Super Kiwi 64 | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Super Kiwi 64 | Review | Switch

Like many of you out there, I’m a fan of 3D platformers from the Nintendo 64 era. While some of them are definitely primitive by today’s standards, they had and still have a certain charm. For me, It was always interesting to see what developers could come up with in those early days and see how things evolved over time. In more recent years, a handful of developers have tried to recapture this feeling, but few have nailed it. Super Kiwi 64 tries to tackle this challenge, but does it pass the test? Let’s get into it. 

Super Kiwi 64 puts players into the role of Kiwi the bird in this 3D platforming adventure. This little bird can jump, glide and also perform a corkscrew attack. This attack not only doles out damage to enemies, but it also lets Kiwi to stick to walls. Combined with a combination of jumping, this can be used to reach almost anywhere vertically or horizontally in the stages. ZR can also be used to give Kiwi a bit of a boost while on foot or in flight. Overall, the controls feel quite nice. The jumping and platforming, which is what this game is all about, feel precise, making the game just fun to play. There are some elements of combat sprinkled throughout the game, and honestly, it’s nothing too special - you can take out these enemies with three corkscrew attacks. Again, though, the focus here is mainly on the platforming, which is nailed here. 
For camera control, you have full control over things with the right analog stick, can opt to snap the camera behind Kiwi with ZL, or spin the camera with the L or R buttons. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a 3D platformer. I will say that you will probably want to adjust the sensitivity before divining into the adventure in full. Even after some tinkering, I found the camera to be a bit quick (even at the the next to slowest setting), but I did get used to it after a few minutes. 

Levels / Story
Super Kiwi 64 is a no nonsense kind of affair when it comes to story. There’s no deep narrative - the game mainly focuses on the platforming and finding collectables. All you know is that Kiwi is on a floating island and he/she is looking for a way off. The game starts you off in a hub with access to eight stages that you can tackle in any order you like. A plane, which is your only way off of the floating island, is parked in the middle next to a helpful dog. You have to collect at least 40 gems to complete the game.
This game is all about gathering a variety of collectables. Each stage contains six gems that need to be tracked down. Some of these are in plain sight, however others will need to be discovered. These can be revealed by collecting  all of the numerous gold pieces scattered throughout the level, a handful of rings, or by solving some light puzzles. The levels themselves can be completed (on average) in less than ten minutes, making this a breezy experience. 

Although the game is short, the game does no outstay its welcome. it actually left me wanting more which can’t always be said about games in this niche sub-genre (N64-like 3D platformers). Perhaps one of the reasons why some of the old games from yesteryear don’t hold up today is that they task players with doing way too much. Super Kiwi 64 keeps the levels short and the tasks not too daunting. To top that off, although the puzzles might take a few minutes to work out, but are never frustrating. 

Visuals, Audio & Performance
Super Kiwi 64 sports a 64-bit-like visual aesthetic that permeates the game to its core. You’ll see a lot of low-poly models, environments and textures here, albeit presented in a sharper, modern resolution. There are some times when you can nudge the camera through the environments, but this hardly takes away from the game. In my time with the game, I didn’t run into any issues when it comes to performance. If you’re playing on the Switch, you can expect a smooth experience visually. Not only this, but the game features some excellent music that really is reminiscent of music tracks that could easily fit into an N64 platformer. 

Super Kiwi 64 doesn’t overstay its welcome and is a lot of fun. While it is a very short experience that can be beat in an hour or so (less if you know what you’re doing), it feels like a slice of a game from the N64 era without all of the additional fluff associated with collect-a-thons. If you’re into platformers and have a few extra bucks that you’re willing to spend, there is some fun to be had with Super Kiwi 64.

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