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Masked Rider Kabuto
  PS2Beat_em_upJPN  
  opened by paleface at 03:58:34 02/24/07  
  last modified by paleface at 02:53:59 03/04/07  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=JPN]
           
I used to think that Bandai's sentai TV-based licensed games were hidden gold, and some, like "Hyakujyu Sentai Gaoranger" (see entry 127), definitely are. They haven't been so great lately, though, and MRK is just the latest proof.
 
The preview videos of this game looked fascinating, showing bug-armor-wearing urban troopers zipping back and forth between multiple foes, juggling them in the air, moving at super-fast speed while everything else moved in slow motion. Sounds awesome, eh?
 
Would have been. That's not quite how it worked out, though. We'll just skip past the dull, dark, and boring cinematics for now, and get right to the gameplay, which puts you in tiny little round arena after tiny little round arena, in which you face off against one or multiple foes, sometimes with an NPC on your side, and proceed to press the Fire button over and over to shoot them repeatedly.
 
Except then someone will build up enough "Matrix juice" or whatever you want to call it, and activate their super-speed. Everyone else suddenly moves in slow motion, and that fast person can now kind of juggle everyone as much as they like while it lasts.
 
I say "kind of" because the controls are frustrating, unintuitive, and possibly even random. It constantly changes your target, and this changes your movement, since you're always moving in a circle around your target. This is annoying, and makes movement feel slow and clumsy. You can zip-slide with the R2 button, which is nice, and almost saves things, except the arenas are so small there really isn't anywhere to go anyway.
 
The opponents aren't too bright about dealing with laser shots, so you could do that all day, but the shots do so little damage that you will get bored to death. Inevitably you'll go in for hand-to-hand combat, which consists of mashing two buttons: one does a flurry of punches, and the other fires a shot, then pulls out an axe and takes a swing with it.
 
These two moves alone do not a fighting game make, but they're trying. It doesn't work.
 
What will ultimately make you throw up your hands and drop the control, though, is when you've been in yet another slow, muddy laser attrition battle, and then your opponent uses speed juice while yours hasn't recharged yet, and they proceed to juggle you in the air in slow motion for a full minute or so. This is pure torture. It's like the game is pulling out your fingernails and feeding them to you.
 
  paleface 04:09:03 02/24/07
           
There is a co-op mode, which makes things worse, because while one player has their speed boost activated, the other moves at slug-speed.
    
downloads:
· 01_three.gif
· 02_zoom.gif
· 03_fast.gif
· 04_boxing.gif
· 05_shooting.gif
· zippy.mpg
 
references:
· Hyakujyu Sentai Gaoranger (PS1)
· Masked Rider 555 (PS2)

 
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