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Five Nintendo Series We’d Love to See Return

Five Nintendo series we would love to see return to their latest console, the Nintendo Switch.

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At the time of writing, Nintendo Switch – despite stock issues – is on a roll. Having already shifted over five million units in just over six months, eclipsing its flop of a predecessor seems a formality at this point as Nintendo expect Switch to hit 10 million by the end of its first year on sale. By comparison, the Wii U only sold 13 million units in its entire lifecycle, and it’s clear that a change of fortunes is in the air for the Big N.

Even with its impressive hardware sales, Switch hasn’t exactly bombarded owners with an avalanche of software. Outside of downloadable indie titles, we’ve really only had Breath of the Wild, a remaster of Mario Kart 8, A Splatoon sequel featuring all the same baffling faults and omissions, new title Arms, a horrible party game, and overpriced versions of Street Fighter and Bomberman to sink our collective teeth into.

Breath of the Wild may be an overwhelming favorite for game of the year awards the world over, but the real kicker for Switch lies in its future potential. Mario Odyssey, Metroid Prime 4 and the next core Pokémon have all been announced for the console to universal fan appreciation and, being the greedy Nintendo fans we are, we’re looking beyond those games towards five more franchises we really want to see return on Nintendo’s new phenomenon.

F-Zero

Nintendo's F-Zero

We might as well put the elephant in the room out of its misery first. After Metroid Prime (which, mercifully, we can stop complaining about now), F-Zero is easily the most wanted of all the Wii U absentees, and it absolutely needs to happen on Switch.

Fast Racing Neo and Fast Racing RMX have done a respectable job of providing Nintendo fans with suitable amounts of g-force on both Wii U and Switch, but while those games offered the blistering speed, they simply can’t compare to F-Zero in terms of personality or reverence from the Nintendo faithful.

It’s not like Nintendo are even trying to make us forget about the franchise’s existence. Captain Falcon is a mainstay in Smash Bros., Nintendo Land featured an F-Zero mini-game, and the Blue Falcon racer was available as DLC in Mario Kart 8 alongside an F-Zero track. How much longer can Nintendo dangle the carrot of a possible revival for the 11-year dormant series without giving us what we really want?

Perhaps the biggest issue stopping a new F-Zero from happening is Nintendo’s apprehension over how to revive the series. Shigeru Miyamoto was quoted by Nintendo Life back in 2012 as lamenting that, since the SNES original, he feels the series has ‘evolved very little’ and that he ‘thought people had grown weary of it.’

Miyamoto’s assumption is almost certainly a reaction to the poor sales figures of the SEGA-developed, and critically acclaimed, F-Zero GX on GameCube. Although, that apparently didn’t stop Nintendo from asking Burnout developer Criterion to make a playable pitch for an F-Zero title on Wii U to be shown off at E3 2011. Criterion founder Alex Ward confirmed this, but explained that resources were already spread too thin on Need For Speed: Most Wanted to make it a reality.

There are signs, then, that not everyone at Nintendo has given up on F-Zero. Despite Miyamoto’s opinion that the series hasn’t evolved, fans will argue that it doesn’t need to and that each installment has improved on its predecessor’s blueprints to consistently produce relentlessly exhilarating racing.

Two home consoles have come and gone without a new F-Zero title, and if the power and portability of Switch can’t provide the perfect platform for a series revival, then maybe we’ll all have to join Miyamoto in giving up. Unless someone wants to give Alex Ward a call?

Advance Wars

Nintendo's Advance Wars

There may be a running theme in this list where developers are unsure of what to do with a beloved franchise and are wary of getting the ball rolling without first having some sort of eureka moment. For turn-based strategy title Advance Wars, that would be series producer Hitoshi Yamagami bemoaning a perceived difficulty in adapting the character relationship system of sister series Fire Emblem onto the modern battlefields of Advance Wars.

Leaving aside the issue of successfully implementing tank-on-tank romance, Advance Wars is the perfect Switch title. There may be trepidation at present, but eventually Nintendo will have to admit that they shouldn’t be releasing games on 3DS anymore, and they need to be bringing traditionally handheld-only series like Advance Wars to the new system – even if they don’t stylistically change that much.

Advance Wars is one of those quintessential handheld games – boasting a low barrier of entry through inviting mechanics and short levels for on-the-go fun. It’s also your typical ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ game; its cartoonish charm and turn-based gameplay masking over the impending difficulty curve that will really test the skill and planning of players in the later game.

With roots going all the way back to the 1988’s original Famicom Wars, it’s disappointing that we last saw a new title in the series with Advance Wars: Days of Ruin on the DS way back in 2008.

A telling fact when talking about all the games in this list is that sales figures are rarely spectacular if we’re not talking about a game involving Mario or Link. Even if Yamagami reiterated that he does want to make another Advance Wars game, the series has never sold amazingly well, and this must be a factor in the series’ near 10-year hiatus. However, this was also the case with Fire Emblem before its recent 3DS outings, and that series has now been completely rejuvenated both on Nintendo hardware and in the popular mobile app. With Advance Wars’ more western-friendly leanings, this seems more than replicable were it to finally make a return.

Wave Race

Nintendo's Wave Race

Cast your mind back to Wave Race games past. What is the first thing you think of? If you said the water effects, you’re right! Even as an N64 launch title, Wave Race 64 was a stunningly beautiful game, as was the 2001 GameCube sequel Wave Race: Blue Storm. The potential for incredible visuals on Switch hardware is a truly mouth – or should that be jet ski – watering prospect.

The Wave Race titles are renowned for silky-smooth aquatic racing action, great soundtracks, and breathtaking weather effects. Considering many N64 early adopters probably got a copy of Wave Race 64 with their shiny new console, there are going to be a lot of hardcore Nintendo fans with some great memories of slaloming through buoys, slamming against the current, and flying off stunt ramps to dive under the surface during multiplayer races.

The only real problem that Wave Race has is that the game as a package was always a little, erm, shallow. Indeed, Blue Storm featured only time and stunt attack modes to supplement the obligatory championship and multiplayer offerings. In today’s market, this wouldn’t be enough to justify a full-price release. Fortunately, we are currently enjoying an industry where indie games are thriving, and Switch already has an impressive indie reputation.

It’s games like Wave Race that Nintendo should be looking at as potential smaller budget opportunities to fill gaps in their release schedule. A download-only version with some sexy graphics and robust online multiplayer is all that’s needed to revive the series.

Nintendo has a decent amount of smaller titles and a not-so-decent amount of release schedule lulls. Once 3DS software development dies down, Nintendo’s resources will be less spread out, and games like this could potentially become a reality. Besides, nothing beats a summer drought like a ride on a Jet Ski, right?

Kid Icarus

Nintendo's Kid IcarusAfter a 19-year hiatus, Nintendo finally revived Kid Icarus in 2012 with the 3DS title Kid Icarus: Uprising. The game was incredibly well received – even scoring the mythical 40/40 from Japanese magazine Famitsu. While Uprising was a delightfully refreshing reboot of the original, in the cold light of non-Famitsu day it certainly wasn’t perfect.

The main issue with Uprising was the controls. To say they were so fiddly that Nintendo bundled the game with a 3DS stand just so players had enough free digits to even play it would be… well, it would be exactly what happened. The over-the-shoulder perspective required the type of aiming and camera movement that a plastic pen on a touchscreen simply can’t accommodate. On Switch, this problem happily goes away and grants potential for Kid Icarus to truly deserve a perfect review score.

Control issues aside, the game was a gorgeous and exhilarating shooter that transitioned seamlessly between on rails Star Fox-style levels to more open areas that required lengthy exploration. There were boss battles, weapon upgrades, online multiplayer and even a system where players could bet hearts (the game’s currency) to increase a level’s difficulty before they dove in. Beautiful-yet-deadly, Uprising was a game designed specifically for the Nintendo hardcore.

There’s every chance that Kid Icarus will make a return on Nintendo Switch. Uprising not only received universal critical acclaim, but it sold gangbusters too – soaring to the top of Japanese sales charts upon its release. Indeed, Kid Icarus’ recent success makes it the most likely game in this list to make a return, even if we have been waiting over five years for the next iteration at this point.

Donkey Konga

Nintendo's Donkey Konga

Donkey Konga is the most necessary revival in this whole list, chiefly because the latency on modern HD TVs means that the three titles released on GameCube are now impossible to play unless you’ve still got a crusty old CRT set lying around and… well, you probably don’t.

The Donkey Konga games thrive off of a very basic principle: hitting stuff is awesome. Donkey Konga capitalized on the craze for rhythm games back in the mid-2000s and the three games in the series would still provide excellent entertainment today if it were possible to play them. An eclectic mix of popular, classical and video game music – there was something in Donkey Konga for everyone to slap and clap along to.

In Japan especially, it’s surprising that Donkey Konga hasn’t at least seen its way into arcades. Taiko no Tatsujin – Namco’s taiko drum rhythm game – is a mainstay in Japanese arcades and has seen recent retail releases on PS4 and Switch, with the latest version even including RPG elements. It can’t just be the Japanese that love to listen to music and smash things with sticks can it?

Of all the games in this list, this last entry is definitely the least likely to happen. Rhythm games are only now undergoing a small revival, but that’s happening more with indie games like Thumper and Crypt of the Necrodancer, and there certainly isn’t a revival of peripheral games going on.

If Nintendo could even harness the ability of the Smash Bros. adapter for GameCube controllers to work via USB and port the original games to Switch, that would be a small victory for the thousands of dusty bongo sets out there. Licensing issues would almost certainly creep in for those songs that weren’t covers, but at least the legacy of such a delightful and delirious party game wouldn’t die alongside the TV sets needed to play them on.

Crotchety Englishman who spends hundreds of pounds on video game tattoos and Amiibo in equally wallet-crippling measure. Likes grammar a lot, but not as much as he likes ranting about the latest gaming news in his weekly column.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Soda Popinski

    October 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    F-Zero, WaveRace, and Pilotwings are my primary wishes.

    Would LOVE to see Nintendo release an exclusive Goldeneye 007 N64 HD Remake on Switch. I’m talking level per level remake, with online support and all. I know theres so many legal rights issues with that game, so if Microsoft couldn’t do it back in the 360 Arcade days, why not Nintendo give it a try?

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Indie Games Spotlight – Pastels, Parenting, and Pedestrians

Check out five of the most creative and compelling upcoming indies in the second Indie Games Spotlight of 2020.

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Indie Games Spotlight

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s bi-weekly column that shines a light on some of the most promising new and upcoming independent titles. Though 2020 is already scheduled to have several of the most anticipated indie releases of the last few years, this time we’re going to focus on games coming out in the immediate future. From vibrant brawlers to daughter raising simulators, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy in the coming weeks.

Super Crush KO; Indie Games Spotlight

Be John Wick for a Day in Super Crush KO

The neon-tinged shoot ’em up Graceful Explosion Machine quickly became one of the best indies on the Switch in 2017. Almost three years later, the same crew at Vortex Pop is back again with Super Crush KO, a fast-paced brawler set in a vibrant, near-future city. Despite the change in genre, however, it’s clear that Vortex Pop haven’t lost their design sensibilities in the slightest.

Super Crush KO plops players into a pastel world full of evil robots and cat-stealing aliens. Such is the situation of protagonist Karen when she’s rudely awoken to find her fluffy, white-furred pal catnapped. Thus, she embarks on a mission to punch, kick, juggle, and shoot anyone trying to keep her from her feline friend. Just like with Graceful Explosion Machine, the goal here is to clear levels with style, rack up high scores, and climb the leaderboards to compete with players around the world. Super Crush KO is out now for Switch and PC.

LUNA: The Shadow Dust Rekindles Lost Memories

Luna: The Shadow Dust is an absolutely stunning, hand-drawn adventure that follows the quest of a young boy who must restore light and balance to an eerie, enchanted world. This lovingly crafted point-and-click puzzle game originally began as a Kickstarter and is finally seeing the light of day after four long years of development.

Beyond its frame-by-frame character animation and appealing aesthetics, LUNA also promises to offer all manner of environmental puzzles to keep players engaged. Control will be split between the boy and his mysterious companion as the two gradually forge a bond and try to uncover the boy’s lost memories. With emphasis placed on emergent storytelling and atmospheric mastery, LUNA should be well worth investigating when it releases on February 13th for PC. Don’t miss trying out the free demo either!

Georifters – An Earth-Shattering Party Game

Genuinely entertaining party games are shockingly hard to come by in a post-Wii world. Georifters looks to fill that gap by offering a multiplayer-centric platformer centered around spontaneous terrain deformation. Players will be able to push, flip, twist or turn the terrain to overcome challenges and battle competitors in hundreds of stages in single-player, co-op and four-player multiplayer modes.

Of course, multiplayer will be where most of the fun is had here. Each character boasts a unique terrain-altering ability to help them attain the coveted crystal in every match. This makes character selection a serious consideration when planning a winning strategy against friends. To drive this point home even further, there will even be dozens of unique themed skins for players to customize their favorites with. Just like the original Mario Party titles, get ready to ruin friendships the old fashioned way when Georifters launches on all platforms February 20th.

Ciel Fledge; Indie Games Spotlight

Master Parenting in Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator

To say the simulation genre is ripe with creativity would be a massive understatement. Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator takes the Football Manager approach of letting players manage and schedule nearly every aspect of their daughter’s life; classes, hobbies, time spent with friends, you name it. The week then flies by and players get to see how their decisions play out over the weeks, months and years that follow. To keep things engaging, extracurricular activities and school tests are taken via a fascinating blend of match-three puzzles and card-based gameplay.

Just like in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it’s easy to imagine the strong bonds that’ll form after investing so much time and energy into Ciel’s growth into an adult. Better yet, Ciel Fledge is filled out by what Sudio Namaapa calls “a cast of lovable characters” for Ciel to befriend, learn from, and grow up with. Prepare to raise the daughter you always wanted when Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator releases on February 21st for Switch and PC.

The Pedestrian; Indie Games Spotlight

The Pedestrian – Forge Your Own Path

The Pedestrian puts players in the shoes of the ever-recognizable stick figure plastered on public signs the world over. From within the world of the public sign system, players will have to use nodes to rearrange and connect signs to progress through buildings and the world at large.

The Pedestrian is a 2.5D side scrolling puzzle platformer, but the real draw here is the puzzle aspect. The core platforming mechanics are on the simpler side; players can jump and interact with different moving platforms, ladders, and the occasional bouncy surface. The possibilities of where this novel concept can go will all depend on how inventive the types of signs players can navigate will be. The character is also surprisingly charming; it’s inherently fun to guide the little pedestrian man through buildings and environments he wouldn’t normally find himself in.

Whether you’re a puzzle fan or simply appreciate the aesthetics, be sure to look out for the full journey when The Pedestrian launches on PC January 29th. Get an idea of what to expect by trying out the free demo too!

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PAX South 2020 Hands-On: ‘Ghostrunner,’ ‘Everspace 2,’ and ‘Wrath: Aeon of Ruin’

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‘Ghostrunner,’ ‘Everspace 2,’ and ‘Wrath: Aeon of Ruin’

We’ve already covered a wide variety of the games on display at PAX South this year, from retro revivals to unorthodox romances to everything in between – and we’re not done yet! In this next roundup article, we cover three more ambitious, action-packed games: Ghostrunner, Everspace 2, and Wrath: Aeon of Ruin.

Ghostrunner

Ghostrunner

Ghostrunner was one of the most in-demand games at PAX, and after playing it, it’s easy to see why. This first-person action slasher, developed by One More Level and produced by 3D Realms, lets players dash through the air, run across walls, and slash through enemies at blistering speed all while exploring a dystopian cyberpunk world. It’s gorgeous, lightning fast, and feels amazing to play.

Ghostrunner begins in a broken future, where the remnants of humanity have hidden away in a single condensed tower. Naturally enough, you’re put in the role of the one rebel who dares to rise up against the forces oppressing humanity. As you begin your uprising, you’ll also encounter a grand mystery – why is humanity the way it is now? Just what happened to the rest of the world? And what’s that voice you hear in your head?

Ghostrunner

My demo didn’t offer much illumination to these mysteries, but the 3D Realms team assured me that the story plays a significant role in the main campaign. What my demo did offer, however, was a look into the fast-paced, brutal gameplay that defines the game. Combat is so dynamic in Ghostrunner. Your arsenal of moves is massive and varied – of course you can run, jump, and slash with your katana, but you can also run along walls, dash over chasms, slow down time to dodge bullets, and more.

When all the moving pieces flow together, Ghostrunner achieves a visceral, almost hypnotic flow of battle. There are a few obstacles to this feeling. The controls took a bit of getting used to on my end, but that would be because, console peasant that I am, I’m not used to playing 3D games on a keyboard instead of a controller. Also, this may be an action game, but at many times it feels more like a puzzle game. With bloodthirsty enemies scattered around each environment, you’ll often need to take a step back and methodically evaluate which abilities to use in each situation. This can take some trial and error – it might have taken me more than a few tries to clear out the final wave of enemies. But when the solution works out, it’s a beautifully exhilarating feeling, and that’s what sets Ghostrunner apart.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin

PAX featured plenty of retro-styled games, but not many quite like Wrath: Aeon of Ruin. This retro-style FPS is a throwback to the simpler, faster days of shooters, built entirely in the same engine as the original Quake. It was even based off the work of Quake community modders. If you’ve played any classic FPS like the original DOOM or Wolfenstein, then you should have a good idea of how Wrath plays: it’s brutal, lightning fast, and action packed.

My demo got straight to the point. After teleporting me to a distant hellscape, I was faced with a horde of demons, ranging from simple skeletons to more aggressive ogre-like enemies and flying laser monsters. Thankfully, I was also given an assortment of weapons to take these creatures down with, including a simple handgun, a powerful blade arm, and my personal favorite, a shotgun. Each one of these felt good to control, and like any good old-fashioned shooter, they gave me a great feeling of power.

PAX South

Like any good, brutal FPS in the vein of Quake, Wrath features an insane amount of mobility. Movement is extremely fast and fluid, allowing you to zip across and above stages with reckless abandon. This extra speed will be necessary, especially considering that enemies can slaughter on with reckless, overwhelming abandon.

Of course, being built in the original Quake engine, Wrath is a delightfully retro treat to behold. It features all the signature hard polygonal edges of PC shooters from that bygone era, but with the added smoothness and fluidity of modern hardware. The game feels great to play and is a unique treat to behold. Wrath is currently available on Steam Early Access, and there’s plenty of new content that can be expected throughout the year, including new levels, enemies, and even a full online multiplayer mode. Stuffed with violent retro action, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is absolutely worth watching out for.

PAX South

Everspace 2

Space is the final frontier, offering limitless exploration This’s the exact feeling that Everspace 2 captures. This sandbox open world space shooter dumps you in outer space and leaves you to figure out the rest, allowing you to fight, scavenge, and explore as you will, all with an incredible amount of freedom.

It’s a remarkably beautiful game too, boasting of extremely detailed 3D graphics that wouldn’t look out of place in a full 3D AAA experience. It’s extremely ambitious, offering a wealth of customization options through parts that can be scavenged from fallen space craft or space debris. There’s alien life to discover and a wealth of locations to explore, with the full game apparently featuring more than 80 unique environments.

PAX South

These environments will always be interesting to explore thanks to a mix between handcrafted worlds and randomization. The original Everspace was a pure roguelike, and as developer Rockfish Games told me, this constantly changing design has often been fundamental to previous great space shooters. Although Rockfish opted for an intentionally designed open world for the sequel, they want to maintain some of those same roguelike elements. That’s why whenever you venture through the many galaxies of Everspace 2, the galaxies and planets will be the same, but the items you find or enemies you encounter within them may change each time.

It took me some time to get used to Everspace. It immediately offers a great amount of freedom, with the demo simply dumping me in space and only requiring that I take down some enemy units and pick up some loot. Yet once I got the hang of the controls and the environment, it became extremely fluid and natural to zip through space, upgrade different components, and experience all the free-flowing action that it has to offer. Space is the ultimate freedom, and Everspace 2 is set to represent that.

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PAX South 2020 Hands-On: ‘Windjammers 2,’ ‘KUNAI,’ and ‘Young Souls’

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PAX South

PAX South 2020 attracted tons of exciting publishers to San Antonio, and even with such a crowded lineup, the DotEmu and Arcade Crew booth easily stood out as some of the show’s very best exhibitors. Streets of Rage 4 might have been their standout demo, but the French boutique publisher and developers brought a fantastic selection of games to the show, including their signature retro revivals and some promising original indie games of their own.

PAX South

Windjammers 2

Sequel to the much-beloved arcade classic, Windjammers 2 takes all the hectic frisbee-throwing action of the original and updates it for the modern generation. For those unfamiliar with the art of windjamming, it’s effectively pong, but instead of balls, you toss discs back and forth across the court. It pits two players against each other on opposite sides of the court, tasking you with mercilessly hurling your disc back and forth until it gets into your opponent’s goal.

You can just throw the disc directly at your opponent, but Windjammers 2 gives you many more options besides that. To really excel at the game, you’ll have to make use of the most extravagant moves you can, dashing across the court, leaping into the air, tossing the disc above you before slamming it down into your opponent, to list only a few of the uber-athletic abilities at your disposal. The game can move extremely quickly when both players take advantage of these capabilities, yet things never feel overwhelming. I always felt in control of the action, even when my quickest reflexes were put to the test. It’s fast-paced disc throwing insanity, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Animated GIF

Just like the rest of DotEmu’s catalogue, Windjammers 2 combines classic gameplay with gorgeous modern aesthetics. It has the same hand-drawn style that makes other DotEmu titles stand out, like Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap. The original Windjammers was a time capsule of garish 90s style, and that design is retained for the new release, with characters looking even more colorful and absurd than ever thanks to the revitalized art and animations. Hectic to play and beautiful to behold, Windjammers 2 is already set to be a multiplayer hit.

PAX South

Young Souls

Streets of Rage 4 was certainly the premier beat ‘em up on display at DotEmu’s booth, but it wasn’t the only one. Alongside this retro revival was an all-new take on the genre: Young Souls, an extremely stylish action game that blends fast-paced fighting with deep RPG customization and a charming, emotional narrative.

Beat ‘em ups might not be known for deep storylines, but Young Souls aspires to something more. Along with its satisfying combat mechanics and plentiful flexibility for character builds, it also boasts of having “a profound story with unforgettable characters.” While my demo didn’t give me much of a look at this deep narrative, it’s reasonable to assume that the story will at least be quality, since it’s penned by none other than the author of the Walking Dead games, Matthew Ritter.

Animated GIF

However, I did get a substantial feel for combat. Young Souls features more than 70 monster-filled dungeons, and I got to venture into two of them in my demo. The action feels weighty and solid when going up against enemies, yet precise at the same time. Like any classic beat ‘em up, there’s a mixture of light and heavy attacks, along with blocks and powerful special moves, along with items and spells to exploit during combat as well. In between battles, you’re able to deck your character out in equipment and items, allowing for an element of roleplaying depth that isn’t typically associated with action games like this. In my short time with the game, it was fun to experiment with different character builds, which could determine the speed and abilities of my fighter, promising combat for the final game.

I played the demo both solo and co-op; in single-player, you’re able to switch between the two twins at will, while two players can each take control of a sibling. In both playstyles, the gameplay was just as visceral and satisfying as one would expect from a classic-style beat ‘em up like this, but the addition of a deep story and RPG mechanics put a unique spin on this entry. That’s not to mention that, like every other game at the DotEmu and Arcade Crew booth, it’s visually beautiful, featuring stylish 2D characters in 3D environments that are all rendered in gentle, washed-out colors. Young Souls might not have a release date or even any confirmed platforms as of now, but it’s absolutely worth keeping an eye on in the meantime.

KUNAI

KUNAI takes the typical metroidvania formula and boosts it to hyperspeed. It has all the hidden secrets and massively interconnected world exploration that you’d expect from the genre, and it gives you the ability to speed through that faster and more dynamically than ever. Its main gimmick is right in the name – by giving you two kunai hookshots, you’re able to traverse up and down your environments with speed and freedom, making for a uniquely vertical method to explore.

KUNAI starts out with the end of the world. In a dystopian future where technology has taken over, you control Tabby, a sentient and heroic tablet that’s dead set on liberating the planet. This serious plot is filled with plenty of personality, however, from the silly faces that Tabby makes in action to the charming dialogue and quirky character designs. This personality is rendered in appealing detail thanks to the game’s simple yet effective pixel art.

PAX South

It’s in the gameplay where KUNAI truly shines. With the eponymous kunai, you’re able to latch onto vertical surfaces. Combine this with the additional abilities to dash, bounce off enemies, or wall jump, and it provides for a uniquely dynamic method of exploring the world. Using the kunai feels easy and intuitive, fast enough to gain speed but never too floaty. It’s a balanced approach to speed and movement that never gets out of control, resulting in what it is perhaps the best-feeling movement of any metroidvania I’ve played recently. My demo was brief, and ended very soon after first getting the kunai, but the gameplay felt so smooth and natural that I can’t wait to experience more of it. Thankfully, it’s not long to wait, since KUNAI hits Switch and PC on February 6.

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