Taito Kage Densetsu: Legend of Kage 2
Kage, buddy! Been a while, like, since the 80s!
- Ninjas!, customisable Ninjutsu, two main characters, challenging boss fights, budget price
- The height of the jumps takes some getting used to
Two playable characters and ninjutsu a la carte make The Legend of Kage 2 worth checking out if your Tokugawan soul burns with everlasting passion.
Kage, buddy! Been a while, like, since the 80s! Oh, you're still a ninja? That Kirihime, always getting into trouble with demons — damn! Well, you're looking good-better than ever, really. We should get a beer sometime. Ninjas are cooler than pirates, just so you know where I stand...
Yep, he's back, and I don't mean on the Virtual Console. The Legend of Kage has received its true and proper sequel on the DS, featuring some dramatic, if a tiny bit goofy — "I'll make you crawl like a worm and have you coughing blood!" — cut-scenes, quality 2-D animation, and a new ninjutsu system that is a lot more engaging and flexible than the old power-ups.
The story part of Kage's pursuit of the magical kidnapped princess takes a backseat to the action, despite the frequent anime portrait-style diaglogue sequences. Actually, you can also choose to take on the search and rescue with a newly trained ninja, Chihiro. The two characters use different weapons, but the main difference lies in their ranged attacks; Chihiro's fundo (like a chain whip) doesn't have the reach of Kage's shuriken. Kage (and Chihiro) can really jump, so while the controls are pretty straightforward, it will probably take a moment to get your bearings. Actually, the light tapping of the B button necessary to hop (as opposed to taking flying leaps) feels dexterous enough to even immerse you a little in the ninja character you've taken on. Jumping is important, because even though they come down to proceeding to the right as you would expect, the stages have a serious vertical aspect that takes advantage of the dual screens. Leaping through the tree tops actually means something here — often that you are missing orbs on the ground, if you aren't checking around, although they could just as easily be found on a cliff top.
Elemental orbs are the key to ninjutsu. I got kind of into the system of creating your own spells by inserting color-coded spheres into the triangly grid. By arranging certain patterns (triangles at first, but as you gain more orbs you can make some other shapes) you can come up with buffs, as well as various strengths of lightening, ice shields, and fireballs. You don't have enough orbs (or a big enough grid, for that matter) to active all your powers at once, so it becomes a bit like equipping Materia in FFVII, only with a puzzle aspect-how to take as much advantage of the orbs you have available.
The boss fights were mostly unique, often taking advantage of stunts such as wall climbing to force a change in tactics. I found them to be pretty challenging, but I'm sure others will whip through the game quickly, as it's relatively short. Besides just hunting for all the orbs, though, an achievement-like list of completionist tasks to conquer awaits hardcore players in the unlockable art gallery.
While it's not terribly original or striking in any way, The Legend of Kage 2 is a fun game that comes at a price which makes recommendation pretty easy. Who needs pirates, anyways? Budget priced ninja platforming with some dual-screened heights to scale? Come for the boss battle, stay for the — oh wait, you beat it. Not a bad trip, though, and I prefer quality over quantity any day.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station review: Good for venturing off the grid
- 2 Razer Naga Trinity review: The last best MMO gaming mouse
- 3 Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
- 4 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 5 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s PlayStation Store Winter Sale is now live
- Ubisoft announces gTV ANZ gaming channel
- Blizzard’s Diablo IV update shows off new monsters and character customisations
- Save the date June 9, for a GeForce NOW Australia event
- Fortnite NBA crossover arrives ahead of NBA Playoffs
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Why Oppo’s three new TWS earphones cost under $350
- Why the iPhone 12 doesn't have an in-display fingerprint sensor
- HICAPS payments now available with Apple Wallet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies