It’s been a decade of Dynasty Warriors. Where other games had died off for refusing to evolve, Koei’s series has defied the odds, marching on thanks to a dedicated fanbase that can’t get enough of tearing through hundreds of costumed cannon fodder without breaking a sweat. It’s the kind of punchy appeal that beat ‘em ups of old had – only with a SHMUP-like attention to body count.
Koei’s Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage is the kind of fanservice that is rarely seen outside of Japan. It’s also not the first time a developer tried to bring the martial-arts mashup to consoles if you remember “The Last Battle” on the Genesis or “Fist of the North Star” for the NES.
If you have no idea what the Fist of the North Star is, you might be better served by watching the anime or picking up the manga. Ken’s Rage doesn’t take a lot of time to explain itself other than being a force of violence through its wrecked landscape. Still, if you like Dynasty Warriors-like action or beat ‘em ups in general, you might find something to like within its pugilistic paradise. Just watch where you step. That might be someone’s guts over there.