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Shijyou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi
  opened by paleface at 05:25:05 10/09/07  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Fighting; reg=JPN]
I think this is based on an anime of some kind; anyway, the full name is "Shijyou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi: Gekitou! Ragnarok Hachikengou," according to GameFAQs. I have no idea what that means...except maybe the Ragnarok bit.
Surprising to find a 3D anime knock-off fighting game like this coming from Capcom, but then again they don't really make good fighting games anymore, so maybe I shouldn't be all that shocked. It's not that Kenichi is a bad game, but it just isn't a very good one.
It's very limited. For instance, there's no jumping, and no crouching, although there are down attacks. You can circle-strafe around your opponent, although I didn't find it to be very useful for, like, dodging or something. You have two attack buttons, and a power attack button for when your meter is charged up, although that's really only useful as a guard-break in some situations; it seems better to let the meter charge up a few levels, then just do your super (each character has just one). Supers have a handy shortcut key--handy because the double-quarter-circle move detection seems overly picky. Oh, and there's a counter button, where you get a counter-attack off if you press it right before your opponent's opening hit lands (not the later hits in a combo--too late!). And one of the two main attack buttons does throws, too. And that's mostly it.
The characters are spunky youngsters with mostly the same move inputs, at least the few I tried. There aren't all that many, and you only have a whopping four to choose from for practice/vs/score-attack modes to start with. Story Mode only lets you use the main character, and you go through a series of talking-head dialogues in between mostly single-round fights. Sometimes you fight in the same stage several times in a row. There don't seem to be too many backgrounds in the game, come to that, and the ones that are there, that I've seen so far, are really bland.
Between main fights in Story Mode you have to go through training sessions with you sensei and a the extremely buxom, purple-leotard-wearing blond girl who hangs out with you. These training sessions involve you doing some move repeatedly. The instructions are in Japanese, and although I can figure out a lot of them, I got to one where I got stuck. It looks like some clever devils on GameFAQs have a thread about what to do in the training sessions, but without that, or Japanese reading ability, you may not be finishing Story Mode.
Not that Story Mode is brilliant, but I think it's the only way to unlock the rest of the relatively small cast. There are also six or eight or something minigames, and the two or three I've seen have been irritating "do this simple gamepad function over and over" types of things.
Aside from the graphics being decently cel-shaded, the sound and visuals don't particularly stand out. The characters look decent, if a bit angular, but they aren't particularly thrilling, and neither is the stage design, music, etc.
The AI seems to have this very annoying catch-up thing going, where it's a pushover up to half-health or so, then it starts giving some resistance, and around 1/3rd health, it starts busting supers and combos at a much higher rate than it was before. These abrupt style changes are silly, but the moves are so basic that really you just steamroll the attack buttons and seem to get through all right.
...Except that there's no real reason to play this game, since there are so many other, better ones, many made by Capcom themselves. Maybe if you're a big fan of the anime, or something. Otherwise, you've got better games to play.
  paleface 05:31:37 10/09/07
Download added: 2kitty.mpg (4132868 bytes)
  "Chick fight in the same spot (someone shut up that cat) with weird story characters."
Ohh I forgot to mention that the game auto-blocks for you.
  paleface 14:00:31 10/09/07
The first minigame you come to / unlock in Story mode is particularly inconvenient for joystick users, since it requires you to twirl the analog stick repeatedly; if you're like myself and prefer to use arcade sticks for fighting games with traditional 2D controls, like this one, you'll have to have a stick that can simulate analog function, or swap controllers.

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