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Critic Reviews

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Gaming Target (May 02, 2005)
However odd it may seem that many of Sony's first-party games don't get much recognition as some other titles under their logo does, there is an upside to the matter. It may not be great for business, but there is quite a nice selection of hidden gems in the Sony basket. Bright... Shiny... Gems... These are the games that are considered decisively sleeper hits for their brilliance and for the lack of attention gotten from the masses. In years to come, gamers will reflect back on the past times with regret for missing the opportunity to experience these forgotten greats like they always do. They'll find out there was a gorgeous adventure game known as ICO that they passed on because Grand Theft Auto 3 was the only thing on their mind at the time.
GameZone (Apr 01, 2005)
The legend is of high adventure, of ancient evil and those who would serve it to plunge the world into darkness. But to understand the tale now, one must return to a time not long before. Once a series of dark spells were created to enslave the world, but before the spells could be evoked, they were stolen and broken apart, and branded upon the souls of the innocent. The lines of the spells took the form of markings on babies.
IGN (Mar 25, 2005)
When The Mark of Kri came out in 2002 it stood out because of its style. It had a unique look and the combat was innovative as well. With both elements of stealth and brute force in fighting it created a balanced style of play for an engaging adventure. Three years later we have Rise of the Kasai which expands the story even further and adds a couple of new ideas for the game itself. Even though some of the changes are hit and miss the adventure is still one worth taking.
The best parts of the whole game are the living sketchbook-style cutscenes and their narration - especially the one that says "someone was amassing a library of evil," which I assume to be shelves upon shelves of Dean Koontz and Jane Austen.
Gamerz-Edge (May 04, 2005)
One has to wonder what causes companies to choose to release games in the order they do. For example, let’s suppose that we have two games that are both mythological action/adventure games being released by the same overarching company. One of these games is a straight continuation of a prequel with little improvement in overall design or game play. Now, the original game looked great three years ago, but it’s starting to look a little worse for wear in the light of a lot of competition and the sequel doesn’t really improve much on the overall look of its predecessor. Now, the second game, on the other hand, is one of the most cutting edge action adventure games ever released, with mind blowing graphics, amazing level design, and a feature-film style budget. Unfortunately, it still has a few levels that aren’t quite completed just yet.
Lawrence (Apr 18, 2005)
Rise of the Kasai is the follow up to The Mark of Kri, a three-year-old release that surprised everyone with a new and unique combat system. The game also implemented a scouting system that was just as interesting. These two main elements really gave The Mark of Kri its identity and uniqueness. Rise of the Kasai is more of an evolution than revolution. You'll soon find that new additions can be good and bad.
PSX Extreme (Apr 11, 2005)
All told, Rise of the Kasai is worth playing primarily to experience its rich story and jaw-dropping Hollywood-quality animation. The underlying game itself is pretty average as far as beat-'em-ups go, but at least it's more fleshed out than The Mark of Kri was. And frankly, you really can't go wrong with a game that includes violent amputations and decapitations.
Diehard GameFan (Apr 20, 2005)
Rise of the Kasai isn’t without fault, but more than makes up in it’s ability to deliver a great story and great action to boot. Fans of the franchise won’t be disappointed, and quite possibly, neither will new players.
When you throw in the very underwhelming boss battles (no more freakin' tentacles!), basic environment interactions, and repeated levels (two are pinched from the first game), Rise of the Kasai fails to pack a punch at several turns. It's designed to have you play through it multiple times, but I don't know if you'll come back for more after the first pass.
Yahoo! Games (Apr 06, 2005)
While The Mark of Kri blew some much needed fresh air into the action genre, even if it wasn't an outright success. Its simple and innovative fighting mechanism made getting outnumbered fun, and its visual flair showed that stylish cel-shaded graphics don't come only with kids games. But it ultimately felt a bit shallow. Now its successor is here, and despite some initially grandiose plans to the contrary, Rise of the Kasai is basically more of the same.
GameSpy (Apr 08, 2005)
Like its predecessor, I really wanted this game to be great. It has a wonderful look and it tries to do some interesting things. Unfortunately, it feels like a game that's not quite done yet. At the end of the day your appreciation of Rise of the Kasai depends on what you look for in a game. If you want excellent action then you should skip this one and go buy God of War or Devil May Cry 3. If you're willing to forgive gameplay flaws for a really unique interactive story then you'll be happy with this game.
Worth Playing (May 12, 2005)
In the grand scheme of things, Rise of the Kasai is an above average title. It manages to do some things incredibly well, such as presentation, story, and sound. Other aspects, like the AI, leave much to be desired. If the story can hook you and you're able to ignore some of the more nagging AI issues, it'll be an enjoyable, if quick, action-packed romp. It's a solid title, but some extra work needed to be done to turn it into a true classic.
GamePro (US) (Apr 06, 2005)
The way of the warrior can easily be summed up in Rise of the Kasai: Its a life of tragic misadventures that can be at times inspiring to watch, but difficult to experience first hand (or in this case, both hands). In essence, the warrior in Rise of the Kasai offers the same experience that he did in his first outinga tale of innovative design mixed with uneven gameplay.
GameSpot (Apr 04, 2005)
2002's The Mark of Kri was an interesting dilemma. Despite being one of the most artistically inspired action games for its time, thanks largely to the efforts of some former animation-industry artists who had signed on to what was then Sony's internal San Diego studio (it's now the separate entity, Bottlerocket Entertainment), the underlying gameplay design wasn't quite there. By no means was Mark of Kri a bad game, but it didn't live up to the strengths of its concepts. Nearly three years later, Bottlerocket is releasing Rise of the Kasai, a sequel featuring the continuing adventures of Kri's hero, Rau, as well as a trio of other playable characters whose storylines intertwine over multiple time periods. Like its predecessor, Rise of the Kasai introduces interesting concepts, but it fails to deliver on them in an engaging way. Add to this a series of irritating bugs and rough edges, and what you end up with is simply a disappointment, all around.
UOL Jogos (Apr 21, 2005)
"Rise of the Kasai" sofreu muito com a remoção do elemento multiplayer. Sua maior força, a inclusão do segundo personagem, acaba atrapalhando mais do que ajudando. E sem grandes melhoras desde o original, fica apenas para quem absolutamente amou "Mark of Kri".
1UP (Apr 08, 2005)
Rau is just an unreliable guy. I mean, one minute you're stalking down an alleyway together, trading stealth kills like a couple of old pro's, having the time of your life; the next Rau loses his cool and charges into a crowd of guards. One thing leads to another, a guard blows his horn for reinforcements, and we're knee-deep in a quagmire of disemboweled guts. I don't know if he's stupid or crazy. I'm leaning toward drug-damaged.