Kengo: Legend of the 9
Follow the ways of the bushido. Become a master of the sword.
Preview by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
June 29th 2007
When it comes to localization, the Kengo series has been on a downward spiral. The first was distributed widely in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Though sales weren't so grand, so the sequel only saw Japanese and European shores. It didn't do so well in Europe, however, so Kengo 3 was left behind in its native country. Majesco Entertainment are seeking to reverse this trend by unleashing the latest in the Kengo saga in the US, reforged for the Xbox 360. All for $39.99.
"Kengo's stunning high definition graphics bring the game's nine real samurai to life," said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing, Majesco. "With its 2-player head-to-head mode, attribute upgrades and fighter customization, Kengo: Legend of the 9 offers a great deal of next generation gameplay at a fraction of the price."
The "nine" of the title refer to the most legendary samurai of feudal Japan, such as Two Swords Musashi, Jubei Yagyu, and Sanako Chiba. Naturally, your goal as a katana wielding ronin is to become the best of the best, the first of the nine. So hone your character with detailed customization, of not just his appearance (will you be a top-knotted spirit of justice or a devil mask wearing fiend?), but his four physical attributes. Also refine your chosen of many sword styles, with their own particular strengths and weakness. Fighting in the Kengo series is strategic. Don't expect to rush in swinging away and come out on top. These are deadly weapons where a single cut can have serious consequences, so blocking, baiting, and reversing your opponent's attacks are often the keys to victory. A lot of practice whacks with a wooden sword also help.
There's a detailed story mode to explore, as well as a challenging mission mode, and head to head battles against other real life samurai. There's even an Xbox Live Leaderboard where players can submit the ghosts of their own characters to measure up against those of other players, to win new gear and prestige. Not in the least, the series has been given a next-gen facelift, with breathtaking pastoral environments and detailed character models to bring the old world of Japan back to life.