Gaming

Cobra Kai 2: Dojo Climbing Review (Switch)

Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

magical attraction Cobra Kai how easy fun is that it is fully aware of what it is: garbage. it Sunset Beach intersects Saved by the bell, based on a parody of Johnny Lawrence stuck in the 80s. For those old enough to remember the original Kid karate movies, there’s a throwback attraction about its cheesy amateur soap opera theatricality and cyclical plot threads, using lore from the original films and their rivalry to create enjoyable hours of junk food.

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising broadly sticks to where the show is at the time of writing, now in its fifth season. With a comprehensive original story, you can play through all three dojos – Cobra Kai, Miyagi-Do, and Eagle Fang – and take control of their associated characters in various activities. It is nice to note that many of the characters are voiced by the actors of the series, which gives authenticity to the world of this brawler.

In most cases, you can switch between multiple characters at the same time, which gives you extra health bars in the heat of battle. In just half an hour, you will assemble a team of four through recruiting, making it easier to survive in battles with multiple enemies. However, there is not much difference in fighting styles, almost all characters use the same basic set of commands. These include combinations of touches with the “Y” button with a long press causing a stronger attack; evasion, which must be used almost constantly; and super attacks performed by holding “ZR”, which consume your chi meter. There’s also a shoulder-button grapple option that allows you to grab an enemy, inflate them, or, at certain well-defined points, hurl them into scenery objects. New skills can be gained by collecting coins and certain items, and there is also a parkour spot allowing you to jump off walls and cross certain boundaries in search of hidden objects.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

The initial tutorial section starts off well enough, giving you a brief introduction to the moveset before choosing a mission from the map overview. A bit like a show, it’s not a game you’ll play for the sake of the story, although you do need to win the All Valley Karate Tournament in the end. The idea of ​​recruitment is great as the series tends to focus on this theme from season to season, with standard combat occasionally interrupted by odd mini-games like human bowling in which you hit an enemy to knock down a stationary swarm behind.

In addition to the story mode, there’s Cobra Classics, which lets you take part in skirmishes that mirror key fights from the show, including season 2’s school battle royale. However, they are not as cinematic as they could be, seem segmented, fluid, and force you to switch between different characters. You can also dive straight into the All Valley Tournament, where almost every character is unlocked. Local options for two players or online showdown are available here, and the rules mimic the off-pitch routine found in the show. All characters have some kind of unique special moves, from roundhouse kicks to eye punches. It operates in 360-degree 3D space and offers very few tactical strategies other than appropriate blocking.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

As long as it sounds good? Unfortunately, Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising is miserably poorly implemented: a beautiful concept that is completely and contemptuously violated. Unlike its predecessor, Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues, which worked thanks to its 2D flatness and relative ease of combat, the sequel places you in arena-like 3D spaces where multiple attackers attack you from all sides, constantly bombarding you with barely noticeable momentary respite. It would be nice if the game was cleverly programmed, allowing you to focus combos on one enemy before switching to another, but it’s such a terrible mess that there’s almost no structure to it. We can’t comment on how it works on Steam, but the Switch version is terrible. It’s hard to see what’s going on or keep track of your opponents as most of the battle involves fighting with the camera. Trying to rotate the scene in such a way that you are not obscured and you can see what is happening around you is a constantly pressing task. Collision detection is fluffy and useless, lacking punch and power in animation and sound effects. Battles are sketchy, confusing messes where you’re constantly hitting the dodge button while trying to focus and it’s hard to decipher range or key openings to attack.

Also, the frame rate is absolutely terrible, flickering all over the place and regularly freezes completely for a few seconds – all of which is inexplicable given the poor quality of the graphics. It huffs and freezes whether there are enemies on screen or not, and is full of bugs and glitches. At some point, we switched to a teammate who was waiting nearby, only to have the same character suddenly appear on screen twice, side by side. The platform sections are terrible, not working or getting stuck in weird places, and there’s even a slowdown in intermissions with sliding images.

The fights are frustrating, the mini-games are terribly conceived, and you wonder all the time how the final product came out in such a state. It is possible, of course, that many of these problems will be corrected over time. But even in this case, the game is not good enough to recommend it to fans of the genre.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

But can it be recommended to Cobra Kai fans? Not really. If you’re an absolute stoner who lives and breathes it like it’s nothing else, you can enjoy the attention to the likeness of the characters (although the modeling isn’t exactly great), the theme and plot, the music, and the atmosphere. But working on it is hard for all the wrong reasons, knowing that every new location will bring the same camera issues and awkward fights with confusion. Yes, eventually you will improve and fix the built-in flaws, be able to dodge and counter, react appropriately, and only occasionally feel like throwing your Joy-Cons at the screen. But you need to consider whether this small benefit is worth the significant price.

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising in terms of concept. An arena battle set in a small TV show world of dojos, shopping malls, schools and parks, with the theme of recruiting a team on their way to a mega tournament, is all well and good. But the quality is shockingly below par and much worse than the Switch hardware can do. One could argue that being sleazy, confusing, and cheesy is very similar to what the show is all about, but when we move beyond the medium into the realm of video games, half-heartedness doesn’t really strike.




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