Genre Action -> Action
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Date 2001-03-30
Publisher Ubisoft
North America Retail Box ArtIn Kengo: Master of Bushido, gamers may recall Bushido Blade hitting the shops for the PlayStation a few years ago, as one of the first titles to break away from traditional fighting games by trying to cripple or instantly kill characters with one hit, rather than using a status bar to track the amount of damage done after each kick, punch or parry. Kengo: Master of Bushido is similar to Bushido Blade and it retains the generic health bar. It also has a "Ki-metre," which represents your ability to use special sword attacks and block your opponents' onslaughts. The unusual aspect of this game is that you spend the majority of the time developing your warrior's attributes by fighting non-lethal battles with a wooden sword. The game is full of mini-games, designed to enhance your characters stats and build endurance and power. But if you want to increase your abilities, you must actually fight and defeat opponents using the wooden blade. This will help you acquire the necessary fighting basics and will allow you to move up to gradually become a capable swordsman. As you defeat the enemies you get new moves, swords and special attacks, which can be inserted into your character's three-hit combo system--a very unique aspect of this game. The culmination of all this training, though, is somewhat of a disappointment. You get to compete in a single tournament where real blades are used. The tournament only has a handful of fights, a surprise battle, and then the credits start rolling. Just as in Bushido Blade, the combat is complex and offers up multiple parries and stances. The actual bloody combat, however, is relatively short-lived, which is bound to be very disconcerting to gamers looking for a hardcore hack-and-slash adventure. --Todd Mowatt

- PlayStation 2
- 4 modes of play including Practice, Training, Dojo and Sensei
- Animated blood and violence
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Screenshots added: 2004-01-05