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Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 Discussion (Nintendo Wii U) [game]
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 on the Wii U
7/10 from one rating

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So I got a tweet that said this game was available on the eShop. Well, I enjoyed Samurai Warriors 3 for its local AND online multiplayer, so I'm hoping to find at least that much enjoyment here. I've always been a fan of the series, from what I've seen of it, as it was the first story I've been exposed to in which you don't watch to see "whether the good guys or the bad guys win" but you watch to see "how badly the good guy(s) obliterate the bad guys." You watch this show to see the villains, people with no redeeming values at all, beg and plead for their lives, and then die in the most humiliating ways. That's what got me hooked.

Anyways, so here's the game version, a sequel apparently, and equally apparently done by Tecmo-Koei, and heavily supported by Nintendo if their official page and YouTube channel is any indication.

Copy/pasted from my add-game page:
I'm downloading the title as we speak. I'm expecting to write a review along the lines of "oh gads, why did I put my faith into a Tecmo-Koei multiplat?" but considering they did a good job with Ninja Gaiden Razor's Edge for the Wii U (and despite them having done a horrible job with Warriors Orochi for any system) Nintendo's heavy endorsement, plus the fact that a friend of mine got me into Fist of the North Star way back when and I'd not stopped being a fan since, were the two points that pushed this game off the fence into "buy and review" territory. I figure this game will be the tiebreaker as to whether Tecmo-Koei games will be worth supporting on the Wii U, or whether T-K would better be left to hone their skills on the other systems with less discriminating audiences for another generation.

If this game turns out to be a dud, then it's not a big loss, I can at least inform the audience that they're best left saving their dollars for Xeno-U and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, oh! And to pick up Samurai Warriors 3 for the Wii instead. And to play with me online in said Samurai Warriors 3 (or Ken's Rage 2 if they didn't heed my advice and got it anyway...or if it turns out to be good, then bought it upon recommendation(s)).

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02/11/13, 11:03    Edited: 02/11/13, 13:56
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Just read this review on Destructoid - not looking very promising. I'll be interested to hear your take on it.

02/11/13, 12:51   
I used to watch this show as a kid and I liked it, but this game looks junky. It is something I would get as a budget title, but there is no way in hell am I downloading this for $59.99...
02/11/13, 13:10   
Is this a retail price game that is only downloadable in the eShop? Hmm. Our black and white labeling system doesn't know how to account for such a thing?!
02/11/13, 17:24   
Edited: 02/11/13, 17:25
@Zero yes, this is a full retail price game on xbox 360, they released it digital only for Wii U and PS3 and I think that is the right move; however, the pricing is way off. I see this detting deeply discounted soon on ps+ at least. And i know the ehsop is really flexible with sales (we saw little inferno discounted from $15 to $10 already) and I am assuming publishers set their own prices. Like I said before, 59.99 is too much for this game without a demo, and the shaky reviews do not help also.
02/11/13, 17:38   
This game's sales are already dead.
02/11/13, 18:19   
Even after reading that review I can't figure out what genre this game is.
02/11/13, 18:49   

Kinda strikes me as a brawler.
02/11/13, 19:06   
Um... so should we change this to an eShop game? I don't even know what makes more sense here.
02/11/13, 19:16   
It's a Warriors game, through and through. If you've ever played one, you know what goes down.

Interestingly, this game uses the same engine as Dynasty Warriors 7 and One Piece : Pirate Warriors (Warriors Orochi 3 uses a slightly different engine). As such, I can only hope that the end result is at least a better quality port than WO3 Hyper. However, I cannot justify the 50 (about $80!) pricetag on the European eShop for the life of me; even as a huge fan of the Warriors games and of the anime this is based on.

the European eShop lists it as if it were a retail title; and it was initially planned for a retail release in Europe (and got one in Japan). I'd keep it as is for now, on the offchance Koei prints a run of retail copies due to fan demand.
02/11/13, 21:10   
Bad stuff in red, good stuff in blue. A lot of the Destructoid review is filled of the kind of jargon used when someone reviews a game and it's evident they're doing this as their job, not as something they enjoy doing. For example: "cheap fights against enemies that can block you mid-combo, aren't physically affected by your blows, and power through them to hit you with their own unblockable moves." This goes to show that the reviewer is unfamiliar with the one-on-many brawler's standard dynamic of
COMBO is trumped by BLOCKING is trumped by BREAKER MOVE is trumped by COMBO
anyways, let's move on to my review, now summarized in point form as using a less-than sign is interpreted as BBcode and removed, causing me to have to write this over.

-framerate drops
-signs that the Wii U is running a 7G emulator (simple graphical/sound glitches)
-only slightly better than the usual licensed game fare

+Faster loading times than the developer intended (tutorials appear during loading, but the loading screen ends before you can read them)
+Noticeably improved graphics (thus the frame-rate drops, as per T-K protocol it seems)
+Multiplayer where one person has the TV and the other uses the W.U.G. screen
+One really neat thing that I wanted to point out: Cut-scenes transition from manga-style, to figurines that react to things like wind or motion but otherwise stay still, finally animating fully to act out the scene just before game-play begins and you take over. That's something that the destructoid review trashes on but I thought was a nice touch, certainly a step above copy/pasting the scenes from the anime, which would have been a lot more of a "thrifty move", to use their words.

Get this game if all the following apply:
1. You're a fan of Hokuto No Ken
2. You already have both Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge and Samurai Warriors III for Wii and want more
3. You want to cast a[n additional] vote for T-K to wholeheartedly adopt the Wii U and develop specifically for it rather than focusing on 7G consoles.
02/11/13, 22:09   
Edited: 02/11/13, 22:28
I really like NG3 and am almost done with it but the more I learn about this game, the more it screams 'buyer beware'.

Anyway, thanks Dark Weres for your impressions!
02/12/13, 04:29   
Edited: 02/12/13, 04:29
I'm going to be reviewing this game.

12 gigs!

02/12/13, 15:52   
@Guillaume please give us impression on the game while playing it before your review. I am interested in this but not sure if i should pull the trigger. i want to know what kind of content and mechanics are in this game.
02/12/13, 17:44   
Not a big fan of the genre, honestly, but it's probably not going to sell well as an exclusively digital title for $60. If they lowered the price to $40, that might have sweetened it up a little more.
02/12/13, 18:17   
I've played a bit more, and I'm starting to really get into it. It probably doesn't help me maintain a hardball attitude towards this game when they recreate the scenes so well in that manga-to-figurine-to-anime style. The atmosphere, and that I've been craving more Samurai Warriors styled action combined really up my enjoyment of this game.

I'm going to give it between a 6 and 7 for now, because there are definitely more good points than bad.

@Guillaume We should do some multiplayer and review that together! Are you free Thursday? I'll be busy for the rest of today and most of tomorrow though.
02/13/13, 03:03   
Edited: 02/13/13, 03:07

I barely have time to play the game and write the review, so I won't go into impressions too much, but do I think you should plunk down $60 on this game? No.

@Dark Weres

I can only play tomorrow night, really.
02/13/13, 03:57   
@Guillaume thanks Gui, if this sees a harsh eShop price drop, which I doubt, I will pick it up. But I will quickly forget about it once the drought ends with monster hunter and Lego city.
02/13/13, 16:07   
Kal-El814 said:
This game's sales are already dead.

Guillaume said:
I barely have time to play the game and write the review, so I won't go into impressions too much, but do I think you should plunk down $60 on this game? No.
There's your review! Print it.
02/13/13, 17:50   
Edited: 02/13/13, 17:51
This game went up to a solid 7 on my list, and went from "Better than a typical licensed game" to "better than a typical Dynasty Warriors game". The story goes on for much longer than the 5 or 6 scenes you'd get for a character in a Dynasty/Samurai Warriors title, and aside from playing as other characters' made-up-stories in "Dream Mode," you actually get scenes in the main mode where you play as Rei, and since he uses Nanto Suichoken instead of Hokuto Shinken, the rules by which you fight change accordingly!

When playing as Kenshiro, your powers are pretty pedestrian compared to Dynasty Warriors, and your goal is generally to put enemies into shock before fighting them by breaking their defences and doing that thumbs-in-temples move.
As Rei, you want to put yourself into what basically amounts to witch-time by doing last-minute dodges, and it's suddenly like a bloody Kingdom Hearts where your flying around slicing people up in mid-air for a little while.
02/20/13, 18:47   
The game is just not gelling with me, I think it does a poor job of teaching the player how to play well. The enemies in Legend mode offer no resistance and I've been playing it for 6 hours, yet I just faced Ken himself in the third level in Dream mode and it's hard as balls, and I have no idea how to win.

I admit, I lack the skills to play the game, but I don't think it's my fault.
02/20/13, 19:11   
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