Publisher/Developer: Tecmo Koei
What they say: So, who wants to die next?…Kenshiro, master of Hokuto Shinken, returns for more blood thirsty action in Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2. Faithfully retelling the stories of Tetsuo Hara’s cult classic Manga, Ken’s Rage 2 will offer a deeper look into his post-apocalyptic world in a continuation of the first title in the series. With a huge cast of returning characters and a host of new additions from the original story, players can once again take on the ultimate in martial arts with fast-paced, body exploding action!
What I say: As a young lad I was quite enamored with The Fist of the North Star. I loved both the manga and the anime film. I devoured everything I could get my hands on, then after a while for some reason I lost interest. My experience with the game was very similar. There are two modes in Ken’s Rage 2; Legend Mode which is based off of the manga and Dream Mode which gives you a bunch of secondary characters to play with and learn their stories.
Things start off pretty solid in Legend Mode as I said the game pretty faithfully tackles the manga and takes us through the story. But as the game goes on things tend to get pretty repetitive. In order to stretch the manga story out we are sent down a lot of corridors that seem to look a lot alike. Now, I’m not saying the game isn’t fun, it can be. Once you learn all of Ken’s moves and combos it is pretty damn satisfying to deliver bloody vengeance upon the hordes you face. Boss fights seem a little on the easy side. The main problem Legend Mode has isn’t that it doesn’t have a good story to go off of, it’s that maybe the game is a bit too long. Shortening it a bit and losing some corridors could have only helped.
After finishing Legend Mode, you might have had enough but if not, there is Dream Mode where there are a wealth of characters to chose from in the Fist of the North Star universe. This allows you to get to know the back stories of the other characters including some of the bosses. But at the end of the day, it’s more of the same.
Graphically, the game ranges from excellent to bland. You can go from a pretty cool area to, you guessed it, more corridors. This is not only jarring, but it makes the game feel uneven. Character models are fine and sound design is well done. I just wish the backgrounds in particular had got the same attention. Really, there is a ton of content to be had here. The question is, will you feel like doing all of it? Another problem is the price, it runs a full $59.99 for a digital copy. There is no English voice acting so it seems like it could have been a little cheaper.
Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 PS3 version is available exclusively on PSN for $59.99.