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Kengo: Legend of the 9 is a 3D fighting game set in feudal Japan, with legendary samurai warriors serving as combatants. Playable characters include Musashi Miyamoto, Jubei Yagyu, Sanako Chiba, Ittosai Ito, Izo Okada, Soji Okita, Kojiro Sasaki, Ryoma Sakamoto, and Yasubi Horibe. Each samurai possesses distinct attack moves and attributes. The characters also feature separate storylines in the main single-player mode, where core stats in health, stamina, attack power, and defense can be upgraded by collecting "spirit spheres." Samurai earn experience points as well, which gradually opens up new moves for characters to become more proficient at combat.
The atmospheric environments offered in Kengo are loosely based on historical events or points of interest, from Ganryujima Island to the story of Chushingura. In addition to the main game, players can participate in a Mission Mode, Combat Mode, or Xbox Live Leaderboard. Mission Mode features ten scenarios with the added pressure of time limits, while Combat Mode features head-to-head battles against a friend. The Xbox Live Leaderboard option does something a little different. Instead of directly fighting online opponents, players instead pit computer-controlled characters against each other. The chosen samurai warriors then fight according to their created AI profiles, with the winner moving up in rank and eventually earning equipment and other rewards to use in the offline modes. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide