The Mark Of Kri is one of those games you start to enjoy in the beginning,
and as the further along you go, you begin to enjoy it less and less. At it's
heart, Mark Of Kri is pretty much a standard hack-and-slash game, but there
are added elements to make it feel anything but standard. For one, there are stealth elements
that allow you to dispatch enemies without being seen or heard. Another thing
this game does is allow you to target enemies you wish to attack within a certain
range. By using the right analog stick, you can target up to three enemies you
wish to attack. A button will appear above an enemy that has been targeted, and when
you press the corresponing button, you can attack the enemy you've targeted. It does
allow for more percision when you come across a group of enemies, but it's not perfect.
You can't target enemies out of your range, so you've got to take a chance on wether
or not the enemy is facing you or not. Plus, there's not much you can do about the
hidden enemies. The controls are decent, but the main character moves pretty chunky. Sure, his
movements may seem representative of his size, but in a game where you sometimes
need to make quick retreats, he's a bit to slow.
The game is also fairly unforgiving, with the limited number of saves you can use
in-game (scrolls which you must find), and the fact that there can be too many enemies
in certain areas. There were a couple of areas where the battles seemed a bit one-sided, where
you could have eight strong enemies attacking you, and your attacks are fairly weak. But the
sizes of each stage is a bigger problem. I think rather than creating six or so large stages, that each of thse stages could have been
broken down into smaller levels. It would be a lot better than the crappy saving situation
the game throws you in. Plus, I've been put-off by the fact that it's hard to get started on
each stage. You can make quite a bit of progress, and lose it all if you haven't found or
used a scroll, and you have to start all over from the beginning. I just really
didn't like the overall progression of the game. It was much harder and tedious than
it should be.
The visuals are in a style I don't paticularly agree with, because they really don't
fit with it's content. The game looks like something from a Disney film, but the game
is M-rated. There's quite a bit of blood and decapitiations, and it really doesn't fit with
the overall look. It almost feels wrong. On the technical side of things, the game pretty
much looks like an average PS2 game, with a mix of low to medium resolution textures,
and adequate, if somewhat lacking geometry. The sound is almost in line with the
Disney-esque theme, especially with the voice acting, where it's not comically bad,
just rather comical.
The Mark Of Kri starts off entertaining, but right along the halfway mark, it
starts to become repetitive and I started to lose interest. I think the game may
be a little too hard on the player, especially when it comes to the save points,
and the size of each stage. The game throws in some good ideas (like the targeting with
the analog stick), but I don't think it's enough to make this a completely original
design, and doesn't deviate too much from the hack-and-slash formula.