Review: Kero Blaster (Switch) - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Review: Kero Blaster (Switch)

by James Charlton

Salaryman Kero-san.

It's hard to believe but Kero Blaster was first released on PC and iOS over four years ago. Now here we are with “yet another” Switch port. However that’s not really a bad thing, because first of all, look at the screenshots - does it matter which year it was made or released? It looks like an HD Atari 2600 game, but plays like a modern platform shooter. Good times ahead, keep reading.

You may be forgiven for initially thinking this game is a simple run-and-gun game, and in some ways it is, but there’s a little more to it than that. The difficulty curve is pretty much spot on, with the levels and enemies always being just a little bit harder than your froggy man can handle. The designer, Pixel (of Cave Story fame), has pretty much got the whole carrot and stick progression system perfected. You are constantly picking up coins as you blast your way through levels, and these coins never get taken away from you, even if you die and get a game over.

This means the next time you tackle the stage, you pop into the in-game shop, buy a few health and weapon upgrades and boom - you feel empowered and ready to beat the section of the level or boss that you couldn’t before. There are parts that get quite difficult, but it never really punishes you unfairly. If you die, you start at that screen.If you lose all your lives, you start at the beginning of the stage, but all your coins remain in your possession and even mid-level bosses remain dead!

The game has a wonderfully wacky story.You’re basically a frog salaryman just doing his job of shooting bug creatures off teleporters. You know, that old chestnut. It is silly, but it adds to the overall retro presentation and world building in the game. You even find yourself getting familiar with all the crazy critters both good and bad, despite them all being made up of hilariously oversized chunky pixels.

The audio design is also very well done, sitting somewhere between OG GameBoy and NES but with a modern twist. There are some really catchy and uplifting tunes here.

It may not take more than four hours (possibly less) to beat, but it's a charming and very replayable platform shooter. The Zangy┼Ź (which means "overtime" in Japanese and functions as the hard mode) new game plus mode also offers even more content once you beat the first play though, mixing up the story, levels and even introducing new enemies.

All in all, Kero Blaster won me over and may do the same to you, too. Give it a shot.

Final Score: 8.0

[Review code provided by the publisher]

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