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Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage (PS3) Review

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Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage takes everything we love about Koei-style combat and mixes in a new license. Instead of suiting up with Mobile Suit Gundam and fighting hordes of enemies, we are treated to characters, environments and scenarios ripped out of one of the most popular anime (manga) cartoons in North America. If you were in college in the late 90’s or early 00’s, then at some point you sat down in a dorm room and watched Fist of the North Star (and Akira) about twenty times. Ken’s Revenge for the PS3 doesn’t just recreate old scenes from the movie though.

Ken's got the power!

If you’re familiar with the Dynasty Warriors franchise, then you have an idea of how the campaign is laid out. You have your main quest, known as Legend Mode, which follows the fiction of FotNS pretty well. Just like the DW series though, there are smaller quests that deviate a little with the goal of shedding more light on the overall story and to of course extend the play time and life of the game. Things do start out a little slow in terms of the story and casual fans of the manga and “Dynasty Warrior-style” might need a little push to keep going. For those that do stick with it though, the later parts of the game are very rewarding as the story begins to unfold at a faster pace and make a little more sense.

The voice-acting in the game is actually pretty good and while the dialog seems a little forced, something feels right. Maybe that’s because the original movie was able to overcome some pretty cheesy voice-work too. Luckily the story translates perfectly and everything is conveyed to the point of delivering a nice story on top of a good game. As mentioned above though, it requires a little dedication at first to get through the slow parts.

Ken’s Revenge looks pretty good in the visual department thanks to nice character models and smooth textures. Of course it’s always a plus to see twenty guys diced three ways and BLAM, split apart. Enemies are the only downside to the graphics and that’s because they seem to reappear a little too often. We’ve all seen it before and especially in DW types of games. You will cut up, jab, and blast back similar wave after similar wave of baddies, but it’s actually not as bad as those older Dynasty titles.

Bust of his face sucka!

The music in Ken’s Revenge won’t be confused for an eclectic mix of tunes by anyone, but that will suit anyone who plays it just fine. The limited variety of music the game pumps out does a great job of setting the mood and at the same time elevates the action that is going on around you. When things slow-down, which is rare, you’ll get a somber and ominous music that heightens your anxiety because you know the “blank” is about to hit the fan. When it does “hit the fan”, the rock music starts pumping and you feel like the guitars are specifically orchestrated around the carnage that you’re creating with your victims sliced up and battered bodies.

What’s the verdict on Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage? Just like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Ken’s Rage is a winner on two fronts with elements of Dynasty Warriors and the deep world of Fist of the North Star mixed into one. You’ll have a blast tearing through the post-apocalyptic world on a voyage of vengeance and protection. The game’s pacing starts out slow, but finds itself just in time to hook you. As long as you don’t have any little ones in the room while you’re playing this, it’s the perfect bloodbath free-for-all. Fist of the Northstar: Ken's Rage is available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 from Tecmo KOEI and exactly what you need if you miss those late nights watching gory anime in your dorm room.





Action / Fighting


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#1 fist of the north star ken's ragederrik brown 2011-02-22 02:40
registrat my game

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