Review by Vejicarothid
Reviewed: 08/06/02 | Updated: 08/06/02
This game is a PERFECT TEN! )minus one(
Wow. I remember back in the good ole days when I was playing Double Dragon and Final Fight I would say to myself, ''Gee, I sure wish there was some cool targeting system, and some cool death scenes, and some cool disarm/reversal moves, and blah blah blah!''. Well finally, my wishes, and the wishes of many other beat'em up fans, have finally been answered.
The Mark of Kri could best be summed by calling it a combination of Metal Gear Solid, Dynasty Warriors, and Tenchu. Maybe bit of Beast Master thrown into the fray.
The gameplay is where this game shines. By the end of the game you can target up to 9 opponents at once, and probably get in a fight with even more. (Not sure exactly how many enemies are allowed on screen at once). Also by the end of the game, this targeting and combat system becomes like second nature. You will be swapping weapons in the middle of a fight, lopping off heads, swinging back and forth between enemies, and doing the difficult insta-kill moves with ease. The game would be phenomenal if all that was in it was the great fighting system.
But unlike most games of this genre, that's not where the gameplay stops. If you wish you can stealth kill enemies, very much Tenchu style. There are enough stealth kills to keep you entertained, but there could have been more. To aid in moving around and killing silently is your spirit guide Kuzo, a little bird that follows you around and can scout ahead if you can find a suitable place for him(?) to perch. Unlike in Metal Gear Solid, you don't get a radar, you have to scout on your own with Kuzo.
All together, the gameplay is very versatile, and very fun. You won't find a better beat'em up on any system.
The graphics are good. That should be all I need to say, but I will elaborate for the sake of the readers! Many people have been comparing the style of this game to Disney animation, and while it does have that style, any conclusions you make about how this will make the game seem to kiddy shouldn't concern you. The game is very violent. Imagine if Disney made an animated version of Schindler's List, it would be pretty, but it would be gory as all hell.
The characters themselves are pretty well designed, the faceless armies do retain that, ''Look at us, we are faceless minions'' feeling, but there is enough variety in them to keep you entertained. I have yet to see any noticeable clipping and that is very rare even in the most glorious of games. Everything is very smooth and fluid. I love watching Rau make that quick dash towards an enemy to grab his head, bring him down, and snap his neck!
The sound can be compared to any other game where stealth is relatively important. It is strong enough to set an atmosphere, but mellow enough to let you use your ears to sneak up to enemies and know when you've been spotted. The music is nothing incredible, just your generic tribal beat most of the time, but it is also very dynamic. Even when you switch weapons the music will change tone and volume. The music is constantly keeping the perfect atmosphere for any situation. As for the sound effects themselves, they are all pretty good. The clanging of iron, the snap of bones, the screams of the dying, they all sound very realistic. And you will learn to fear the sound of the horn!
I imagine I will be playing this game for a long time. After you have beat it the first time, you can always go back and unlock all of the hidden stuff. And once you get through with that you can always screw around in the arenas. It's just fun to fight in this game, and that's what makes any game great. Being pure and simply FUN!
SCORE: The how and why
I gave this game a 9, because as in the title of this review, it's a perfect 10 minus one. It's only downfalls are that it's cut a bit short in every area. The game is really good, but it leaves you wanting more. You want more weapons, more levels, more enemies, more everything. Unfortunately there aren't many games of this caliber, so we'll all just have to wait for a sequel to lengthen the goodness that is The Mark of Kri.
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