Fist of the North Star Ken’s Rage 2 Review

This year marks the 30th anniversary from a cult manga, Fist of the North Star, and what better way to celebrate it than with this title for Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU
that tells the story of Kenshiro, from the beginning to the chapters of the manga that did not reach Spain: the 36 missions Legend mode reviews the 4 story arcs that make up the entire manga, and also adds a new dream mode in which secondary characters star in missions that detail hitherto unknown aspects of their history.

How good looking, right? Whoops… wait a minute. This is the sequel to Fist of The North Star Ken’s Rage, a game that didn’t leave Xbox 360 and PS3 users with a very good taste in 2010… And it seems that, although it has some more virtues, the flaws are still there.

your face and my fist

Yes, the game is a direct sequel and, like the first part, traces the development of the most mythical (and overexploited) Koei saga: Dynasty Warriors. As in these famous games with a historical-festival setting, we advance through corridor scenarios annihilating hundreds of enemies, although here we use the techniques of the Divine Fist of the North Star that Kenshiro masters instead of a katana.

But with a small difference: in the Dynasty Warriors there is usually a minimal component of strategy when it comes to going through the scenarios, with some freedom to choose paths and the order in which we visit certain areas. Here, none of that at all… Kenshiro’s journey through a post-nuclear Japan in search of his long-lost lover develops linearly, leaving all the weight of development to action. Something that does not have to be bad, as long as it is deep and varied… Heh.

Kenshiro’s Rage 2 is a “button masher”: Simple combos and spectacular special attacks, all a snap to pull off. And with them we annihilate enemies with “artificial nonsense”… who are “so stupid”, come on. There are different types, like “I defend myself against your simplest attacks” or “I wear spiked armor and if you hit me you hurt yourself too”. Unimportant details: you hit and you will finish them all in a moment. It’s cool that the attacks and techniques of all the characters are the same as in the anime and manga… but it’s not cool that, despite this, control and the way of fighting is the same for everyone.

The game tries to add variety with some phase of driving vehicles and…stealth? Yes, there are areas where, if you kill the bad guys from behind, you prevent another horde of post-aopocalyptic thugs from appearing. But these moments of infiltration are so simple that they are almost funny because they are naive: on the map you see the vision cones of the bad guys, who move with very basic patterns and who are almost impossible not to catch by surprise, who seem blind and deaf, the poor. Besides all the same. Have we already said that? This video game, like so many others, once again pays homage to “Attack of the Clones” by putting on screen dozens of nailed enemies without any shame.

Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2 Review

But wait. Despite Fist of The North Star Kenshiro’s Rage 2 it is repetitive in its development, there are some details that save the experience, and that make it worth trying if you are an anime fan. The first is an improvement system based on the gems that we find throughout the scenarios. Depending on how we combine them, we will increase the values ​​of the basic characteristics of our character, giving us some freedom to choose if we want to make him stronger, more resistant, that his energy bar to perform specials fill faster…

Also, our hero is learning new attacks, and it’s always cool to deal them in a slightly different way, even if the change is just cosmetic. Another positive point, and the most important, is that
the final boss battles are cool. All the characters in the series are very well recreated (eh, but only them and some effects of the blows. The rest of the graphics, identical in all versions, are… ahem… very bad), and the battles against them are usually long and tenseand forcing us to develop a certain strategy and dose special attacks well.

reviving the manga

Another element that will attract manga fans is… of course, fidelity to it. That the Story mode covers the entire plot of the series is very cool (and that includes all the unpublished episodes in Spain). In addition, the comics that we see between chapters and some of the cinematics by defeating the bosses they have their point. And in dream mode we play with 22 characters (which we are unlocking in the History). In this mode are also the multiplayer options: we can enjoy it in doubles locally on a split screen or online. And there is also the possibility of fighting 4 Vs. 4 battles in online mode.

Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage 2 Review

By the way, in the local cooperative we see a noticeable difference of the wii u version: On the Nintendo console, one can play on the TV and the other on the controller screen. That and, if we play alone, enjoy Off-TV mode, are the only possibilities that have taken advantage of the Wii U Gamepad. Although there is another thing unique to Wii U: on PS3 and Xbox 360 the game comes out in physical and downloadable format, but in Wii U is only available on the eShop, And, if you don’t have fiber optics, a few hours are waiting for you to download their 12 Gigs. One last note: all versions come with English text and voices and Japanese. So now you know: YES you liked the manga and YES you have notions of English, take a look at the game… Although there are too many “sies”… right?

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Fist of the North Star Ken’s Rage 2 Review

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