Have you ever played a platforming game? Good. Which one was it? Because I recommend you go back and play that rather than endure even a second of Kyurinaga’s Revenge. I understand that video games take a lot of time and effort to make, but if your grand design is just a basic platformer filled with the tropes of every other platformer before it, you may as well not bother. RECOTECHNOLOGY, the game’s developers, probably could have spat in my face and I’d have enjoyed it more than playing this steaming pile of uninspired crap.
Set in feudal japan, an onion and a piece of broccoli named Joe must quest to stop the evil Kyurinaga from exacting his revenge. Or something. The game doesn’t really provide much detail about why Kyurinaga wants revenge, or why it’s up to an onion and a piece of broccoli to stop him. To do this, you must traverse various levels avoiding death and collecting coins. If you want. The game gave me absolutely no reward for collecting them at all except for a statistic at the end of each level telling me how many I had grabbed.
The gameplay’s big hook is that Broccoli Joe and onion guy have a slight variation on their skills, and can be swapped out with a tap of L1. Onion guy (he does have a name, but I don’t care enough to remember it) can pull heavy objects and set bombs, while Broccoli Joe can throw kunai. Each character also has a basic attack and the ability to double jump. As far as I can tell, thats the only skills either posses. Puzzles crop up that require one or both of the vegetable ‘ninjas’ to solve, and the game can be played solo or co-op. In all honesty, inviting a friend over to play Kyurinaga’s Revenge with you is a surefire way to lose some mates. Any hits to either character means instant death and a return to the last checkpoint for both of you, and the excruciatingly slow attack and jump speeds of both characters mean you will be revisiting these checkpoints often.
Sprinkled in with the platforming element of the game are ‘combat’ stages which consist of both characters standing in the centre of the screen, fighting enemies that file in from each side via a quick-time event. This seems ugly and out-of-place with the rest of the game; it’s almost as if the developers realised that they couldn’t possibly ask people to part with money for what they had crafted and hastily added it in as an afterthought. This could have been an opportunity for the makers to add in some slick combat animations, but instead they decided to provide the player with clunky and seemingly unfinished choreography.
Visually, the game doesn’t look terrible, but it certainly doesn’t look very pretty either. The character models are quite ugly against the backdrop of the stages, which look ok, but are filled with the usual platformer fodder such as spike pits and moving ledges. The combat levels look by far the worst. Both the player controlled characters and the enemies move jerkily about the screen and the combos from the quick time event will often leave the character suspended in the air, mid-attack. The sound design is probably the best feature of the entire game. The music fits the feudal japan theme nicely, and destroying things like barrels show that the developer at least knows what wood sounds like when its broken, but its unlikely anyone is going to be won over by these features when the rest of the game is so dull.
Ultimately, this feels like a rushed and unfinished product. It doesn’t look great, it borrows heavily from the most generic games of the genre, and has no redeeming features or gimmicks to keep you playing. The story is extremely sparse, none of the vegetable ‘ninjas’ had any veg-like abilities and the enemies were standard, uninspired fare. Those who are heavily addicted to platforming games might be able to overlook this if they are desperate for a fix, but everyone else should steer well clear.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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