Review by Fatness20

Reviewed: 03/25/04

A Tenchu with more action, brutality, and gore

The Mark of Kri, in my opinion, is a very underrated game. There really isn't much of a plot, other than an evil man wants to obtain ''The Mark of Cry'' so that he can have immense power. Yeah. Not much plot at all, but it is a very fun, yet very hard, game.

Gameplay: This game is unique with one major thing: the target selector. You wiggle around the right analog stick to target an enemy to either square, triangle, or X. You then press that button to attack that enemy. If you can, you target only one or two enemies, and then the free button, or buttons, are used for different attack combinations. You can attack from virtually any angle. And, if you are lucky, you can complete a deadly ending move at the end of the combination, which includes everything from stabbing the guy and ripping him of the sword to impaling an enemy on a spear. As for the ax, well, let's just say almost every blow is lethal, because, as long as you keep swinging, body parts are flying. There is also a stealth mode you can access, but it's not that great, because you must be unarmed in order to be stealthy. The only strength comes when you either sneak behind and stealth kill (includes beheading the enemy), a wall kill (you can drag a guy and beat him senseless against a wall) or just run up to a guy, punch him until he gets agitated and swings, and disarm him (which normally includes ripping the knife away from his and throwing it right between the eyes. Ouch.). Unfortunately, the game can get repetitious. Once you start hacking and slashing every enemy in sight, that's all you do. And eventually, when ten bandits are on you, things get real difficult. Even with an ax that can make sushi of a total of nine people at a time. And, although the levels are somewhat large, the game itself is short, only six levels. Now, granted, there is a few separate arena challenges, where you basically go on a killing spree, but other than that, the game is extremely short. But hard.
Gameplay Rating: 9

Control: This is where things get a little flawed. Other than the targeting of enemies, which is different than the standard ''swing wildly, hit something'' strategy, the control has some problems. But before that, I'll name the other great control trait: blocking. No matter what, as long as you hold down R1, which blocks, you will take minimum damage. Since most enemies have a set attacking pattern, as soon as they finish their combo, you can let up the block, attack, and block. But as for the negatives: First, the stealth mode, although different, is a problem. You must always put your weapon away (as if keeping them all in the same sheath is going to help quiet things down). Rau can be heard even though is in stealth mode, which isn't too helpful. It's not the worst part of control though: the actual movement is. If you hit a wall, Rau will just bounce off, confused. You run in one direction, then decide to quickly change, Rau will give a slight pause, as if confused. This can lead to a slashfest with the enemy, as they'll take advantage of that, and archers will love that slight pause to take the opportunity to put an arrow in your crotch (it's happened to me. Yes, it was funny.). But although there are flaws, it's not too horrible to make the game bad. It's just one of the games defects.
Control Rating: 7

Graphics: Nice, animated graphics. The colors are real nice, and on loading screens, you will see the previous cinema change into the level itself. That was a really need effect that the programmers through in there. Rau is very detailed, and all of his costumes are drawn in great detail. When you strike a solid object, you may see sparks fly off the wall. Blood is a very abundant thing in this game, and it will be shown on the enemies. As you slice them, you'll see scratches and blood stains on their clothing, and eventually on the ground. I'd probably have to say that the graphics are one of the best parts of this game for all of the above reasons.
Graphics Rating: 10

Sound: Not much sound in this game. Rau's ''battle grunts'', as I call them, can get annoying after you hear the same ones over and over. The opponent's cry's of pain also get annoying. Actually, most of the sounds of this game get annoying. And unfortunately, there isn't much to override that, as the only music is when you are actually battling enemies, and even that can get repetitious. Get my drift?
Sound Rating: 6

Longetivity: This game, if you don't cheat, may take you a while, and may also get you frustrated. If you do decide to cheat, it may not take you a while at all to beat the game.
Longetivity Rating: 8

Replayability: Honestly, I don't think there is any. Once you beat the game, if you wish to, you can find a set item so that you can use any weapon on any level, but there's codes for that. Cheater.
Replayability Rating: 6

Buy/Rent: Personally, I'd rent it first. If you like it, then buy it. But maybe renting it a few times and beating it will satisfy your thirst for blood.

The Mark of Kri is not a bad game. No, it's not the best action game I've ever played either, but it's not horrible. Give it a shot, and you may enjoy it.

Rating: 8

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