Mark of Kri, The for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
Take the role of a barbarian hero and take control of the carnage in this graphic, cel-shaded fighting adventure for the PS2, developed in-house at Sony CEA studios. The Mark of Kri tells the tale of the warrior Rau, who begins with the relatively straightforward task of clearing the jungles near his home of a group of troublesome bandits. Before his tale is all told, though, Rau will explore and fight through six different 3D environments, slowly realizing his deepening involvement in an evil plot that threatens his whole world.
The game features a proprietary system for targeting and attacking multiple enemies, designed for easy control with the DualShock 2. The player targets an enemy with a focus beam that's aimed with right analog stick. Multiple enemies can be targeted at once. Enemies in range of the beam are automatically assigned different gamepad buttons, the symbols of which appear above their heads. Once they're targeted, Rau attacks each enemy when its assigned button is pressed. Combo attacks are performed by pressing a target's button multiple times, or by incorporating other, unassigned action buttons into the attack.
The mighty Rau is less subject to the woes of "lock-on" camera jumping common in many other 3D fighting adventures. Always aware of his immediate surroundings, the hero can attack enemies to his sides or behind him, with special sweeps and behind-the-back weapon moves, so he does not need to constantly turn about to face each of his opponents. The hero also has the skills to perform well in less pugnacious situations, surprise-attacking from afar with ranged weapons or sneaking about in stealth mode.
Great battle skills do not alone make a great hero, however, and Rau is also aided in his cause by certain animal allies he meets along his way. His most common companion is a blackbird named Kuzo, whose size, speed, and agile flight make him invaluable for accessing hard-to-reach switches and scouting ahead to spy on enemies. Rau may also enlist the aid of the local fauna less directly, perhaps spooking a boar or a flock of birds to distract enemies and leave them open for a surprise attack from behind.