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March 7, 2006
Devil Kings - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
16/2/2006THQCapcom1MMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
375KBDolby PLIIYesYesNoneNo

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Effects are quite gorgeous.
2005 was a massive year for Capcom with the company releasing hit after hit. From the superb PS2 conversion of the masterpiece Resident Evil 4, returning Dante to his glory in the brilliant Devil May Cry 3, delivering a brutal Gladiator style game in Shadow of Rome and the flawed but unique Killer 7. Capcom dished up many treats for gamers last year. There newest game is Devil Kings which is a hack em up action game that is more like Koeiís Dynasty Warriors series than either of Capcom's other two action games series Devil May Cry and Onimusha. Over the past year Capcom have shown they can reinvent old genres, so can they do it again with Devil Kings? Letís find out.

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Devil Kings is artistically stunning.
Devil Kings is set in what looks like an ancient Japanese feudal world with powerful warlords battling each other for total domination. These characters are the generals and they all have armies behind them. There is not much to the story at first but you learn a fair bit as the game progresses as the games story is told through some truly bizarre cut scenes. The first strange thing about the cut scenes is that they start out looking nicely detailed rendered video then it switches to an anime style cartoon. All of the clips are fairly goofy but they do look pretty cool. You get to choose from six characters at the beginning of the game and upon completing certain modes you can unlock a further six. Each character has there own unique story and fighting style, some characters are fast with a sword but do little damage while others have slow attacks but do more damage. If all that sounds a bit complicated, the game is really about killing every enemy on a level to get to the next level.

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Surrounded by enemies.
Devil Kings features pretty basic button mashing gameplay, you use the square button for quick attacks the triangle for a heavy attack, L1 to block and the circle button to do a special attack and the R1 button to boost attacks. You learn and can buy new moves as the game goes on and this helps break the game up a little bit but if you are expecting a fighting system to match God of War you will be disappointed. One cool thing about the game is that it has a few RPG elements, as you defeat enemies you gain experience points which help strengthen your character, and when I say defeat enemies I mean thousands of them on every single level. The main mode to this game is the conquest mode, which shows a map of the world and it tells you which areas you hold and which ones are under your enemyís control. One aspect of this mode I enjoyed was that there was a bit of variety in the levels, for instance in one mission you are protecting your land and your soldiers from an invasion, while on another level progress is made by penetrating an opponents base. At the end of most fights you will come across a fairly cool boss fight. Along the way through the levels you will find plenty of potions, treasures and weapons to help you on your way. Once you have finished the campaign mode, you can play it again on a higher difficulty setting but you get to keep all the experience and items you collected the first time through which is a nice little touch.

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What the hell...!?
Sadly the game does not feature any multiplayer at all, which is a real downer. Two player versus or a co-op mode could really have added to this game.

There are a few problems with Devil Kings that prevent it from claiming a larger stake in the action genre. The first and most obvious is the fact that the game is very basic, it really is just button mashing your way through wave upon wave of enemies walk forward and do it all again ten seconds later. The camera can also cause a few problems as well, you can manually take control but the action is so hectic that is not really an option. The draw distance in the game is also pretty poor with a couple hundred enemies just appearing out of nowhere. These are some solid complaints but I think the real problem with Devil Kings is that it is in a genre that is loaded with classics, and any niggles really show up when you are chasing the likes of Devil May Cry 3 or God of War.

Graphically Devil Kings is pretty solid with a few real highlights. Some of the special attack animations are superb as are the standard attacks, but with all the fighting you do you get bored with them pretty quickly. All the levels are pretty well detailed as are the enemies you fight. All of the twelve characters you play as look pretty good as well. The draw distance is the real graphical hitch though, with enemies popping up out of nowhere, also it is disappointing you slay hundreds of enemies and see there bodies disappear instantly.

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More swordplay.
The sounds to Devil Kings are pretty good if a bit goofy. The voice acting is over the top but it is pretty amusing even if itís not trying to be. The music is fast paced electronic that suits the fast pace of the game well. The sound effects are solid enough, with the sword clashing being the bright spot. You do hear the same one liners over and over and they get old fast.

Devil Kings is a solid game that gets caught in between genres, itís not quite as epic as the Dynasty Warriors series and the combat is not as good as the Devil May Cry games. Also the game is quite repetitive and you will get tired of it quickly. There are quite a few unlockables in the game but you will probably lose interest before you find them all. Overall Devil Kings is not good enough to warrant a purchase but as a rental you will probably get a few days of enjoyment out of it.

Review By: Graham Darko

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSNice looking special effects, characters and environments let down by some technical issues.
70%
SOUNDFast paced music suits the game, some of the character voices annoy.
68%
GAMEPLAYIt is a very basic button masher that does get stale pretty quickly.
60%
VALUEThere are plenty of bonus items, characters and videos to unlock but you will probably be sick of the game long before you find them. Conquest mode is not long at all.
55%
OVERALLDevil Kings is just not good enough to demand a purchase when there are many better games around
63%

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