Rise of the Kasai
Rise of the Kasai is an action-adventure game developed by BottleRocket Entertainment and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America exclusively for PlayStation 2. The game serves as a followup to the 2002 action-adventure game The Mark of Kri. On March 8, 2016 it was re-released on the PlayStation 4.
|Rise of the Kasai|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Michael A. Reagan
NA, EU: March 8, 2016 (PS4)
Hack and slash
The story for the Rise of the Kasai centers on a band of warriors known as the Rakus and their battles against the evil sect of dark magicians known as the Kasai, led by the traitor of the Rakus, Maibisi, who plans to collect the six Marks of Kri and unleash a multitude of horrors in order to rule the world. The narrative focuses on a series of events that take place ten years prior to the events of The Mark of Kri and ten years afterwards.
Levels taking place in the past feature the older generation of the Rakus, Baumusu, Rau's trainer from The Mark of Kri, and a new character named Griz, Baumusu's mentor. Meanwhile, future levels feature the new generation of the Rakus, Rau and Tati, Rau's younger sister who bears the Mark of Kri in order to stop Maibisi from unleashing world domination.
Gameplay consists of thirteen levels, in which the player, accompanied by a computer-controlled ally, must battle numerous enemies to progress through the story. Much like its predecessor, the combat system of Rise of the Kasai revolves around the use of Focus Beams, a gameplay mechanic used to lock on to single or multiple enemies from any direction.
While the DualShock 2's left analog stick is used to maneuver the character, a sweep of the right analog stick will cause a beam of light to extend from the player's character. When this beam of light comes into contact with an enemy, an attack icon will be assigned to them. Attack icons are symbols that appear over the enemy's head and correspond with the X, square, and circle buttons on the controller. When an attack icon is assigned, the player can press the corresponding button to initiate a focused attack.
This attack will vary depending on distance and the direction that the character is facing in relation to the focused enemy. When only one or two different attack icons are in use, the free button(s) becomes a Modifier that can be used to chain together attack combinations. In addition, some of these attack combos can lead to an instant kill if done correctly.
While players may spend a majority of the game fighting enemies head on, there are many occasions where the player has the option to employ stealth tactics to avoid detection and quietly ambush the enemy. A stealth kill can be performed by sheathing the character's weapon and using the focus beam to assign a flashing attack icon onto an unsuspecting enemy. The player will be able to initiate a stealth kill once the enemy is in range and the attack icon becomes solid.
To help remain undetected, the player can send out a spirit guide to a certain key-point to scope the environment ahead and monitor enemy positions, armaments, and patrol patterns. Using a spirit guide to scout ahead can also allow the player to devise battle strategies if stealth is not an option. Spirit guides vary between the four protagonists. Rau and Baumusu use Kuzo, a spiritual familiar that takes the form of a blackbird, as their spirit guide. Kuzo can be sent to various perches throughout the level to scout ahead. Tati and Griz summon the souls of the dead to scout ahead from the various corpses that litter the environment.
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Rise of the Kasai received mixed to positive reviews from critics, as GameRankings gave it a score of 70.65%, while Metacritic gave it 68 out of 100. While many critics praised the game's combat system, control scheme, and distinctive cinematics, others panned the game due to repetitious gameplay while expressing disappointment in the game's AI and lack of multiplayer options.
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