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Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight DS Review Package Art

Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight DS Review

For some of us, back when we were little kids, we really got into Power Rangers. There was little that was cooler. The show had fighting, comedy, drama and that really hot pink ranger. Looking back, it's easy to have a good chuckle at the show: after all, a face in a tube needed "teenagers with attitude," when anyone who has gone through the teenage experience knows that nothing could be more counter-intuitive. But there is still a genuine charm that exists with the show, encouraging one more look up of the theme song on YouTube to get a good laugh every now and then. That said, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight may be the same type of show for current second graders. But if they wish to retain the fond memories we older gamers have of Power Rangers, then they'll need to steer clear of the DS game Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight.

Shortly after starting this game, an immediate sense that the developers did not care to create a quality product is obvious: this was a project on a holiday delivery deadline. While this title could be labeled a fighting game, that's a bit generous since there's very little of what resembles a game in this package.

The premise is simple: fight the bad guys. While the bad guys may look different across the claimed "over 600 levels," they all serve the same purpose of fighting back. There is nothing really distinct to any of the enemies aside from a palette swap and an occasional face lift. Attacks, sounds effects-- everything else remains the same. By the time you're finished with a few levels, you'll be turning the volume down so you don't hear the same generic screech that you have heard from every other enemy.

To help you fight the bad guys, you can hit, hit harder, or use an 'advent card,' which you collect by putting up with the game after so many levels. These advent cards activate cheesy cinematics and then impart an upgrade or attack of some sort. After collecting so many advent cards, given that you're only allowed to have five in your arsenal for a battle, you have to pick and choose which ones to equip before starting a challenge. This may have been an intriguing gameplay mechanic; instead, it comes across as annoying and entirely unnecessary.

While the game's box claims there are "over 600 levels," there's clearly some misinformation being presented. Yes, there are up to 13 playable characters, each of which you may use to play their respective 50 levels, and yes, 13 times 50 is 650, which is indeed over 600; but to claim that there are over 600 levels when they are in fact just repeats of the same exact levels that you played through with previous characters is to claim that Super Mario Bros. 2 has 80 levels because you can play through all 20 with 4 different characters.

Despite being a fighting game, there is no multiplayer offering whatsoever. Instead, you have the option of playing against a computer-- something you will have already done if you played through the game. There is little incentive to play through the game more than once, let alone play through with more than one character, because they all handle pretty much the same and do nothing to improve the dismal experience.

All in all, this is a game that will sell because uninformed parents and grandparents will purchase it for their kids who wear the pajamas and have the action figures of the series. Any enjoyment the child may have experienced as a result from the series will be torn down after attempting to play this game, and if they happen to have received it from Santa Claus, their belief in him will dissipate, given that the lump of coal would be preferable to this. This game can only be recommended for die-hard fans of the series who simply have to collect every little piece of franchise memorabilia, and even that recommendation is a stretch. If parents love their kids, or if anyone loves themselves, they won't get this game.

final score 1.5/10

Staff Avatar Robert Thompson
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"Henshin-a-go-go, baby!"

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