The Mark of Kri
What do you get when you combine stunning graphics, infectious gameplay, exquisite game design, and a compelling storyline? You get Sony's The Mark of Kri (pronounced 'kree'). This is the first fighting game developed by San Diego Studios, and boy, did they ever produce a winner.
In The Mark of Kri, you play Rau, a warrior sent to solve a mystery surrounding six arcane scrolls. Rau faces a variety of opponents, journeying through ancient ruins, forests, fortresses, and frozen tundra. The storyline (yes, finally, a fighting game with a decent story) will keep you intrigued from mission to mission, but the real star here is the combat model.
In most fighting games, you find yourself spinning in circles, trying to lock onto enemies before they cut you down'pretty frustrating when you are getting wasted before you can even turn around to see who's hitting you. San Diego Studios solved this problem with an ingenious combat model, making it easy and fun to fight multiple enemies.
Bucking the genre trend of only letting you save after completing missions, The Mark of Kri gives you save scrolls on each level which you can use to save your game at any point! The number of scrolls is limited, though, so you'll need to be judicious about using them.
I love the fact that this game forces you to think about what you are doing at every step. You can't just hack your way through the levels' strategy is required. There are many moments when you must sneak up on enemies to prevent them from sounding alarms, or use your bird-friend Kuzo to see what's around the corner. This level of intellectualism is truly a rarity in this genre.
My wish list for the sequel (please make one!) would include a multiplayer option and a greater variety of weapons/rewards. But really, I can't find too much wrong with this game. Buy it now!
Download The Mark of Kri
Whoa, talk about slipping in under the radar. I went into The Mark ofKri expecting nothing and came out completely blown away by the overall quality of this strange but engrossing action/adventure game. First of all, don't judge this game by its goofy graphics. Kri fuses Disney's naive sense of adventure with the darker and more mature edge of classic laserdisc games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace for a hyper-violent experience. Mark my words: This game is not for kids. It makes Conan the Barbarian look like The Jungle Book by comparison. But if you're in the mood to spill some blood, Kri is the game for you. Much of the combat involves rotating the right analog stick to lock onto individual or group targets, as you're constantly taking on a bunch of enemies at once. Think of it like some sort of sweeping melee sonar. Once you've picked your victims, they're assigned to different buttons on the Dual Shock, giving you the ability to attack multiple enemies simultaneously. The ingenuity of this system is in how it alters your combat effectiveness based on the number of bad guys you pursue; the more you target, the less complex your combos. Combine this deep fighting system with four distinct weapon styles, innovative stealth action, a ton of over-the-top death animations, sublime use of feedback vibration and beautiful hand-drawn cutscenes, and you've got the sleeper hit of the year.
Between Krfs> storybook style, intense voice acting and epic storyline, I would have sworn it was based on an animated film. But after my burly hero rammed an enemy head-first into a stone wall, I knew this was no Bambi. Krfs gameplay blends solid slasher action with keen stealth elements--I especially dug the intuitive combat model that had me ably fending off three attackers at once. The game affords you several options for tricking foes into becoming easier kills, but you can always just dive in for an all-out melee. With all the new attack features it kept introducing, Kri felt a little like one big training mission, but I was blown away by its depth.
What the...where did this game come from? It's like someone took the best parts of a Disney film--the memorable characters and smooth animation--and replaced all the song-and-dance numbers with necksnapping, torso-gutting, throat-slitting carnage. Combat is an adrenaline rush of offense, defense and combos that lets you kick multiple butts at once, and, most importantly, with style. And the way your bird can scout ahead, grab items and fool guards? Genius. Not to mention all the stealth, sniping and puzzle elements worked into the various levels. It's right up there with Metal Gear Solid 2 as the best action the PS2 has to offer. Play it.