REVIEW: ‘Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising’ Can’t Capture The Show’s Magic (PC)

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Cobra Kai 2 Dojos Rising - But Why Tho

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising is a 3D fighting game developed by Flux Games that follows up the 2021 game Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues. Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising takes place in the same universe as the Cobra Kai show, with the show’s actors voicing their characters in the game.

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising takes place around the same time the show is currently taking place after 5 seasons, but the story is unique to the game. Players are tasked with choosing a dojo, Cobra Kai, Miyagi-Do, or Eagle Fang, and building up their roster by recruiting new fighters in order to win the All Valley Tournament. You can obtain items to power up your dojo fighters all on the path to becoming the best dojo in the valley. There is not really any more depth to the story than that, but the fact that the actors from the show voice their characters in the game is a nice touch. Fans of the show are going to feel right at home.

While it is nice that Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising brings back the show’s beloved actors, the characters don’t quite feel the same as they do in the show. The dialogue and interactions are pretty bland, and there isn’t really any character development to speak of. Even recruiting new fighters is mainly done by completing mini-games and fighting off waves of enemies. I would have liked something more to the story than just recruiting fighters for the All Valley Tournament, especially if they were able to give us something that wasn’t lifted straight from the show.

There are three main game modes in Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising, story mode, Cobra Classics, and the All Valley Tournament. Story mode is the main mode, which has players running a dojo and recruiting new fighters to win the tournament. Cobra Classics lets players play through some of the famous battles from the Cobra Kai show, which is a really interesting idea. The issue with it lies mainly in the execution, with forced character changes that make the fights feel really choppy. All Valley Tournament is the local and online multiplayer mode that pits players against each other in tournament combat, with all of the characters unlocked to choose from.

Combat has two main approaches. The combat in the wave-based battles and recruitment missions is beat-em-up action with hordes of opponents coming your way. The premise is neat, but I encountered so many performance issues during that type of combat that made segments of the game almost unplayable. What I was able to play, however, didn’t really do anything to differentiate Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising from other beat-em-up style games. There are a handful of mini-games present too, but unfortunately, they feel as bland as the wave combat.

The All Valley Tournament, however, is where Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising does show some great promise. Instead of fast-paced combat against multiple enemies, the Tournament mode consists of simple 1-on-1 action. Each character has unique abilities that mimic what the characters in the show have, and combat here is a lot more thoughtful and challenging. I also encountered noticeably fewer bugs in this mode, which by default made it my favorite mode to play. Despite feeling better than the non-tournament story mode combat, it still could use a touch-up with more moves added to make it feel like a fully fleshed-out fighting game.

No matter how I feel about the ideas behind the game modes, Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising’s main issue is that most of the game is borderline unplayable. The story mode is so full of bugs that it felt like a pre-release build that still needed several weeks of development, if not longer. It was incredibly disappointing because I am a big fan of the Cobra Kai/Karate Kid universe, but Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising‘s bugs made it really hard to stay invested in the game. The bugs distracted from some of the things that showed promise like the All Valley Tournament and, combined with a lack of refreshing ideas for a fighting game, it was genuinely hard to make my way through the story mode.

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising struggles mightily to match what makes Cobra Kai so appealing, largely because of how poorly the game itself actually performs. I was really hoping to get more out of my time with the game, and I hope future patches can help improve playability. Even if the bugs get squashed, a lack of innovative choices or new stories will still make Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising a disappointing release that couldn’t live up to its potential.

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL;DR

Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising struggles mightily to match what makes Cobra Kai so appealing, largely because of how poorly the game itself actually performs. I was really hoping to get more out of my time with the game, and I hope future patches can help improve playability. Even if the bugs get squashed, a lack of innovative choices or new stories will still make Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising a disappointing release that couldn’t live up to its potential.

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