Review by Def2k1
Reviewed: 08/01/02 | Updated: 08/01/02
The Sleeper Hit Of The Summer
I, like most people, am caught up with the upcoming Fall blitz of games. Panzer Dragoon, The Getaway, GTA: Vice City and Shenmue II, just to name a few, are pretty much on my most wanted list. So it should come as no surprise that I am overlooking quite a few games that are out right now. Still though, browsing the web I see an article about a game called The Mark Of Kri and it looks as if it shows promise but I think to myself ''It can be skipped''.
Good thing I never listen to my own advice.
In a word, the game is excellent. It's like a weird combination of a Disney movie, Conan and State Of Emergency(though it's far better than the aforementioned SoE).
The art and animation on the game is simply beautiful. Everything is so fluid and seams together so perfectly it feels as if you're watching a cartoon as opposed to playing a game. The cut scenes in between each mission you receive are also a treat as a voiceover tells the tale of the mission, the action or scene the narrator is describing is being illustrated (literally) before your eyes. A very nice touch. The artists on this game are to be commended for their incredible work.
The controls are simple yet they get complex as the game progresses. And even better still, there is a tutorial you can use before every mission to better understand the controls. The combat system is also unique as you use the right analog to focus on an enemy or enemies and each enemy is assigned to a button so when you press X you hit the enemy assigned to x and so on and so forth. You can also change up attacks and dish out combos from different button sequences. And if that's not enough, to throw a few Metal Gear: Solid techniques, you can sneak up on enemies and kill them and use birds and other animals to form distractions. While the game may be considered to be a hack and slash type of game, you can't always get by on those 1 button combos. At many points in the game you'll have to block attacks and use your bird companion Kuzo to perch atop different areas and scope out the scene before you burst in swinging at anything moving which adds a bit of strategy to the game. These 2 things are crucial to the game as if you don't do either, you will die a fast death plain and simple. My only complaint is that sometimes when I'm trying to maneuver around things, Rau will just flat out bump into them, slowing me down. Still though, the controls are great.
The voices in the game are very well done. Each actor brings something different to the table and they all sound like actual characters as opposed to people PLAYING characters. The music ranges to wild, fast paced beats when in the heat of battle to a slow, eerie tension builder as danger approaches. My favorite part is the sound effects. From the clanging when swords clash to the bone breaking crunch of Rau trying to get his sword out of an enemies back, everything is crisp.
Replay Factor- High
There's a lot of stuff to unlock here. Levels, outfits, challenges, cheats, movies, concept art and more. Some of them are easy to get, some aren't.
Overall- I think that Sony is coming into their own as a first party developer. First Ico and now this. The game is full of action and violence and a decent story also (yes folks, a game can have BOTH! Unbelievable huh?) I think the game may end up being a little short (haven't beaten it yet so I wouldn't know) but most games of this genre aren't exactly epics and it's still fun while it lasts. Why not a 10? My only complaint overall is that it loads quite a bit and the load times aren't exactly short. They're not as long as Tomb Raider's but they take a bit and the waiting makes you want to get back to the action as fast as possible. It kinda sucks though when you think about it as many people my treat this just like Ico and overlook it but if you're reading this, get this game! You won't be disappointed.
Pros- Nice control scheme, Great sounds, beautiful graphics, lots of stuff to unlock, violence and lots of it (if that's your thing of course) and most importantly IT'S $39.99!!!! (if you live in the States of course)
Cons- Loading times and seems like it might be a little on the short side.
Oh and one more thing, I honestly don't see how all these websites and magazines are rating this game so low. It doesn't deserve anything below an 8. Try it and see for yourself!
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