Punching people very hard in the face is an art-form when you’re Kenshiro. So how does Ken’s chosen form of artistic expression translate into video-game in his second raging outing? Well to put it simply, if you like to punch things very fast and very hard, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 is probably the game for you.
Earlier today I got a chance to sit down with the TGS 2012 build of Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 at EB Expo 2012. Not having played the first Ken’s Rage, I went in with unsure of what exactly I might find from a Fist of the North Star/Hokuto no Ken game.
Being a fan of the manga and anime of the same name which inspired the game, I was very curious to see how they translated the atmosphere of the series into a video-game format and I can thankfully say, they did so flawlessly. Fans of the franchise would know that Fist of the North Star is essentially Mad Max the anime with lots of manly badassery and martial arts battles. Kenshiro is a straight up badass and this game does well to highlight that.
The game itself is almost an homage of sorts to both the Fist of the North Star series and various classic beat-em-up games that preceded it such as Dynasty Warriors and Genji. If you love beat-em-up action game’s such as that, you’ll find a lot of fun to be had in Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 even if you are not a fan of the franchise itself.
All in all it’s a pretty simple game, you are Ken, the biggest badass in the whole freaking post-apocalyptic world and you must punch many many people in the face until they explode from your sheer manliness. At it’s core it is a brawler that while repetitive is inexplicably addictive. Once you start punching in bandit skulls, you just won’t want to stop, you will be pulling off combos and special moves and taking down bosses like yesterday’s news.
Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 is set to launch on a multitude of platforms including Xbox 360 and Wii U. The build I played was the Playstation 3 version and I must say the controls were excellent. They were both simple and easy to grasp as well as detailed and complex, a tough balance to achieve, but one that Ken’s Rage 2 does admirably.
Ultimately if you just want to punch people fast and hard in the face and feel like an absolute beast of a man for a period of time or if you are simply a fan of Fist of the North Star, then Ken’s Rage 2 deserves a place on your video-game radar.