Release Date: 7/29/2002
Available Exclusively On
The Mark of Kri is a curse passed down from generation to generation and each firstborn child bears the mark on their skin. There are six at all times, but some crazy guy wants to kill off the curse or something like that. The story isn’t explained very well and is not very interesting. The Mark of Kri’s strong points are the stealth, but it has sluggish combat and camera issues galore. It may have been pretty good ten years ago, but not today.
The game is very linear with usually only one pathway to follow. You have a bird that is your companion that you can send off to certain points to scout ahead for you. This is mandatory otherwise you will be fighting off tons of guys all the time and dying. Once you use Kuzu to scout ahead you can plan an attack. Use stealth by sneaking up, buckling against walls, or dropping down on enemies. You use the right analog stick to sweep a beam around that assigns a face button to an enemy, that’s their attack button. You can stealth kill two enemies by starting the attack on one and then pressing the buttons shown above the second enemy. Sometimes you need to distract guards by shooting bells with your arrow, scaring animals, and other things. This is pretty fun and finding the right path through enemies can be fun. It is the actual combat that is sluggish and troublesome.
The right analog stick should have been used for camera control in this game because it gets lost all the time. It never focuses on enemies like it should and take forever to sweep around. The combat is ok when there are just a few enemies, but later on, in the game, 15+ will surround you. You get better weapons like the axe that can lock on up to 9 enemies, but this whole lock-on business just doesn’t work. I would rather control the camera and have a more fluid combat system that way. The reason why I died so much was that Rau will stop and rub his head, trip constantly, bang his weapon off of stone walls, get it stuck in wood, and this is frustrating. In the meantime, you are being hit and dying while all the unnecessary animations are playing out. Once you get surrounded or trapped you’re dead. Backing out is impossible because once you unblock you get bombarded by attacks.
If that isn’t enough the save system is annoying. There are no save points, just save scrolls. You have to find these and they don’t carry over to the next level. The same goes for max health upgrades. You will end up using your save scrolls or squandering them because you want to save at a hard part. Another issue was using the bow. Aiming at enemies takes forever because you have to wander around the enemy until you get a lock on and if the enemy is too high up you have to fiddle with it until you hit the enemy. Not fun.
The graphics are just average, even for back then. The game is only 6 levels long and can be beaten in about 4-5 hours. The story is underdeveloped due to the short length and you won’t care about any of the characters. The combat has sluggish controls and the whole sweeping lock-on system is a terrible idea and doesn’t work right. The camera has a lot of issues, and the list goes on. For just a couple of dollars this is a decent stealth game, but be wary of all the problems.