First Impression: Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan

March 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Import Gems | Leave a comment

So it is finally here. The king of good ole hot-blooded street fighting returns!

I have put about three hours into the game so far, and just wanted to share my general impressions. I am a huge fan of both Ryu Ga Gotoku 1 and 2, so it might be best to take that into account when reading this.

Alright so first lets just talk about the meat of the game, which is the awesome street fighting. So far it is still pretty similar to the first two games, except with the addition of swords. I personally love the addition because I constantly carried swords in my inventory in the first two games. Now they have been fleshed out and are a big part of the combat. I haven’t gotten any special abilities yet, but it is still very enjoyable. As much as I love using swords in the game, I am also pleased that the hand-to-hand combat hasn’t been rendered ineffective. In fact I still find myself sheathing my sword just to beat 7-8 armed bandits to hell and back. It is also nice to see the enemies jump back out of fear when you draw your sword on them again.

It seems that they have ditched the three stats you could level up yourself in the first two games. Now it appears that you do certain kinds of events and training in order to learn abilities and HP and power just level up normally. I really like this system better, as it feels a little more natural. My one dissapointment so far is that there still doesn’t feel like enough useable items are in the combat areas. I have ran into a bunch of cool ones so far, but they still seem kind of scattered unlike the first two games. The numbers might go up later, not really sure.

It really is a beautiful game on many different levels. The shadowing is some of the best I have seen in any game, as are the character models. After tweaking some settings on my tv I was completely blown away by how good the models look in game. Some of the environments aren’t exactly mind blowing but they are still solid and the art direction is good. The game also shines in the animation department. Not just the main character, but even random NPCs dancing through the streets have solid animation.

The team did a great job of designing Gion. The streets are crowded and it really has a great mood and atmosphere to it. Lots of small details such as drunks passed out in dark alleys, Geisha blowing bubbles out into the crowd, and fireworks constantly firing into the sky. Overall the presentation is really delivering what I want. Also a great addition is the auto-advance feature when listening to voiced conversations. You just hit R3 and the conversation will flow nice and smoothly. The voice work is just as good as the first two games, which still rank up as my favorite voice work ever.

The story so far seems solid enough. It definitely has my attention and makes me want to play more and see where it leads. Only problem is I am now flipping through the manual and I know I am going to get distracted racing turtles or hitting on Geisha and end up spending 60+ hours before finishing the game. I already blew like half the money you start off with hitting on a geisha. I suppose I can’t really complain about that though.


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