I’m a ridiculously big fan of the Kamen Rider 仮面ライダー series. I still have loads of series to watch, but every one I do is pretty much dope to the stars. Just something about those helmets and suits and stuff, I dunno. They all look so cool (usually). Plus I dig superheroes. So it should be no surprise I also enjoy Kamen Rider video games. Like many TV/movie-to-game games, they are often kinda made as shovelware for lil kids to snarf down. However, there are some pretty cool titles, like All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation for the Nintendo DS. This game is a bit older and since then there has been an improved sequel, but when I first saw this game I was like DAYUM because the title’s no lie; every Main Rider from every series is featured here up until OOO. That’s a lot of characters! That’s a lot of monsters being kicked in the face. This game sets up the souls of the wicked for a good ride, but just how does it all go down?
The tale of this one is that a bad scientist has created a separate world, filled it with baddies, and has enticed all the Riders to leave their respective times and enter the world to fight him before he fucks up all of existence. He has brought in a bunch of villains from the various Rider worlds to aid him in his quest to rid all of the Riders forever. That’s about as much as you need to know for the story; it’s just an excuse to get all Riders together for a giant punch-fest and is not necessary to enjoy the game.
The game is a side-scrolling beat ’em up akin to the likes of ye olde Streets of Rage and such. You move side to side and can go up and down and you beat the crap out of dudes until you’re allowed to proceed forward. You start off with a small number of Riders, but quickly unlock the others simply by progressing through the stages. There is also a level up system that unlocks further moves and just overall increases attack, defense and health. Simple stuff. You also choose not only your character, but a partner character controlled by the CPU. They fight about as well as you’d expect. They serve best as distractions for the enemies. As there are a truckload of Riders to play, the combat itself is made to be pretty simple. Every character has a Light Attack, Strong Attack and Finishing Moves (which contrary to its name, is more just a Special Move). There’s an energy bar that is brought up through battle that, once full, lets you unleash a Super Finishing Move, which kills weaker enemies instantly and damages bosses usually very heavily.
Every Rider has different special moves, but most have at least 3 or so, which is initiated by pressing the special move button + a direction for each different one. These moves are naturally often the super moves the Riders use in their respective shows, so it’s pretty hype. Each character is fairly unique in this respect. However, of course, almost everyone has a Rider Kick. Which is dope. More importantly, every Rider has their own special trait which can be activated or is passive or is a form/weapon change. Activated ones have their own separate time limits before they can be reused, passive ones require no input from the player, and form changes obviously grant new forms and new attacks with it. For example, Ryuuki activates his Vent that causes his dragon to riddle the area with fireballs. After use it takes a set time before it can be used again. Shin has a passive ability that makes him unable to flinch, so his attacks don’t get interrupted by hits. OOO can change between his various forms and Blade can alter his attacks with changing cards. The simplicity of the core moveset allows every Rider to essentially be just as accessible and similar enough to each other to make ass kickin more easy and simple, while the special moves and traits differentiate each Rider enough to make one want to play around with each of them. It’s fun stuff.
Example of a god
All enemies are of course enemies from the show, as are the bosses. Before boss fights each Rider has their own unique dialogue with them which is just a little rad considering they could have easily just not have done that. The game is fairly easy, for the most part, as it did have to cater to children as well (there is a simple mode that allows one to play with like one button), but don’t think it completely pulls punches. There are two unlockable difficulties, Hard and Climax, where things start to get a little bonkers. Hard is easily beaten with strong levelled Riders, but Climax Mode is a real challenge. Enemies are more aggressive, crowd you more, attack more often, have higher attack priority, attacks are less interruptible, and of course they deal way more damage. With some derpin around and cheap fighting they can be dealt with, but then the bosses and sub-bosses come along and ruin your life. Some of them are absolutely insane and basically require you to cheap them out. Climax Mode is thus very difficult for some Riders, while a couple show off that they are God Tier in their cheapness. In the easier difficulties, they are all mostly equal, but in Climax Mode the Rider Tier List shows itself.
While Climax Mode required some roundabout ways and abusing the game in order to fully complete, in the normal difficulties/normal play, the game is simple, face-crushing fun. The super moves are hype, the sprites look awesome, every character getting voice work is delicious, and the variety of characters keeps it fresh and hip. The story is a little lol, but who cares and it fits in with Kamen Rider anyway as it is very similar to the loose stories found in all the Kamen Rider crossover movies; they just want some way to make all the Riders gather together to fight together.
Overall an honest game experience with lots of fanboying as this huge crew of rocking superheroes kick dudes in the face for justice. Very much recommend for fans. Non-fans will still find at least a pretty good time due to its simplicity and large cast.
+Lots of characters.
+Thus, lots of different moves to use.
+Simple to play, simple to enjoy.
+Voices for all catchphrases and super moves.