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 PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Legendary RPG Planescape: Torment is getting an Enhanced Edition, 17 years later
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
- StarCraft Remastered updates a legend with 4K widescreen support, updated audio, and more
- Obduction's new VR hand-tracking makes Myst's spiritual successor even more stunning
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTApplication Support Analyst - Mortgage SolutionNSW
- TPSenior Performance TesterQLD
- FTJava Developer - Short team Contract @ CanberraACT
- FTLead DevOps EngineerNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCApplication Architect - CloudVIC
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Network EngineerACT
- TPBusiness Analyst/UATVIC
- FTProgram L&D Manager, Financial ServicesNSW
- TPAPS6 Java DeveloperACT
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- FTFull Stack Software DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Security AnalystsACT
- TPTeam Leader Project And Quality AssuranceVIC
- FTCitrix ArchitectNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTETL Informatica DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FTChief Architect - Principal ArchitectVIC
- TP.NET DeveloperWA