The Legend of Kage 2 Review
The Legend of Kage 2 box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Taito 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Taito / Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 8, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Much like Kage 2’s gameplay, the production is good, but it could also be much better. Similar to Contra 4 on DS, Kage 2 looks like an SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) game. The game’s backgrounds are very basic, and though everything is uniform and collision detection is sound, there’s absolutely nothing remarkable about the game’s visuals. Character sprites, however, fare a bit better and are on par with what we’ve seen in the DS Castlevania games. Character stills during conversations are also attractive and probably offer the most visually appealing aspects of the game.

The Legend of Kage 2 screenshot

The aural elements of Kage 2 don’t excel beyond the game’s graphics, and much of what’s here is quite dated. The sound of flying shurikens is decidedly archaic, and enemy sounds are wholly unambitious. Themes during level romps are fun and fit well alongside the adventure, but most of the music during conversations is overly dramatic and makes the overall story come off as campy – perhaps the actual intent of the developers.

Along with music that might conjure visions of daytime drama, Kage 2 has some utterly cheesy dialogue. Though the story offers some interesting ideas based on authentic, feudal-era Japan, conversations between the game’s main characters are, simply put, bad. However, it’s hard to imagine this wasn’t the developers’ intention from the start; everything is so hammed up and heavy handed, it’s difficult to think otherwise. Playing as either main character offers minor variations in the story, but the differences are negligible.

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In spite of the game’s flaws, The Legend of Kage 2 still offers a fun bit of side-scrolling action for hardcore DS gamers. Though the game’s story is quite short, you’ll rarely see everything there is to see in a given level the first time through. Chapter bosses, though a bit drawn out, are fun and rewarding to defeat. The gameplay gets a bit repetitive, but there are incentives for exploring every nook and cranny of the game. You’ll also unlock a few extras, and at $20, Kage 2 is a pretty decent bargain. Casual players will likely give up midway through the second chapter, but for those folks who like it rough, you’ll get a good and mostly fun challenge from this game.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
The graphics work, but they’re severely dated on DS.
4.0
Control
Controls work well and make sense, and there are four different control set-ups to choose from.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Sound effects are archaic, and the music is hit or miss.
3.8

Play Value
Though The Legend of Kage 2’s story is quite short, the two story arcs, multiple pathways through levels, and $20 price tag make this a fair deal for gamers who like it rough.

3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The hit arcade game returns, now on a handheld console for the first time!
  • The dual-screen functionality of Nintendo DS injects life into the vibrant game world and its elaborate, action-packed stages
  • Various combinations of Element Orbs allow players to perform an assortment of skills and Ninjutsu techniques
  • Two stories told through two protagonists, both with unique attack abilities, provide twice the adventure for players


  • Screenshots / Images
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