Guest Author - James Shea
"Jet Li: Rise to Honor" is a third person brawling and shooting game. In the game, the player takes the role of Jet Li - or rather, a character virtually portrayed by him.
The story is a fairly simple, revolving around Chinese gangs and criminal elements. Jet Li - or the player - is Kit Yun, a bodyguard responsible for protecting Boss Chiang, who is attempting to leave his life of crime behind. Most of the story involves beating up other gang members who are trying to kill Chiang or, later, his daughter, and the story serves mostly as an excuse for this violence.
The gameplay is simple compared to many other brawler games: aside from guarding and area-specific actions, fighting occurs by pushing ("slapping", in the game's words) the right control stick in the direction that you want to attack. This allows for multidirectional attacking in the game's many multi-opponent fights. This simplifies combat almost to the point where it's not fun anymore; the only other action is "adrenaline attacks", which is basically slow motion or bullet time. Gun battles work roughly the same way, except the control stick is used to target and the R2 button is used to shoot. Apart from some neat interactive features, like kicking people into equipment or onto hot stoves, there isn't a lot of gameplay variety.
The graphics are decent, but not good. Faces are reasonably good, but also tend to be blocky. The textures range from mediocre to poor, with too much blur and not enough detail. The action, despite some neat slow-motion moments, is generally lackluster as well. The sound is for the most part forgettable and consists mainly of yelling in Chinese.
"Mediocre" describes this game fairly well. At most parts, it simply drags as you are forced to fight yet another wave of hooded thugs, and it lacks excitement and panache.
Note: did you know that Jet Li, born in 1963, was actually born with the name of "Li Lianjie"? He was a Wushu champion at age 17, and is now an international film star!