached the fight. Minutes later the men were waiting outside the on looker’s office. What happened?

The 2 men were students in a school fight. the onlooker was an administrator that broke them up. Ok yeah it’s a bad riddle. sue me.

What I Expected
I have never seen the Fist of the North Star anime, but I’ve heard good things. Not to mention that I’ve seen the trailers for it which features one great thing. Punching people so hard that their heads explode. If that’s not awesome then I don’t know what is. However, Ken’s Rage is a game that’s produced by the same developer that did Quantum Theory and I’m sure you recall my review of that game which I gave a forget it. So Expectations for this game is low. However from what I heard about the anime, where you punch people so hard their heads explode does add a bit of interest. Interest enough for me to WANT to review this game.

What We Got
Ok first off the protagonist of Fist of the North Star and the protagonist of Quantum Theory share 1 thing in common. They solve just about any issue by punching it. It was hilarious when a giant door that wasn’t opened by a bomb to be punched open in Quantum Theory, but it was disappointing that it was just dismissed when I’m 85% sure that it was a joke. In Fist of the North Star they pretty much recognize that it’s a joke by punching EVERYTHING open from doors to steal beam to people. Kenshiro, the protagonist of Fist of the North Star, has just that one thing in common with Quantum Theory, otherwise Kenshiro is worlds better. First off, he’s not a dick. If there’s a single person more heroic in a game, it would have to be in anyone of the really bad Superman games. Each mission you have is either to kill a thug or save civilians. I love that it’s finally a good guy being a good guy in a game…. you know.. who isn’t Batman.
The plot is pretty in coherent. I’d assume because it’s trying to get me to remember scene from the anime to string it together. There’s voice overs in the few cutscenes that there are and voice over for really cheap cuts of just 2D pictures of heads talking to each other. And everything plot related is boiled down to long walls of text being read by someone who songs like Ben Stein making them incredibly difficult for me to pay attention to. Given, the story really isn’t that important when it comes to playing the game. Usually, the level will open up with you, Kenshiro, standing at point A. You then proceed to kick, punch, and head explode your way to point B where you’ll kick, punch and at times, head explode your way through a boss. And numerous times between A and B there will be a pop up saying, “destroy all the statues” or “kill the big thing with the club.” Depending on whether you choose to complete these challenges, which mind you are completely optional, you can get power up for the stage, points to use on upgrade screens between levels to unlock new moves, and increase the stage difficulty.
Honestly the game is really fun. I had a blast when playing it for the first few stages, but as time wore on I started to feel like maybe I had gotten a bit to into it to begin with. The setting of every stage is the same Road Warrior, post apocalyptic layout with a different map design. The enemies can be boiled down to 3 main types, regular, big ones with clubs and fat ones, and after you’re unlocked the jumping kick finishing move there’s almost no reason to get anything else. From that point on you can punch to fill up the meter, run to get everyone gathered together and then use it to kill them all in 1 hit and move on.

Upside: When you finish them all at the same time with the jump kick, they’re heads explode at the same time. heheh!

Ken’s Rage does have a few multiplayer modes. In addition to playing as Kenshiro in Single player there are 2 more campaigns that I don’t bother to mention because they’re the same game with 2 different characters, but if you have a friend with you, you can use the other protagonists in a 2 player co-op play. For the most part it is pretty fun bashing your way through a game final Fight style. However it can become a bit of a worn experience. When beat em up games like this are short and can be completed in 1 sitting it becomes something easy to have fun with friends, but you cant drop in and out of gameplay. You need to create a separate save file for your friends to play with you, and odds are they aren’t going to be coming over every day to try and beat this game.
Also there’s a fighting game mode where you can go toe to to with a friend using either the protagonist or a boss that you’ve defeated in the game. This mode is pretty fun, but begs the question “Why would you use a boss that you can’t customize?” Seriously, it’s like using a character that’s not a Saiyan in a Dragon Ball Z video games. You’re setting yourself up for failure. purposefully.

Just Saiyan…

My conclusion, making peoples heads explode is fun. So fun that it can actually support an entire game. Ken’s Rage is a game that’s fun to play for a while, the controls and gameplay are pretty solid, but lacks time and money probably which is why it was boiled down to the same levels over and over again and the lack of more original enemies. The Bosses were all different with developed fighting styles of their own. and in new settings built just for them, but it looks like something was lost in the making of Ken’s Rage.

Overall Rating:

Ok so I named off a lot of flaws with the game I know, but really it’s something I think people can enjoy and I fear that I may just be becoming a cynic. Also I want to support this more. Design a game based on good concepts, controls and characters and god willing, the rest will fall into place.

Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the review or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

8 Responses to ““Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage” by Mr Riddler”
  1. Vapor says:

    Looks like a really fun game.

  2. Castor Troy says:

    You can download the demo off the ps3 store, seems like a fun beat em up.

  3. NooG says:

    game looks like a great rental… great blog man. followin!

  4. Major.Mack says:

    maybe ill test that demo, thanks for the heads up

  5. invagrantly says:

    looks like i'll some mindless fun this christmas

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