PS2 Devil Kings Review

PS2 Devil Kings Review
Devil Kings is a Dynasty Warriors style game where you choose a main character, start on a map, and plow your way through literally thousands of enemies.

The game is set in feudal Japan, but in a bizarre twist, they decided to "rename" every single Japanese historical character to have a made-up name. In the original Japanese version of the game you get the real characters. In the US game, we have to play with "dragons", "minotaurs" and "devil kings". Why? Do they think a historical game with cool characters would be too boring for us US folk?

Playable Characters:
Azure Dragon is Date Masamune
Scorpio is Sanada Yukimura
Devil King is Oda Nobunaga
Lady Butterfly is Nouhime
Frost is Kenshin Uesugi
Red Minotaur is Shingen Takeda
Puff is Itsuki
Q-ball is Zabi
Hornet is Mori Ranmaru
Venus is Kasuga
Talon is Sarutobi Sasuke
Iron Ox is Honda Tadakatsu

Non Playable Characters:
Reaper is Akechi Mitsuhide
Lark is Maeda Toshiie
Bramble is Matsu
Zaan is Shimasu Yoshihiro
Irdene is Ieyasu Tokugawa
Arslan is Shosokabe Motochiga
Orwik is Hojo Fujimasa
Kahz is Mori Motonari
Muri is Imagawa Yoshitomo

In any case, you start out with a few of the characters and unlock more as you go. Each character has strengths and weaknesses, and you really do find favorites that match your personal gameplay style best. Gameplay in general involves wading into giant groups of enemies, swinging with massive combo strikes, and taking them all out at once.

Instead of authentic feudal Japanese music, you get a rock music track, just like in Dynasty Warriors. I suppose if they had to turn the people into mythological monsters, there was little chance of authentic sounds :) The vocals are reasonably good, and there isn't much to "sound effect" here besides CHING! and BASH!

The graphics are rather good, with a very long range of the battlefield and hundreds of enemies massing against you at once. Characters in the background often look like they're actually "awake and active" many times, as compared to Dynasty Warriors where the enemies often seemed to be hanging around chatting until you reached them.

There are even special, reasonably long anime sequences that are quite nicely done. They are triggered at different times during the game and help to move the story along.

The combat system does have many cool features. You can pre-weaken people sometimes with certain powers, or hook up your fury gauge to build up your super attack. In general, though, this is a lay-back-and-have fun button masher that gives you a GREAT sense of achievement as you see the bodies flying and the counter ratchet up. This isn't a stealth planning game, or a long term strategy game. It's a fun game that you can pick up the controller when you've got an hour, bash through a few levels, then save and go off to whatever else you want to do.

The gameplay itself does move from feudal Japan into fantasty rather quickly. There are robots, Egyptians, shotguns and double-hand-shooting going on. This isn't just a game of swords and armor.

In general, we found this quite a lot of fun to play!

Rating: 4/5

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