Video Game Review – Rise to Honor (PS2)
You’re in a cafÃ© enjoying a nice little cup of tea with a lady friend. Just as you are about to order, a gang of thugs interrupts your tea time as they burst through the cafÃ© entrance, guns blazing.
Oh no! What to do? Don’t sweat it, because you’re Jet Li. So just bravely tell the bystanders to exit in an orderly fashion as you stare death in the face and attack it head on.
In the game’s story, Jet Li takes on the role of Kit Yun, the bodyguard to Boss Chiang. Chiang is assassinated, but before the lights go out he tells Yun to deliver a message to his estranged daughter in San Francisco. Yun embarks on this mission, which will eventually challenge his sense of honor and duty.
Unlike most games that fall under the “Action” genre, you can’t just kick butt by randomly pressing X and Y. Suprising, eh? This is made possible by Rise to Honor’s unique control scheme, which is the first game since Madden 2004 to successfully incorporate the right analog stick into the game’s control. By tapping the right analog in any direction, Yun will attack any enemy in that area. To block or counter attack, use a combination of the L1 button and the right analog. Not only that, but Li can use elements within the environment to his advantage. Walls become platforms for high-flying techniques, chairs become projectiles and you can even pick up a chicken. What you’re supposed to do with poultry isn’t so clear, though.
Graphics is really where Rise to Honor excels. It’s surprising to see just how much the game’s character actually looks like Li. Whether he’s moving around or not, Li’s digital twin leaves no questions about whom he was modeled after.
What’s really cool about Rise to Honor is just how much of Li is actually put into the game. Sure, the name alone will sell some copies to the fans of his on-screen work, but Rise to Honor goes deeper than that. Using motion capture technology, the makers of this game actually portray Li’s personalized movements and style through his character. Beyond the intense fighting, Rise to Honor will keep you busy with its rather simple puzzles and predicaments, most of which are figuring out where the heck to go.
Three reasons RTH will have you dreaming of karate flicks:
-Staring at 20 enemies, knowing that they don’t have a chance at defeating you and subsequently stepping over and around each motionless body.
-The excitement of mastering such a wide variety of techniques. Rise to Honor invites so many different ways to take down your enemy that you’ll have to take notes.
-The graphics are so pretty. So good, in fact, you might actually be looking over your own shoulder.
Three reasons to go rent a Bruce Lee flick instead:
-The levels seem at times to be a bit too linear. There’s nothing streamline about Jet Li, so why confine him? Let him roam free.
-The bosses do the same moves as you. After spending hours of learning your techniques, nothing deflates your ego balloon so much as to have them performed on you.
-Might get a bit repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, pointlessly chucking chairs at people is fun, but how ’bout a little diversity for a change?