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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Microsoft

 

Developer

Dream-Publishing

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Good character graphics
- Controls are reasonably responsive
- Survival mode can be entertaining for a while

 

 

- Laughably horrible single-player story mode; feels more like a demo than a full game
- Generic selection of characters
- Wonít keep you interested in playing more than a day or two

 

 

Review: Dead or Alive 3 (XBox)

Review: Tekken Tag Tournament (Playstation 2)

Review: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (360)

 

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Kakuto Chojin

Score: 6.1 / 10

 

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After playing (and completing) Kakuto Chojinís single-player story mode in about 10 minutes or so you will you find yourself incredulously asking no one in particular, ďThis is all there is?Ē If the gameís developers were physically present you might have more than a few choice words in addition to that once the reality set in that you just blew 50 bucks. Kakuto Chojin (KC) is so short-lived and shallow in its gameplay options that youíll swear that a demo disc somehow mistakenly found its way into the Xbox storage case you just unwrapped.

As fighting games go, KC has one of the most laughably awful single-player story modes ever to appear in a fighting game. Iím not kidding, you can get through one characterís story mode in about 10 minutes. The only ďstoryĒ here is a few paragraphs of text that scroll down the screen once you quickly dispatch the required opponents to complete the story-less mode. The cut-scenes that supposedly tie any semblance of a story together are horrible too, not making any sense whatsoever. KCís story mode and done-as-an-afterthought background of

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each character are so ridiculously bad that it really seems that it was solely created for E3 2002 to only showcase some of Xboxís graphic horsepower and nothing more.

Making matters worse, KC contains a generic cast of characters that seemingly borrow a little bit of this and a little of that from every fighting game that has preceded it to create their appearance, especially the Street

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Fighter series. You would swear KCís Asad is Dalsim, Vegard could be a doppelganger for Vega (the name is shamelessly almost identical), and Sabre bears a resemblance to Ken. Going for the Dead or Alive 3 (DOA3) impersonations are KCís Roxy, Vittoria, and Reji. The inspiration for the other remaining characters could be right out of other big-name fighting series including Mortal Kombat and Tekken. The KC character with the most hilarious similarity is J.D. Stone, who looks strikingly like Brad Pitt from the movie The Fight Club. (Edward Norton is nowhere to be found, however).

But at least they look good while ripping off character traits from the casts of other more famous fighting games. The graphical treatment of KCís fighters is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim overall game. Surprisingly, as good as the characters look, the levels donít have the same visual appeal and are nowhere near the variety or quality of DOA3ís.

 

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Thatís not to say that the game isnít enjoyable Ė because it can be Ė but only in a completely short session before being quickly relegated to collecting dust on your game collection shelf. The best mode for a quick fighting fix is Survival, which pits your selected character against three opposing fighters at the same time. The goal is to go knock out the others in multiples of ten before they can knock you out. Good fun for a half-hour or so at a time, but thatís about it. The only other interesting draw to KC is the four-player Battle Royal, allowing you and three other human adversaries to fight each other all at once. Again, good fun for a brief while, but not much more than that.

While the controls arenít exactly DOA3 quality, they do the job better than what you would expect from a game without too many other redeeming qualities. Having specific combos to learn for each individual character and being able to perform the move you want within an acceptable timeframe save KC from being an all-out coaster.

For those looking to pick up a fighting game from the sparse titles available on the Xbox, do yourself a favor and stay away from KC. DOA3 is your best choice right now or if you already have DOA3, the surprisingly excellent Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is worthy of purchase. With the disaster that is KC, Microsoft needs to make sure that its upcoming in-house developed fighting games Kung Fu Chaos and Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus turn out much better. They certainly canít get any worse.

Kakuto Chojin's unbelievably fleeting gameplay makes this title nothing more than an overblown demo that gives the gamer a blink-and-youíll-miss-it glimpse of the Xboxís graphical power. While it has some decent graphics and reasonably responsive controls, only those bored with DOA3 might consider renting KC on some rainy weekend. I canít recommend anything more than that for this completely disappointing game.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(January 15, 2003)

 

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