PS2 REVIEW: DEVIL KINGS

Devil Kings is a repetitious affair that is better suited for the arcades of the world rather than home systems. There's some good solid action but it's all relegated to the shallow end of the pool.

Devil Kings is heavy on the action and if that's all you're looking for then by all means dive right in - but don't break your neck. On the surface it seems to have everything that a button masher could want, including hordes of enemies to slaughter, special moves, different colorful characters and RPG elements that allow you to gain experience. The problem is that even though the characters are different and the attacks vary, the execution is the same throughout the game.

Cross-genre features such as leveling-up, collecting items, gaining experience points, special attacks and unlockables is fashionable these days. Devil Kings has these elements attached like barnacles to a ship - or like perfume on a pig if you prefer. It's the core gameplay that needs to be addressed and throwing all kinds of filler in isn't going to change anything. Continual fighting has its limits. Doing it with different characters in the same basic format will test many players' patience.

Taking place in what appears to be ancient China, futuristic weapons and superhero types make their appearance juxtaposing any specific epoch. These superheroes are special warriors that possess special attacks that let them clear a path through a swarm of enemies. You will get to play as numerous warriors, all surrounded by a sea of enemies. Whether you blast your way through the crowd with thunder and lightning, energy waves or multiple rotating knives, the results are still the same.

Lasers, swords, guns and spears are just some of the weapons available. Through the acquiring of experience points you can upgrade your favorite weapon to take out more enemies. The animations of the battle scenes are great and even better than those of Dynasty Warriors on which this game is so shamelessly based.

Combat is relegated to the same two buttons. It's the same moves over and over and while I applaud simplicity, there has to be some depth to go along with it. This is nothing but mindless button mashing made all the more mindless due to the unintelligent enemies that do little than present any threat other than their sheer numbers.

I don't know what's going on in the cutscenes. I thought the cutscenes were supposed to explain situations, not muddy them. I don't know if there's some kind of bad translation thing going on but they don't make any sense. When characters talk to you in-game their text bubbles obscures your view which can cost you dearly in mid battle. I guess the pen is mightier than the sword.

The music is an eclectic mix of crap that doesn't seem appropriate for any game I've ever seen. The graphics are exceptional but it's just too bad they are wasted on such a simple and repetitive gameplay style. The lack of a multi-player mode might just indicate that Capcom knows it's got a stinker on its hands and doesn't need to spend more time and money on a game that won't see much of a return.

Preview by Vaughn

It was only a matter of time before another company attempted to steal some of the thunder from Koei's long standing Dynasty Warriors series. I'm surprised it's actually taken this long. Capcom steps up to the plate with Devil Kings which, let's be honest, bears more than a passing resemblance to Koei's flagship series - but that doesn't mean Capcom shouldn't attempt to evolve the genre or "build a better mousetrap".

Considering Capcom is the house that brought us Onimusha and Devil May Cry, it's not farfetched to think they might actually be able to pull this off while bringing some new ideas to the table. Instead of setting the stage in Feudal Japan, Capcom is ready to unleash ninja's, swordsman and gunslingers into the mix. Think of Devil Kings like the Ultimate Fighting Championship of epic battles. Well, it certainly has my attention.

Press Info:

In Devil Kings, players assume the role of various warriors who must lead their hero into a succession of hostile confrontations against an onslaught of opponents. The action explodes on-screen when awesome "critical moves" are performed on the battlefield as players plow through enemy hordes. Unleash the special powers from within to bombard those who stand against you with ruthless attacks or summon a powerful storm of fiery meteors and watch them explode in a whirlwind of destruction. Using experience points earned during combat, gamers can level up their characters' personal attributes and weapons. There are over 80 special items to find and unlock in hidden treasure chests located throughout the game. It's up to the player to build up their heroes, collect items, and carve a new path to victory and ultimate domination.

Features:

  • Roster of unique playable heroes – Control a variety of legendary warriors including ninjas, spear-wielding masters and dual gun slingers
  • Signature moves – Perform special attack moves that are specific to each fighter; summon a storm of flaming meteors or brandish six swords at once to slice and dice the enemy with lighting fast speed
  • Level-up system – Use the experience points earned during battle to level-up a character's attributes
  • Unlockable features – By meeting certain conditions, gamers can unlock new items and characters
System: PS2
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: Oct 2005
Players: 1
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
2.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
2.0