|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage|
|Release Date:||: March 25, 2010|
December 2, 2010 (International)
|Genre:||Action Adventure, Beat 'em up|
|Game Modes:||Single Player, Multiplayer|
|Platform(s):||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage (北斗無双, Hokuto Musou) is the second dual franchise title from Koei, the first being Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. The game's story and characters are based on the famous Japanese comic and anime Fist of the North Star. It was originally announced as a "mystery title" during the 2009 Tokyo Game Show and was publicly unveiled during a staged media event on October 14, 2009 (broadcast live to the Japanese movie site, Niconico Douga). Tetsuo Hara and Yoshiyuki Okamura, the illustrator and writer of the original comic, have expressed their support and enthusiasm for the title.
The producer says that the staff aims to create a "new realistic feel" for the Fist of the North Star series while still being faithful to the original's roots. During this process, he remarked his concerns for the characters' body structure, muscles, and other minute details (such as perfecting the model for Raoh's wrinkled forehead). Regarding the tweaks to the attack speed, he adds that it was done in an effort to tune towards Hara's request for realistic movements. In retrospect, he also stated that the request became more of a challenge when modeling the movements for the Hokuto and Nanto fighters.
Koinuma also said that the entirely new cast of Japanese voice actors was Hara and Okamura's concept since the development staff was struggling with the issue. According to him, Hara is especially pleased with Kenshiro's new voice. He notes that the official mode for this title carries more action adventure tones than other Warriors titles thus far yet gave his assurance that Warriors fans can easily feel at home in the game's original story mode.
The Treasure Box set will include an illustrated story book, a clock that is voiced by Rin, Kenshiro, and Raoh's voice actors, and a copy of the original soundtrack. People who reserve the game early can also get a specially made metal card protector with their purchase. Limited buyers can also obtain a "comic faithful" version of Kenshiro's outfit.
The game's narrator for the Japanese dub is Norio Wakamoto and Douglas Rye in English.
The basic controls and mission system are the same as most Warriors titles. Players can also evade like the characters in the Samurai Warriors series. While a K.O count is still present, enemies don't necessarily swarm the players and appear in certain sections within an area. Enemies are killed in a similar manner as the original comic, including the series' unique death cries, blood, and exploding bodies.
- Players can play under three different styles found among characters: the Hokuto, Nanto, or Special Type.
- Hokuto style users can pinpoint their opponent's secret pressure points at various times, allowing their character to deal critical damage. This can be done by simultaneously tapping the (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360) with their attacks, although this feature is only available when an icon is present on a foe.
- Nanto fighters can use a unique technique called Timely Strike, which allows the characters to see openings in their opponent's attacks. When the player and their opponent simultaneously perform a strong attack, a select button may appear on the screen within that instant. If players successfully press the correct button within the moment it appears, the Nanto fighter will instantly evade the attack and perform a counter. This makes the Nanto user's attacks temporarily stronger, the screen turning a slight shade of blue during the move's effects. They also have versatile aerial attacks compared to the other types.
- Special types, like Mamiya and Jagi, rely on a technical perspective and can use weapons for special attacks against their foes. They are made for veteran players who want to use trickier characters.
- A skill point system similar to recent Warriors titles also appears in the game. The main difference with Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is that players need to equip particular skills in order to expand their character's learning curve. As more battles are cleared, players can choose to learn whatever techniques, legendary techniques, and secondary abilities they desire for each character based on their own choices. Skill points are earned by collecting glowing balls, or "karma", found after defeating opponents in the field. They can also be earned by correctly performing a Finisher, trashing objects for scrolls, completing missions, or by finishing a stage with a sound performance.
- As players meet certain conditions throughout the course of a stage, the big dipper diagram at the bottom of the screen will fill up. Doing so provides assorted bonuses which become better the higher up the diagram a player fills. It's also possible to activate the "Star of Death" phase against the final boss for a mission. As a reference to the original series, it is a bright star located just south of the constellation. The "Star of Death" is activated by using the Signature Move that coincides with the storyline of the manga. If players defeat the boss with the "Star of Death" lit, they will receive a special notice and will be able to see the boss's weak points during a repeat performance.
- Players can perform an instant guard, or "Just Guard", against an opponent's blows to open opportunities for more combos. It requires precise timing with the L1 trigger (PS3) to pull off the technique. This helps reduce the chances of character being stunned from blocking normally. While holding the same button, players can also perform a dashing evade. To do so, they need to determine a direction and tap (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360).
- Characters can also grab opponents, climb walls, or pick and throw items with the R2 trigger (PS3). They may also need to destroy objects to clear alternative paths through an area. Pressing R2 and (PS3) or Y button (Xbox 360) re-adjusts the camera in a target position for players.
- Each character can unleash, Spirit Aura, which momentarily increases the powers of their characters by sacrificing the "Spirit Reserve" gauge. It can be activated by tapping the L2 trigger (PS3) or the Left bumper (Xbox 360).
- Tapping (PS3) or B button (Xbox 360) lets players use their character's various techniques from the comic. These Signature Moves act as the character's type of "musou" in this game, allowing limited invincibility and massively damaging a target. When a technique is used, the game will momentarily freeze the action on the field until the move is completed. The nature of implementing a technique varies with each character.
- Characters are allowed to have multiple techniques at once and they can be rotated by tapping the directional pad in one of the four directions (PS3). There are several new techniques for characters that were made solely for this game.
- Each character has their unique legendary technique, or Hyper Signature Move, which can instantly kill crowds of weak opponents if performed correctly. To trigger this effect, characters must be in a Spirit Aura state and must have at least a few gauges of the Spirit Reserve bars filled.
- Another skill available to each character is the Finisher, which is a special finishing blow that can only be used against nearly defeated bosses during Legend Mode. During the sequence, players will need to input buttons that flash on the screen to pummel their foe with Fist of The North Star flare. The feature is executed in a similar manner as Duels in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, except that players need to input a longer series of button combinations for a successful finish. Causing a mistake restores a portion of the boss's health and lowers the player's life as punishment.
- Players can also taunt in the game with their characters to lure foes closer to them. Taunting a foe too many times can make them enraged and tougher to defeat.
- When a character is damaged, their model may change to reflect the changes in their life gauge. These changes to an outfit cannot be "fixed" for the remainder of the mission. However, keeping a character's health above a certain portion of their life gauge will result in no further changes: i.e., keeping health above 2/3 will keep a character at full clothing and so on.
- The screen now splits vertically for two players.
Similar to the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam titles, this is the story segment which faithfully follows the original source material. The official mode follows the first arc of the series, starting with Kenshiro's beginnings until he faces Raoh for the right of successor. Kenshiro, Rei, Mamiya, Toki, and Raoh can be played in this mode. Kenshiro is initially available; the others require special conditions to unlock them.
- Clear the second stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download his comic faithful outfit.
- Clear the second stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download her comic faithful outfit.
- Clear the sixth stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode or download his comic faithful outfit.
- Complete all other characters' Legend Modes or download his comic faithful outfit.
Finishing this mode with Rei also unlocks an alternate "white haired" Rei model for players.
Comic faithful outfits are only available as downloadable content.
An original story for the game which lets other characters become playable. Characters both have voiced narrations and voiceless character interactions in between stages to help tell the story. The basic outline of the mode has the four Hokuto brothers interacting with the "Nanto army". Each character offers a different perspective or story arc within the mode.
In order to access this mode, players have to at least finish the first stage of Kenshiro's Legend mode. Completing character scenarios in this section is needed to unlock more characters for this mode. The following lists the specific character requirements for each character being unlocked.
- Completely clear Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
- Clear first stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
- Clear first stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
- Clear fourth stage of Kenshiro's Legend Mode.
- Clear Shin's Dream Mode.
- Clear Kenshiro's Dream Mode.
- Clear Rei's Dream Mode.
- Clear every other characters' Dream Mode.
Clearing this mode with Kenshiro, Toki, and Raoh unlocks alternate versions for them at the character select screen. Toki's alternate resembles his younger look before the 199X bombing while Kenshiro and Raoh having shirtless models in accordance with their final battle.
Unlocked once Kenshiro's official mode is cleared, it pits the players against a continuous string of opponents. Players can simultaneously face the four Hokuto candidates, the six Nanto Seiken, and other challenges as the players continue playing. It acts as the game's survival mode.
Additional scenario and characters are available as downloadable content.
The game's tutorial mode for anyone unfamiliar with the game's system, starting with Kenshiro (Hokuto Type). Includes Rei (Nanto Type) and Mamiya (Special Type) once the second chapter of Kenshiro's official mode is cleared.
Features renders, music, and movies within the game. Players can also look up terminology of the series within the brief database section. A player's completion percentage as well as kill counts can be viewed here. The completion percentage does not include the progress on character upgrade charts.
To unlock all of the music in the game, simply complete any character's Dream and Legend Mode.
Players can arrange the buttons, adjust the sound, or turn off the gauges on the screen. Subtitles may be toggled on or off for the cutscenes but not for in-game speech during battle. There are three difficulties: easy, normal, or hard. An option to adjust the game's violence level can also be done: "Hard" keeps the blood and gore while "Mild" turns it off to a degree.
- Raoh with his horse, Kokuougou
- Heart - as downloadable content
- Outlaw - as downloadable content
- Giant Hag (Babaa) - bonus character during Jagi's story. A muscular man who poses as an elderly woman to try to catch his guests off guard. Tries to poison Mamiya, Toki, and Kenshiro by courteously giving them water after escaping Cassandra. Kenshiro sees through the trick and rudely tells the "granny" to drink the water first. Can't keep up the jig and is easily beaten by Kenshiro afterwards. Not officially named but known as Babaa ("Granny") or Dekai Babaa ("Huge Granny") by fans due to "her" height and Kenshiro's comment.
- Hokuto School
- Southern Cross
- Holy Emperor Cross Mausoleum
- 100man-nin no Hokuto Musou
- Hokuto Musou International - a PS3 only port of the overseas adaption of the game for Japan that is being sold for a discount price. It includes the increased violence made specifically for Western audience, new changes to the enemy layout in the scenarios, and the English voice track. Players can also experience a longer version of Legend Mode for the playable cast and Kenshiro will now become gradually stronger as he progresses through this mode. Every character has been strengthened greatly compared to the first release, and the actions have been sped up as well. Consumers who have save data from the original release can continue to use it in this game. Players will also have to repay for downloadable content but a pack to include every downloadable item has been compiled for this version with a 1,500 yen price tag.
A collaboration present campaign with Comic Bunch and Weekly Famitsu was announced shortly after the game's release in Japan. Two winners have the chance to win a PlayStation 3 or a Xbox 360 personally signed by Tetsuo Hara (Kenshiro prize). 33 contestants can win a picture signed by Hara (Raoh prize) while 65 entries can win a specially designed phone card (Yuria prize). In order to apply, users would need to place stickers found within copies of Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and mail it on a postcard to either Comic Bunch or Weekly Famitsu addresses, along with proof of purchase of specially marked magazine publications. Entries have to match the requirements of the prize they hope to obtain in order to be eligible and will be accepted until April 30, 2010 (by postmark on entry).
Character renders, voice samples, and other sound effects from this game were also added as contents in Musou Mobile, a cellphone service in Japan featuring other Warriors titles.
- Performed by Nana Tanimura
*both songs were performed during the October 14, 2009 press event. Used during promotional videos. Both songs play during the game's credits and change depending on the character scenario. Both songs have been removed in the US and International releases.
The first opening song of the Fist of the North Star anime, Ai wo Torimodose!!, can also be heard in the game as background music. It has a special vocal-less, rock arrangement for the game and plays during important events.
- Pokka Coffee was performing a collaboration event with Fist of the North Star in which they had specially printed cans on their products. These same drinks were present during the March 3rd Premium play test for Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage.
- Kokuougou, or at least a horse sharing his name, previously appeared as a special horse in the G1 Jockey series.
- International portal page, Official European blog
- Official Japanese site, International Version site, International radio commercial that played during Neoroma & Musou
- Dengeki Playstation cover issue
- PlayStation 20th Anniversary thank you video
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Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage • Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 • 100man-nin no Hokuto Musou|
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage|
|Kenshiro • Rei • Mamiya • Toki • Shin • Jagi • Thouzer • Raoh • Heart • Outlaw|
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2|
|Juda • Shew • Fudo • Juza • Ryuga • Bat • Rin • Ein • Falco • Shachi • Hyou • Kaioh • Amiba • Nameless Shura • Han|
|Hokuto Shinken • Nanto Seiken • Hokuto Ryuken|