Game Perceptions: Jet Li’s Rise to Honor
Every once and awhile even well versed gamers can be caught by a game that shouldn’t have been bought. Often it is by what it represents or could within our own mind that strikes hot at our imaginative fervor. In essence sometimes it is we who are our worse enemies when it comes to judging games to buy. And for gamers who are on a budget a wrong choice can hurt more than just the games cost.
Some what recently I stated that we should play all games, which would mean buying all games right? Well no, that’s not the intent with my ‘play all games’ statement but rather we should give games and genre’s that we normally wouldn’t have played a chance. And of course (and always) don’t use certainties on a game if you never have played it. [Think about it that would be like someone saying something about you without you ever having met before, if it’s positive well that’s great but it might be untrue, and if it’s negative that’s not fair if it’s equally untrue.]
So what do these two sentiments have to do with today’s post? Well for a long time I felt let down by Jet Li’s Rise to Honor video game when it was released back in 2004. But after a recent martial arts movie binge I started to rethink my feelings on the game. While it was a disappointment it wasn’t because of the story (an element of video games that I prefer to include as important). The story of Rise to Honor is very much one you could see from a Jet Li film that takes place in a Modern city setting.
Graphically speaking this game was acceptable for its time, the background and other affects in game were still better than the character models and that is glaringly apparent when you go back to the game today. But the main character Kit who is ‘played’ by Jet Li at times resembles the real Jet Li and sometimes doesn’t, showing the games age. Looking back it doesn’t hold up as much as a gamer may want but it is still playable even enjoyable to some.
Rise to honor is an action/beat’em up styled game where you as Kit Yun (played by a 3D model Jet Li) must run and fight over several linear levels. The clearly linear setting isn’t to bad as the levels are different though even some form of choice in which way one could chose even if only slightly could have made the game better.
The game falters most here, it is where the major disappointment of this game for probably many gamers but at the very least for me: Gameplay. The games gameplay is rather interesting instead of using buttons you use the right analog stick to do directional attacks, hitting the directions in different ways result in different combos which come off very much like cinematic feats from martial arts movies; read: flashy moves.
The directional combat seems exciting because of how new it was at the time. Until that is you realized that had the game gone via a traditional button rout there could have been a far bigger range of variety in combos. Specially if the directional bit was added into it. Instead it was just directional flicks that allowed you to do combos which made the number of specific combos or moves limited and it didn’t take long to see all the moves you could typically do unarmed.
You can also do actions, such as run and flip at/off walls, pick up objects and attack with them or use objects like tables to damage enemies in a cinematic style attack (slamming their head into it). Again these are interesting and entertaining until you have done them dozens of times with the same results. Yet for these disappointments the game clearly had potential and could have been better or a sequel which could have improved upon be made.
I have already stated it; this game feels like something you would see in a Jet Li Film. The game is successful or at least acceptable in most regards and a lot of gamers who played this game whether disappointed by lack of depth or not still wanted to see a sequel. Though as far as I know a sequel hasn’t happened while rumors persist that a sequel was in the works at one point but was cancelled.
Overall the game has received a score of about 68 by many game review sites some rate it lower and some rate it at 70 by by and large it got an ‘is worth playing but not at full cost’. Story wise it was something that outside of fiction wouldn’t happen but it worked as well as any other Jet Li or really any martial arts action film story. There are plenty of Easter eggs/comparisons relating to Jet Li’s previous films that are presented in this game.
In the end this game was interesting and if you are a fan of Jet Li or martial arts movies (or in general) and you haven’t picked it up you should it’s a D+/C- grade game that attempted some innovation for it’s time. Thankfully now though you can get a copy of this game at least here in the States for around 5 or less dollars to which I only lament I didn’t buy it at such price. Trust me though I have bought worse games for 60 bucks or less…
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