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Kengo Zero

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1Kengo Zero Empty Kengo Zero on Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:16 am

Birdman


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Also known as Kengo: Legend of the 9 in the US. It is an 360 exclusive and originally one of the reasons I got one.

Zero is the fourth game in the Kengo series. The previous entries were fighting games, but Zero is an action game with linear stages you can run around in and encounter groups of enemies and bosses.There is a 1v1 versus mode too.

This was the only decent gameplay I could find.


Here's how the combat works.
Most of this is taken directly from the manual word for word and it explains it reasonably well, but I'll add some clarification here and there as there are some things that aren't explained. There's no in-game tutorial or training mode either.

Stamina
The stamina meter drops anytime a samurai is active.
The blue meter shows the amount dropped and will blink red when it runs out.
A blinking red meter means that a samurai can be killed in a single blow.
You can increase your character's stamina by blocking attacks, moving slowly, or staying still.

This is quite unclear and misleading. The first part up to being killed in a single blow is right,
but after it says you can regain stamina by blocking or moving slowing. You do not gain stamina by blocking attacks.
This decreases it.
What this explanation means is you regain stamina in a blocking stance.
So just standing there holding the block button.
The difference between blocking stance and just standing still, totally open, is one regens faster but I forgot which.

Also, the moving slowly part is a bit unclear. You can't walk in this game, you can only run and that uses stamina, however, you can move slowly if you're locked on, blocking or not.
Go to 4:28 and witness the player try to escape and regain stamina. See how they take those small steps while locked on?  That's the slow movement that regenerates stamina.


Attack
Press Y to make a vertical attack, and B for a horizontal attack.
Pressing the buttons consecutively as specified in the Edit Stance screen, will let you deliver multi-step attack moves.
You inflict damage by attacking the enemy, but the enemy could lock you into a Kumitachi by blocking your attack.
If two people attack each other at the same time, the swiftest attack will win.

The edit stance refers to the character customization.
You can mess around with the moves and stances but I haven't bothered with it much. Multi-step attack moves refer to combo attacks.

Block
Block enemy attacks by pressing A and dropping into a defensive stance.
Blocking attacks repeatedly will cause your stamina to gradually fall.
If it is too low, an enemy could break your guard and inflict damage.
By simultaneously pressing X and A when blocking, you can lock your enemy into a Kumitachi.
You can escape a difficult situation by blocking, but the enemy could break your guard and lock you into a Kumitachi.

You can see an example of pressing X+A while blocking at about 3:58. An enemy comes up and does it to the player. Enemies are capable of doing everything you can do. You'll see a purple ring effect when the enemy blocks the player's attack. It's kinda like Onimusha's blocking counter. That's one way to start Kumitachi.

Guard Break
Break the guard of an enemy in a defensive stance by pressing X and locking them into a Kumitachi.
Although you can break an enemy's defensive or offensive stance, this will make you vulnerable to other enemy attacks.

What I want to clarify here is the definition of a guard break.
It's not really like other games where you get blasted back and open.
Here it's a grapple that starts the Kumitachi, so it really works like grabs in Tekken.

Kumitachi Moves

Kumitachi is basically a grab where both fighters clash swords and get into a clinch. From here you have many options, each can countered by or escaped by either.

Soku-giri Attack: Y or B
You can swiftly escape a Kumitachi and deliver a rapid Soku-giri Attack.
To avoid an enemy's Soku-giri, tilt L to the left or right for vertical attacks, and forward or backward for horizontal attacks.

What happens here is if you press an attack button while clinched, you'll push them off and attempt to attack with either of those types of slash. If you're on the receiving end, tilt the left stick to dodge according to the type of incoming slash.

Inashi: L
You can push and pull an enemy while in Kumitachi by tilting L forward and backward.
During the Inashi, the stamina meter for both you and your opponent will drop.

One thing I'm not sure of, but I think the stamina drop is more for the defender.

Tsuba-zemari Bashiri: X while tilting L
You can drag your enemy to the left and right by tilting L in those directions.
If you bump into other enemies during this move, the force of the collision can throw them to the ground.

This is that move you'll see a few times in the video where after both fighters are in a clinch,
they start running to the side while maintaining locked swords. Any enemies in the way get knocked down,
making this move useful for moving out of a group while stunning nearby enemies.

Kuzushi: X during Inashi or Tsuba-zemari Bashiri
By pressing X during either of these moves, you can throw your enemy into a completely vulnerable position.
By attacking (Y or B) during Kuzushi, you can hit the enemy while he's completely exposed.
If the enemy is out of stamina, your blow will be fatal and instantly kill him.
If an enemy throws you into a Kuzushi, you can avoid a follow-up attack by quickly pressing X.

You'll see this in the video too. It looks like you break the clinch by forcing them to the side and they stumble, exposing their back. If it happens to you, pressing X is a dodge roll. One thing I found is that if you're close to the area boundary and you try to roll escape, you can actually get stuck and still get hit.

Kaeshi: L
If someone initiates Inashi or Tsuba-zemari Bashiri during Kumitachi,
the opponent can escape the Kumitachi by tilting L in the opposite direction the initiator is moving in.

This is basically your 'throw escape'. You'll see it in the boss battle where the player locks the boss in a Kumitachi and tries to pull but gets pushed off and both go back to fighting position.

Other Moves

Getting up: L
If an enemy attack throws you to the ground, you can get up by pressing L.

Follow-Up Attack: Y or B while locked on
If you press Y or B while locked on to a target that has been thrown to the ground, you can deliver a follow-up attack.

This is your standard down stab.

Mobile Attacks: L+Y or B while locked on
You can use Mobile Attacks by pressing the attack button while titling the L stick in the specified direction, but only while locked on to an enemy.

Special moves. Not sure why they're called mobile attacks but you have to be locked on otherwise when you press the direction your character will just move in that direction. I guess it's sort of like DMC where you have to hold R1 to do something like High Time.

Power Attack: Hold down Y or B
You can deliver a power attack that your samurai has acquired.
By holding down the attack button longer, you can deal more damage, but repeatedly using power attacks will rapidly drain your stamina.

Special Kill: Y or B
An instant kill delivered during Kuzushi to an enemy who is out of stamina will turn into a special kill if delivered at certain locations.
A successful special kill will award you with more experience points at the end of the battle.

Step-in Attacks
To be continued...

Looks like I haven't typed out the rest. It was ages ago I did this so not sure how much more is left but I'll get to it this weekend if I have time. This is the majority of the core mechanics though and more than enough to give you an idea of how it plays.

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