Fist Of The North Star Ken's Rage Review

Fist Of The North Star is one of the most beloved Manga's/Anime around. For years fan have been waiting for a faithful videogame adaptation. Fist Of The North Star games have been a hit or mess. Developers Omega Force take their shot? Is this worth the title of the Fist name?

Story - The story follows the first half of the Manga very closely. You take the role of Kenshiro, the heir to the Hokuto Shinken which is an assassination art. The story is taken place after a nuclear war, leaving the world into a wasteland. The world is divided into gangs and Innocent people. The strong prey on the weak, and it's up to Kenshiro to be the savior of the people.

Gameplay - The game consists of 4 modes Legend Mode, Dream Mode, Challenge Mode and Introduction Mode. In Legend Mode you play the story mode that follows the first half of the Manga. Players will play as Kenshiro and other unlockable characters. In Dream Mode players will play a what if type scenario with various characters. Challenge Mode is unlocked once you finish Kenshiro's Legend Mode. In this mode players will fight in a gauntlet of enemies. Introduction Mode is a mere tutorial on how to play the game. The modes are long and will take you about 30 hours to complete for Legend mode. Their is even an trophy/achievement for playing the game over 30 hours. The gameplay is your typical beat em up. You defeat enemies move onto the next area and do the same thing over again. The A.I. is pretty easy to beat, even when it's greater numbers. The boss fights are repetitive as well. No real strategy is needed to beat them, some you just need to keep punching, dodge and punch again. It seems that Kenshiro is too powerful even for his strongest opponents. Kenshiro comes a variety of arsenal of moves and attacks. This is where the game shines. Even though the game is extremely repetitive, fans of the series won't get tired of using Kenshiro Hokuto Shinken attacks. Kenshiro has a basic attack, strong attack and skills attack which fills up depending on kills or damage Kenshiro takes. The skill attacks will bring fans to a nostalgic feeling. Who doesn't love the sound of ATATATATATATATATA!!! WAH-TAAAAH!!!. Also in this game Kenshiro can earn skill points to upgrade his attacks. The combat is easy to use, but a target system in certain sections would have been nice. Overall this is a beat em up that fans would love, but others would stray away from. This game is not for everyone.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The graphics really capture the feel of the Manga. It's dark, gritty and oh so sweet in detail. The characters look marvelous and the frame rate is great as well. However there were a lot of graphical hiccups in some of the later levels. Some of the walls were out of place and became see through. The environments get repetitive and you start think that your playing the same level over and over again. A change of scenery does eventually happen, but more use of the environments would have been nice.

Sound - The voice acting is great for the most part. Japanese voice actors excel and the English voice actors prevail. Kenshiro and his victims are a little too chatty. Hearing the same lines repeated over and over becomes annoying. The performances of the voice actors matches the characters very well. The music is boring. It's a rock soundtrack that doesn't feel epic at all. It feel forced an uninspired, it doesn't set the mood of the battles. The music is a missed opportunity.

Replay Value - This game has tons of Replay Value. If you look beyond the repetitive gameplay, you have a lot to do. There is more characters to do their story mode with and the dream mode is a game within it's self. Trust us this game has a lot of trophies/achievements to offer. Die hard fans like myself will be on this game until it's completed 100%.

Final Grade C-/7.0 - Fans will look beyond the repetitive gameplay, others won't. This is great for Fist fans only. Others will get bored after a few levels. The presentation is there, but the gameplay could have more to really give us an experience we have been dying for. But like someone dating a rebound. I really want something better, but for now you'll do. Final Grade C-/7.0.