Kengo

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Kengo
Kengo: Legend of the 9 cover art
Kengo: Legend of the 9 cover art
Genres Fighting
Developers Light Weight
Genki
Publishers Crave Entertainment
Majesco Entertainment
Platforms PlayStation 2, Xbox 360

Kengo (剣豪) is the name of a series of video games developed by Genki. Kengo is considered a spiritual successor to the Bushido Blade game series for the PlayStation.

Games[edit]

Kengo: Master of Bushido[edit]

Released for the PlayStation 2 as Kengo in Japan by Genki on December 14, 2000 and as Kengo: Master of Bushido in North America and Europe on January 3, 2001 and March 30, 2001 respectively by Crave Entertainment. It was universally panned as a "disappointment", mostly blasted in sharp comparison to the Bushido Blade titles.[1]

While Kengo's graphics are sub-par for PlayStation 2, Kengo possesses some unique gameplay features. Although they evolved from Light Weight's previous Bushido Blade titles, their depth are the strongest factor of this title. There is only one button for attack and success is achieved through patience, timing, and skill.

The single player game is divided into three sections. The first two are training and challenging other schools. Training is divided into multiple mini-games that focus on one aspect of gaming, timing or button combos for example. The training serves to increase the maximum value of various character statistics, but not augment their actual value. The simple nature of the training quickly becomes repetitive. Challenging the other schools consists of fighting four identical-looking students, one unique student, and the school's master. The battles use wooden swords but are consecutive and of increasing difficulty, you do not regain health between matches.

After defeating each rival school, you earn your own place as the head of a school. Randomly, you will have access to the Imperial Tournament, which is the final goal of the game. The tournament is fought with steel swords and you start each match with full health. You can still challenge other schools and victory earns you their school's sword. Equipping different swords gives you a unique "special move". At this point in the game you will be randomly challenged by either the master or unique student of other schools and cannot decline. Losing such random encounters strips your character of that school's sword.

There is no gameplay to speak of outside of battle or training. The interface is strictly menu based. Subtle features such as being able to "break" swords in training and having to wait for them to be repaired add to the game's realism. Both the life bar and the Ki bar (which allows special moves) can be hidden from battle to create a more intuitive player. The status of a wounded character is still displayed during battle.

Offense is composed of four "stances" and one special move. A special move may not always be available depending on what sword is equipped. A special move is executed by pressing triangle when the Ki bar is full. The Ki bar can be filled by pressing triangle or by fighting well. Each "stance" is selected with the shoulder buttons and is composed of three moves. The moves are always executed in sequence and can be augmented by character's proximity to one another, the analog stick, or pressing another button during the combo. Outside of battle, the four stances can be re-designed by replacing one or all of the three moves with other moves earned throughout the game.

Reception[edit]

Kengo: Master of Bushido
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 64.62%[2]
Metacritic 62/100[3]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 6/10[4]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 5.83/10[5]
Famitsu 31/40[6]
Game Informer 7.25/10[7]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars[8]
Game Revolution C−[9]
GameSpot 5.9/10[1]
GameSpy 52%[10]
IGN 6/10[11]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 3/5 stars[12]

The game was met with mixed reception, as GameRankings gave it a score of 64.62%,[2] while Metacritic gave it 62 out of 100.[3] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 31 out of 40.[6]

Kengo 2: Legacy of the Blade[edit]

The second game in the Kengo series was released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan on June 27, 2002. It was released in Europe on February 14, 2003 under the title Sword of the Samurai. It features a character creation feature and over 100 detailed swords to choose from. It was not released in North America.

In Japan, Famitsu gave the sequel 30 out of 40.[13] The game received a 64% overall review score from Futuregamez.[14]

Kengo 3[edit]

The third game in the Kengo series was released for the PlayStation 2 on September 22, 2004. Featuring much improved graphics and a simplified fighting system from Kengo 2. It was released only in Japan.

Kengo: Legend of the 9[edit]

Released for the Xbox 360 on September 7, 2006, Kengo: Legend of the 9 (Kengo: Zero in Japan and Europe) was developed by Genki and published by Majesco Entertainment.[15] It is the fourth and latest game in the series.

In the game there are a total of 10 playable characters:

Reception[edit]

Kengo: Legend of the 9
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 45.06%[16]
Metacritic 38/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 2/10[18]
GameSpot 3/10[20]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[21]
GamesRadar 1.5/5 stars[19]
GameTrailers 4.8/10[22]
GameZone 3.5/10[23]
IGN 3.5/10[24]
Official Xbox Magazine 3.5/10[25]

The game was met with negative reception upon release, as GameRankings gave it a score of 45.06%,[16] while Metacritic gave it 38 out of 100.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stahl, Ben (January 5, 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido Review". GameSpot. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Kengo: Master of Bushido for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Kengo: Master of Bushido for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ Edge staff (February 2001). "Kengo". Edge (94). 
  5. ^ EGM staff (March 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on March 9, 2001. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "プレイステーション2 - 剣豪". Famitsu 915: 87. June 30, 2006. 
  7. ^ Reppen, Erik (March 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido". Game Informer (95). Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ Four-Eyed Dragon (January 5, 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido Review for PS2 on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 14, 2005. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ Dr. Moo (January 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Jessyel (January 22, 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido Review". PlanetPS2. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  11. ^ Smith, David (December 22, 2000). "Kengo: Master of Bushido". IGN. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  12. ^ Kennedy, Sam (March 2001). "Kengo: Master of Bushido". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Archived from the original on April 10, 2001. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ "プレイステーション2 - 剣豪2". Famitsu 915: 92. June 30, 2006. 
  14. ^ "Sword of the Samurai Review". Futuregamez. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Kengo: Legend of the 9 (Xbox 360)". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Kengo: Legend of the 9 for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Kengo: Legend of the 9 for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  18. ^ Juba, Joe (December 2007). "Kengo: Legend of the 9". Game Informer (176). Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  19. ^ Mardsen, Ken (September 28, 2007). "Kengo: Legend of the 9 review". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ Todd, Brett (September 25, 2007). "Kengo: Legend of the 9 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  21. ^ Steinberg, Steve (October 1, 2007). "GameSpy: Kengo: Legend of the 9". GameSpy. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Kengo: Legend of the 9 Review". GameTrailers. October 23, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  23. ^ Romano, Natalie (September 30, 2007). "Kengo: Legend of the 9 - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  24. ^ Craddock, David (September 13, 2007). "Kengo: Legend of the 9 Review". IGN. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Kengo: Legend of the 9". Official Xbox Magazine: 76. December 2007.