Demo Impressions: Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage

So I recently was able to play the demo for the upcoming action beat’em up Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage. If you feel as though you’ve been hearing about this game for a while, it’s probably because we’ve been waiting since March for an American release. This wait will be over early next month when the game hits HD consoles, but I was happy I got the chance to try it out.

The demo first lets you choose between two characters: the first is a ridiculously buff fighter in too small clothing and the second is a speedy, lighter fighter whose clothes are also too small. When you take control of the buff guy, you’re pitted in a single boss fight against a pyromaniac leather-clad biker wearing spikes.

The controls are quite simple. There are two attack buttons: light and heavy. You can mix up different combos by switching up the input ala Bayonetta. There is also a special attack button which delivers a punishing super move after you’ve distributed enough pain.

In the boss fight, you basically pummel the biker until he jumps outside of the arena and throws traps and firebombs inside at you. This part was a little boring, even though the combat was enjoyable. The combos are a little slow and clunky with the buff guy, Kenshiro, who happens to be the main character, but they are still fun to string together.

The biker will eventually jump back into the arena when he’s finished throwing things at you, allowing you to bombard him yet again. You’ll eventually be able to do this awesome finishing move in which Kenshiro will say that his foe will die in seven seconds. Seven seconds later the fight concludes. It reminded me of a Bruce Lee movie I’ve seen. The variety in this portion of the demo was a little lacking and it is summarily over after the boss fight.

The other half of the demo is much better though. You take control of Rei, a much faster and efficient fighter than Kenshiro and his section provides variety. First you’ll demolish a small horde of wolf ninjas, then you’ll ride around on a motorcycle, scale walls and destroy debris, and even fight Kenshiro!

There are many more hordes of the warriors along the way too, and the swiftness of Rei’s combat makes for an entertaining romp. He even fights a second boss at the end, but he’s actually easier than Kenshiro’s. Oh yeah, and when you execute the final attacks, you’ll have to do QTEs where you press the displayed buttons to complete the attacks.

All things considered, I really did enjoy the Fist of the North Star demo. The first half of it isn’t too entertaining, but Rei’s section make up for it and then some. The full game launches on November 2nd for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 and we hope to bring you a full review.

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Kenneth Richardson

Kenneth is a Graphics and Game Design student who's worked as an author for since June of 2010. His favorite gaming genres are Fighting, Role Playing and Sadistic Action games like Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta. In addition to gaming, he is also strongly interested in music, fashion, art, culture, literature, education, religion, cuisine, photography, architecture, philosophy, film, dance, and most forms of creative expression.

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