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Kakuto Chojin (Xbox) artwork

Kakuto Chojin (Xbox) review

"As a fan of fighting games, I've been kind of disappointed with the lack of games the Xbox has in this genre. As of a couple weeks, all the Xbox had was Kabuki Warriors, UFC Tapout, and Dead or Alive 3. One good game and two crappers. This week sees the release of two promising looking fighters; Kakuto Chojin and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, so naturally I'm quivering with anticipation. I opted to pick up Kakuto Chojin over MK5, mostly based on the fact that I've already played quite a fe..."

As a fan of fighting games, I've been kind of disappointed with the lack of games the Xbox has in this genre. As of a couple weeks, all the Xbox had was Kabuki Warriors, UFC Tapout, and Dead or Alive 3. One good game and two crappers. This week sees the release of two promising looking fighters; Kakuto Chojin and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, so naturally I'm quivering with anticipation. I opted to pick up Kakuto Chojin over MK5, mostly based on the fact that I've already played quite a few MK games.

Sadly, I think I made the wrong decision. Kakuto Chojin is mediocre at best . The basic moves list is relatively small, the fighting isn't very deep. While mildly enjoyable in 2 player versus mode, the single player ''story'' mode is about as fun as rolling through a room covered in thumbtacks.

GRAPHICS (8/10) It's apparent that the area the developers put the most effort into is the graphics. The fighters all look fantastic. What had me scratching my head though, was the effect that I assume the developers intended to be sweat. All skin in the game has a weird shine effect going on, however it looks less like sweat and more like the characters were all heavily sprayed with a thick coating of Pam kitchen spray. It's definitely shiny, but it doesn't look like sweat- a bit overdone.

At the end of every match, when the winner lands the finishing blow, the game goes into slow motion. It's during these slow motion moments that the good and bad sides of Kakuto Chojin's graphics are displayed. You can see the incredible detail of the characters, but often you can also see their arms and legs flying through eachother, which is kind of weird. You'd think that if they were going to have slow motion sequences, they'd at least make an effort to make them look good all the time. You can see that sometimes when you go for a low shin kick, a transparent phony looking cloud of blood will come out of your opponent's chest/neck area. Note to developers: If you're gonna put blood in your fighting game, at least make it look cool, and have it come out of the areas that are actually being struck. However, this slow motion feature did manage to create some really cool looking moments, like when you hit a guy in the head with a high round house, blood sprays out, and he spins around in the air three or four times before hitting the ground, all in slow motion--but more often than not it just highlights the small graphical errors present in the game.

Graphically the levels are decent, but nothing to write home about. A few of them have some rather over the top lighting, but somehow they still manage to be pretty boring looking.

GAMEPLAY (5/10) Kakuto Chojin has a relatively small 4 modes of play. There's the story mode that doesn't have much of a story at all- as far as I can tell, the plot is this: ''There is a fighting tournament called the Flaming Fist Tournament and you are in it.''. There's the standard 2 player vs. mode. There's a Survival mode in which you are pitted against 3 other fighters at once in an awkward top-down view. Needless to say, this mode is ridiculous and not really worth playing. It's hard to face a certain person, and the directions are all messed up, which makes it hard to pull off your moves. It's basically a button mash festival. There's also a 4 player mode in which 4 fighters go at it simultaneously in the same style as the Survival mode. I didn't have the opportunity to play it with three other people, but I assume it'd be as futile and lame as the single player Survival mode.

The game is called Kakuto Chojin because each character has two sets of moves- Kakuto and Chojin. You start out with the Kakuto moves list which consists of roughly 25 moves, of which you'll probably only be using a small percentage. The moves are all pretty basic and easy to pull off. A few of these moves are simple canned combos. Example: You press Y 4 times and you get a punch punch punch kick combo. Kakuto Chojin is button masher central.

When you beat the game with a character, you unlock his/her Chojin move set. When you select your character, you choose which move set you'll be using during the match. I can't tell you exactly how many moves are in the Chojin set, because the game says the list is ''secret'' or something. Probably have to buy a strategy guide. But I screwed around with it for a while, and it appears that it's basically all the same punches and kicks from the Kakuto set made faster, stronger, and put into longer canned combos. However, if you're using the Chojin moves set, you've got a bit more freedom, you can string together a few of your own combos using the smaller canned ones.

Blocking moves is also pretty easy, and is done by hitting the left trigger button. There's two kinds of blocks, high and low, and you can block during your opponents combo.

Maybe I've been spoiled by Dead or Alive 3, but the gameplay of Kakuto Chojin seems pretty damn shallow. The single player game is terribly boring. The matches go like this: you throw a combo at the computer guy. He blocks it and counters with his own combo. You try to block that and counter with another combo. Back and forth. The computer fighters alternate being extremely easy to pummel into submission and being unfairly skilled at blocking/doding your moves. Sometimes they block EVERYTHING. You can unleash on them with a variety of high/low moves for about 30 seconds and they'll block every move. Bothersome.

As always, 2 player vs. mode is a bit more entertaining. While it's the same basic process of blocking the other guy's attacks and countering with your own, your human opponent (hopefully) will be a bit less predictable than the computer ones. Even playing with a friend though, you won't get too much enjoyment out of this game.

SOUND (7/10) The sound of Kakuto Chojin is okay, but nothing special. The music ranges from crappy techno-ish tunes to really cool fast metal tunes. The one thing that stood out to me as being rather stupid were some of the impact sound effects. They're not brutal enough. It sounds like flesh getting whipped with a thin stick or something- definitely loud, but not effective for the sound of a fist smashing into someones face. Other than that I have no major gripes with the sound.

OVERALL (6/10) Kakuto Chojin does do SOME things right. The developers were trying to make a game that would replicate some fast, hard, realistic street fight action. In this they mostly succeeded. Most of the moves are pretty powerful-- if you can manage to land a couple good combos on your enemy, he will be down for the count. The rounds go very quickly most of the time. The fighting styles, from karate and tae kwan do to capoiera (why is there ALWAYS a capoiera fighter in fighting games now? Lame style, if you ask me.) are all represented pretty accurately.

This doesn't apply to all the characters, but some of the moves from Kakuto Chojin are the fastest meanest looking moves I've seen in a fighting game. They're fast, realistic, and brutal looking. Example: You hit your opponent with a little combo; two punches to the head followed by a snap kick to the midsection. His head will quickly snap left and right (because you punched with both of your fists) and when you hit him with the kick, he'll sort of double over and lean towards you for a second. Opportune time for an uppercut. What I'm trying to say is, when you're rocking on a guy in Kakuto Chojin it really looks like you're beating his ass pretty hard. Other fighting games should put more effort into this area. It's adds a feeling of power and realism to the fighting experience.. Unfortunately, these little things don't make Kakuto Chojin more fun to play. You should probably avoid this title unless you're a rabid fighting game fan who only owns an Xbox. Even then, only rent it if you've got a worthy opponent.

goatx3's avatar
Community review by goatx3 (November 29, 2002)

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