SNES Game Review – Kendo Rage

Known in Japan as Makeruna! Makend? and developed by Datam Polystar, it was re-developed for the US market in 1993 by SETA. There were a great many adaptations made to the Japanese version for it’s American release, chief among which a total upheaval of the plot. In the Japanese version, the protagonist is a girl named Mai who is asked to aid a ‘Spirit Detective’ named Doro to fight monsters. In the American version, however, her name was changed to ‘Jo’ and she became a schoolgirl who fought monsters on her way to school at the behest of her personal trainer, ‘Bob’.
The game centers around Mai/Jo’s studies of Kendo. She has to fight horde after horde of monsters with her shinai in order to reach the various Dojo’s located around the city. Kendo is based on an ancient Japanese martial art called kenjitsu that was used to train prospective samurai in the ways of swordsmanship. Today practitioners use a shinai, a practice sword made from bamboo, and b?gu, a form of light body armour, to spar with each other. However, the martial art has deep roots in Zen Buddhism and is considered less as a fighting style and more as a method of meditation, not unlike Tai-chi, which makes it an odd choice for a fighting game.

One of the nicest things about the game is that it is chock-a-block full of colorful sprites and other interesting happenings almost all of the time and the whole package is very pretty. One thing I must remark on is the similarity between the graphics in this game and the Japanese drawing style of anime, with the two merging quite brilliantly. The sound quality is good as well, and another of the things I found great about the game was it’s music. From the chirpy ditties that play in some of the earlier boss fights to the electric guitar shred-fest in the later ones, the music is constantly good and helps create a nice backdrop against which the fighting can occur.

At first glance, Kendo Rage appears to be your average side-scrolling platformer. Jump. Attack. Kill Boss. Repeat. It’s a formula that has rung true for platformers since the very beginning. For all of this, however, Kendo Rage is spectacularly difficult. Even on easy mode you’ll struggle to complete it at all, let alone in a single sitting, and on harder modes you may as well forget it unless you have the iron will needed in order to prevent yourself from going into a blind rage and damaging something from the sheer frequency with which Mai/Jo bites the proverbial bullet. But if you have all of these things and are willing to put in a good few hours you may well end up feeling very rewarded. For a comittment to basic, simple but knuckle-damagingly difficult gameplay Kendo Rage earns a respectable 7/10 from me.

Kidsgames.org Provides Hours of Entertainment for Children and Parents


A short while ago, I wrote about how my daughter and I will spend each evening in front of the computer playing games online. We still do. Only, this time I’m writing to tell you about the site that has quickly become our favorite over the last couple of days.
Kidsgames.org doesn’t look like much when you first visit it. But, overall, I think it is one of the best online gaming sites out there and is one a parent can feel comfortable letting their child play on.

Whether your child likes racing games, puzzles or card games, kidsgames.org has something for them.

When we first visited the site, I didn’t know if it was one we would spend a great deal of time on. The games, at least according to kidsgames.org, are designed for ages 6 through 10 and my daughter is only three. But, after browsing through the games, I was able to find quite a few she could play and she’s enjoyed every one of them.

One of the games, for example, is a hide-and-seek game involving a dog that will hide in various places around the yard. And, he’s not always the easiest to spot. She also likes the matching game on the site that requires us to put handkerchiefs in the correct order on a clothes line and the dozen or so jigsaw puzzles to choose from.

And, just before bed, we have to play the “feed the animals” game. That one involves us giving corn to the chicken, grass to the horse and cabbage to a goat. It’s not really much of a game but it’s easy to do, the animals make pretty cool sounds when they eat and it gives her a small sense of accomplishing something before she goes to bed.

What’s really amazing is she normally gets bored easily when we play games together and, after about 5 minutes, wants to move on to something else. But, we can play games on kidsgames.org for an hour and she won’t budge from my lap.

Many of the games on there are obviously designed for older children and there are some that are definitely educational. An example of this is a game where you are at a market buying vegetables and are supposed to spend the exact amount of money you have with you.

Some of the games are even challenging for adults. I love doing maze puzzles and I’ve tried a couple of them on kidsgames.org. The first one I did took me about five minutes. The rest are a bit more complicated because they involve you having to recover specific objects before exiting. I confess I haven’t finished any of those yet.

Whether you’re a parent of a toddler or have an older child in your house, this is a site you should visit with them.