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Mark of Kri Member Review for the PS2

Lord_Fornelius By:
Lord_Fornelius
02/02/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Sony 
DEVELOPER Sony 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Disney Presents..

  Actually, Disney had nothing to do with the production of Mark of Kri (..unless..), but when you first set eyes on the various artwork, you would think that it is asociated with modern Disney-animated movies...but more bloody.

  Mark of Kri is about a barbarian named Rao who is caught up in this situation where there has been six symbols given to various tribes and families. These symbols were meant to cast a spell that would bring destruction onto earth, but were stolen and sent to the tribes for it's protection. As time grew, however, memories of the event dissapeared and the cult that created the symbols are using this advantage to retreive the symbols to continue their creation of the spell.

  I should also mention how the story is told. You see, there's these cutscenes that shows the progression of a drawing that reflects the story told in the cutscene (to see what i'm talking about, whatch this). The drawings themselves are very impressive in its completion. Like I mentioned earlier the art is very similiar to that of modern Disney-animated movies. This is not really surprising considering that the artists behind the development team are former 2D animators.

                                    The Mark of Kri

  Now to talk about the actual gameplay. Mark of Kri has alot of great elements in its design. The most notable element is its combat system. You see, the right analog stick is used to lock on to enemies. The enemies that are affected by the lock-on vision will have one of the face buttons over their heads. Pressing the following buttons will cause you to attack that enemy. You can also use various other weapons in the game, like a spear (to attack multiple enemies), and an axe (to attack heavier enemies). The enviroment can also effect your fighting. You can get your weapon stuck in a tree and if you hit a rock, you will be stunned for a few seconds. This maybe is the most innovative combat system i have ever see in an action/adventure game. However this does cause some problems. Since you're using the right analog stick to lock-on to enemies, you're going to have some camera problems (you have to use hold L1, and use the left-analog stick to move the camera).

  This can be lead to another great game design, however. You see, you have this companion with you named Kujo, and he can be used to spy on enemies in certain locations. Kujo can also be used to distract enemies. This leads to another element in Mark of Kri: stealth. Don't expect to get the quality of stealth in games like MGS or Splinter Cell, however. You mostly just sneak up befind an enemy and then kill him. Despite that, there are some nice things about it. Killing them requires some careful context-sensitive button pressing. You also get to see a short cutscene showing Rao killing the enemies in gruesome ways.

  This again leads to another design of the game: the vulgarity. Rao can kill enemies in these cool ways. He can do things like decapitation, bashing heads into walls, and various other ways. This is cooler due to the fact that the characters look like they came from a Disney-animated movie.

                                  The Mark of Kri

  Sadly however, Mark of Kri is not perfect. The biggest flaw with Kri, is the game's length. For most players, the game will last for 10 hours. What makes this worse is the lack of replay-value....well....meaningfull replay-value. You can complete these challanges during missions which will in turn grant you these arenas to compete in. The rewards you get for completing the arena challanges are new costumes for Rao. Sadly though, these costumes only effect Rao cosmetically. In other words, they don't effect the gameplay in any way.

  Mark of Kri is also very linear. Not only is the level design, but in the way of killing enemies. You see the game includes these elements that would allow you to kill enemies in a more stealth- based fashion, so you basically only have two options in killing people (kill them in more action oriented ways or in stealth oriented ways). I wish they made this system more like the one in games like Deus Ex, where you can have many options of kiling enemies. Than again, it creates this puzzle-like element to the game.

  Despite all of these problems Mark of Kri is a very enjoyable game to play. This is one of most overlooked gems for the PS2, and there's no reason to pass this game up, especially if it is currently $5 at Gamestop.

                               The Mark of Kri


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