The 2D scrolling beat ‘em up has been a long standing genre and every system ever released has had its fair share of them. The latest one to be released on Xbox One is a 16 year old Gameboy Advance title, ported over and given the full screen treatment on a home console. Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge is an odd choice of game to release on modern hardware, while I understand it probably has its fan base, it baffles me as to why they would release such a game without doing much to modernise it. In fact I’m surprised they haven’t remade it seeing as its initial release was back in 2002, but nevertheless Naps Team have decided to run their hands together and cash in on the original release.
Players take control of Tetsuo, a warrior tasked with investigating strange goings on in the local farming village. The story itself isn’t very original but it serves a purpose of offering some kind of back story to why he needs to roundhouse kick some possessed demons in the head. The cutscenes aren’t that bad and are actually pretty well done, offering an anime style to experience that hardened fans will no doubt appreciate. The dialogue is cheesy and forgettable but in all fairness, nobody really plays a game of this style for its deep and meaningful story, they play them because they want to smash things.
Anyone who has played a side scrolling beat em up before will instantly know how to play Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge, it’s controls are simple and straightforward but its execution leaves a lot to be desired. Gameplay is not only clunky but it’s unresponsive with awful collision detection which not only hinders the experience but makes the game incredibly frustrating especially considering that it’s a pretty unforgiving game as it is. The difficulty level makes it his game a controller chucker, meaning it’s as frustrating as it is clunky.
Having gameplay that isn’t fun or very well done makes it a pretty unenjoyable experience and this game suffers with that issue. It tries so hard to incorporate other aspects in to its gameplay but it falls considerably short in trying to achieve any kind of variation. There are cringe worthy platform sections that play out just as awkwardly as they look, there is exploration that just involves walking in to little huts to collect a random pick up and even tries to incorporate an RPG style interaction with other characters. It doesn’t do any of this very well at all. The pick ups acquired on the way can impact gameplay like hit multipliers, extra damage and the Ben some that can hinder you like reversed controls. It’s a quirky addition but it adds nothing significant to what is ultimately a dull side scrolling beat ‘em up we have seen so many times before and have seen done a lot better than this.
The retro visuals offer nothing attractive to this title and even the added CRT modes are a hinderance and I urge anyone who decides to pick this up to turn that mode off straight away, it will most certainly play havoc with your eyes. The retro pixelated graphics offer a burst of nostalgia but that’s all, as Gekido is a rather underwhelming looking game and is as stale as it’s gameplay mechanics. This game offers nothing new and will only appeal to the hardcore fans of its original release. For anyone looking for a side scrolling fighting game fix then there are plenty out there that are far better than this game. To release what is a fairly lazy port of a 16 year old game doesn’t sit well with me as many of you will know having either read past reviews by myself or heard my rants on the podcast. This is simply a way to make a quick buck, but it’s dreary unenjoyable gameplay, boring story and incredibly hard difficulty level haven’t aged well enough for Naps Team to get away with it.