Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising Review

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising

Developer: Flux Games
Publisher: GamemiLL Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: 8 November 22
Price: $69.95 AUD / $49.99 USD Available Here


As someone who enjoys the Netflix Cobra Kai show – I’m currently watching the fourth season – I was happy to accept the task of reviewing the sequel to last year’s Cobra Kai video game. I expected a janky, low-budget, somewhat bugged but enjoyable beat ‘em up with tons of fanservice. It is more or less what the first game was. That’s what I got for the most part, but instead of a bug here and there, what awaited me was a veritable infestation. Despite that, Cobra Kai 2 can still be a somewhat fun light-hearted action game, provided that you’re not easily annoyed.


The All Valley karate tournament is coming up soon. The Cobra Kai, Eagle Fang and Miyagi Do dojos must compete to claim the title of All Valley karate champion. To do this, each dojo has decided that the best course of action is to recruit as many new students as possible in order to gain an advantage over the competition. 

Despite being based on recent events from the show, namely the agreement between the rival dojos that the winner takes all and the losers must leave with their tail between their legs, the game’s story is its own thing. Having said that, all the main characters appear in some manner. There’s also some exchanges between them that touch upon plot points that were already resolved in past episodes. References to both the show and the Karate Kid movies are everywhere. Overall, the story is silly, but as a fan of the show I enjoyed the fanservice quite a bit.


After the introduction, the player must choose which dojo they want to see become the All Valley champion. Each dojo is composed of staff and fighters. At the very beginning, the player has two fighters at their disposal. Johnny and Miguel for Eagle Fang, Kreese and Tory for Cobra Kai and Daniel and Samantha for Miyagi Do. In terms of gameplay, this is the only difference between dojos, as these two main characters have skills exclusive to them. Each recruitable fighter also comes with two unique skills. What is interesting about the skill system is that you can mix and match skills as much as you like between characters. 

After the first mission, the game begins “for real” and besides your initial recruits, a mandatory manager of sorts is automatically added to your dojo. By talking to them, some management options become available to the player. These include expanding the dojo so that it can house more staff and fighters or the option to upgrade skills and basic stats at the cost of money. A bit later into the game, you can buy weapons and accessories from a pawn shop. It may seem that the game gives you a lot of options to tweak your experience. In practice, they’re not only mostly fluff, but each time a new feature gets unlocked, they bring bugs as a bonus. For example, you may try to upgrade a skill only to find out that you can’t switch to the appropriate tab. Your accessory slots also become inaccessible more often than not. 

After assembling your initial bunch of juvenile delinquents – and their masters. Shame on them – it’s time to continue to wreak havoc across All Valley and recruit as many fighters and staff as you can. There’s a time limit of 20 days until the tournament, but that’s more than enough for you to visit all possible areas. You can also enter the tournament even after the first mission which is weird, as your fighters will be weak and few. 

The stages play out like a typical beat ‘em up on the surface, but there’s more to do than just cracking teenagers’ skulls. Besides recruiting allies through beating them into submission, some characters require that you participate in a minigame. This could be something like destroying a car within the time limit, participating in a quiz or even human bowling because violence is what the youngsters of All Valley are all about. There are also some parkour platforming segments which is a nice touch; at some points you’ll feel like Sonic – yeah, that blue thing – as you run through walls collecting coins. Nice!

You can bring as many as four fighters at a time and swap between them freely even in the middle of a combo string. Differently from the first Cobra Kai, the combat plays out in a semi-open 3D arena using a third person view. The combat system in Cobra Kai 2 is similar to that of the Batman Arkham series but lacking the same fluidity and precision. There isn’t a lock-on option, so you just point your character at an enemy, press the attack button and pray that you’ll target the desired enemy. 

As these skirmishes become more crowded, the frame-rate gets even more stuttery. The controls also start to suffer from noticeable input lag which will require that you resort to button mashing. The character swapping mechanic doesn’t work very well. You may try to make a cool combo after a few hits by trading places with one of your partners only for them to target the other side. Other times, your partner will simply refuse to come out at all for no apparent reason. I could go on and on about bugs in this game. I wouldn’t say that they make the game unplayable, but they sure are very annoying. Despite all that, Cobra Kai 2 can be a fun game if you like brawlers and/or is a fan of the show.


The graphics are an improvement from the first game. That is nothing to write home about, I know. The stages are simple but look somewhat good and detailed. The characters’ models are a mixed bag; some of them look better than others, but most of the time their faces look wonky. You’d have a hard time recognizing some of them if the game didn’t tell you who they’re supposed to be straight away. The animations also go from ridiculous to cool looking.


The soundtrack was composed by the same person responsible for the show’s music. You can expect some hard rock and synth tunes. It’s a good soundtrack overall even if a bit repetitive. Sound effects are serviceable but lack some impact. The most notable part in the sound department is the amount of voiced lines and dialogues. These voice-overs are provided by the same actors from the show for the most part, and they sound legit.


With a bit more time in the oven, Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising could be a really good option for anyone looking for some simple action gaming goodness. The constant hitches be it from performance issues or bugs make this title a tough sell. Then again, if you’re really patient and are itching for a new beat ‘em up, Cobra Kai 2 may help you kill some time. A patch might or might not be in the works, but I would not hold my breath.

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A fairly fun action game up that is full to the brim with annoying bugs. Fans of the show and beat 'em ups must approach with caution. Everyone else should just stay clear for now.
Claudio Meira
Claudio Meira
I have been playing video games for 36 years. I should be put in a museum by now, but here I am, writing about them.
A fairly fun action game up that is full to the brim with annoying bugs. Fans of the show and beat 'em ups must approach with caution. Everyone else should just stay clear for now. Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising Review