Hey guys, Vince here.
You ha shock! Yes, I have been playing Hokuto Musou for about a month now – must say… It has a couple set backs from making it the ultimate Hokuto game, but overall I dig it. First off, being a huge fan of Hokuto no Ken (the post apocalyptic, Japanese comic book that came out in the early 80’s, of which the game is based) I might be a little biased in this review. That being said, you still need to understand that the game is like a re-vamped (for the better) Dynasty Warriors. It’s a little slower because of the usage of deadly martial arts instead of weapons, a lot more brutal, and the character designs are a tad bit prettier.
There are two main modes of the game: Legendary mode, which takes you throughout the story of the manga. (1P Only : Kenshiro, Rei, Mamiya, Toki, Raoh)
Illusion mode, (1P- 2P : All Characters selectable) An all new story made for the game – a what if world where the characters decide to go different routes changing their fate from the original storyline.
There is also a boss fight mode where you can fight all the characters from the Hokuto and Nanto schools sequentially.
Now all the pieces are here to make a great game, several deadly super moves per character with stylistic cut scenes per move, baddies that explode in to bloody mush straight out of the manga, decent boss fights, and 2 player co-op… but the main problem I had was…the pacing. With the Hokuto universe being brought to Dynasty Warriors, along with it comes the levelling up system. Kenshiro starts the game off very weak… all the devastating moves from his comic book counter part are there but with less um….WACHAA! You might have to end up doing the same Hyakkuretsu ken super move on one bad guy several times before he dies giving you an unfulfilled feeling in the end. Now of course as you go through his story mode, unlock other techniques, add defense , and become stronger, it slowly starts to feel like Hokuto no ken again – but this process took a little too long and for a dynasty warriors title, where their main weakness has always been repetition, I was sorta….disappointed. I understand that the levelling up systems is necessary but all I’m asking is for it to be tweaked a little….
Bad stuff aside I liked the game. Once I started levelling Kenshiro, unlocking Rei, Toki, Souther and Raoh….I was hooked. Raoh is so kick ass – with the man you can take out whole armies with your regular moveset. All of the Characters play well and the differences between the schools of Hokuto (North Star) and Nanto (South Star) keeps the characters from feeling the same. Hokuto focuses on power attacks, strength and making your enemies disapate, while Nanto focuses on speed, slicing attacks, and combos. The post apocalyptic setting looks great and adds for some cool backgrounds for the fights. A lot of the environment is destructible…so knocking some baddies into broken down cars and watching them explode with said car is pretty awesome. The voice acting is top notch, which makes the well made cinematic cut sequences that much more enjoyable.
Again, as a Hokuto no Ken fan, I’m just glad we got a next-gen game. In the end, the mix with the Dynasty Warriors franchise not only breathed some new life into the series but it dealt Hokuto no Ken some much deserved justice. I feel the game does a perfect job of allowing me to live through my favorite characters greatest moments and go back every once in a while for some stress relieving, head exploding mayhem.
Playable Characters are Kenshiro, Rei, Toki, Mamiya, Shin, Souther, Jagi, and of course the fist king himself, Raoh.