Since the dawn of time, parents have struggled to get their children to eat vegetables. However, they may now have a new weapon amongst their arsenal in the form of Kyurinaga’s Revenge. This game isn’t new, nor is it created by the likes of Jamie Oliver and his Turkey Twizzler killing army, but using the theory of ‘you are what you eat’ this game may have turned the playbooks on their heads. Why do you ask? Because Kyurinaga’s Revenge is no ordinary platformer, it allows you to control a street fighter piece of Broccoli named Joe and the Onion samurai Kaoru Tamanegi. Therefore, make sure you get your kids in on this action so they know if they eat their greens, they’ll be able to kick some serious ass, or in the spirit of martial arts, sufficiently defend themselves from potential attackers.
The game is far from just a tool to get kids to eat their veg though it’s a well-designed game that can be a lot of fun to play. The story writing is not going to be winning any awards, but the basic foundations are ok. It all begins whilst the two heroes are about to undertake some training, which acts as the tutorial for players to get to grips with the controls. All of a sudden, the camp is attacked by the evil Kyurinaga’s forces and the peace that Broccoli and Kaoru have fought tirelessly for was brought to an end. It is then that they realise they’re going to have to head out on another adventure and defeat Kyurinaga and the Shogunate once again. To accomplish their goal of peace across the lands again they will face numerous puzzles, fights and bosses whilst making their way through several platform levels.
To progress through the levels and solve many of the puzzles that confront you, you’ll have to make use of Broccoli and Onion’s special skills. Broccoli is equipped with kunai which you will need to use to hit targets, cut ropes and activate explosive traps which are laid down by Onion. If playing this solo, you’ll need to switch between characters in order to combine each other’s special abilities to get past obstacles in your way, but if you’re lucky enough to have a friend to play with then it won’t be something you need to worry about much. Unfortunately, the gameplay does get quite repetitive due to the way the skills are forced into use, as the puzzles are all very samey and other than the layout differing slightly the solutions are always the same, and what’s more the difficulty doesn’t really increase throughout the game either. The only real thing to master if anything at all is timing movements to ensure you don’t get hit by enemy projectiles or mistime a jump onto a moving platform.
There are some rather good aspects to the gameplay though particularly for me the fights between platform levels. The combat system is similar to the old style dance games where you had to complete the steps within a small time frame, except instead of stepping right on a mat, you have to tap the buttons on your controller before the enemy reaches you. This is much more challenging in single player as again you have to switch between characters, and when you’ve got enemies coming from all angles, it can sometimes leave you filled with rage if you hit the wrong button or don’t complete the combination before time runs out. Play with a friend though and it eases a little as you don’t have to switch, but the difficulty and speed of enemies approaching seem to increase slightly.
Gameplay aside, Kyurinaga’s Revenge really begins to shine in the graphical design area which is a credit to the work that RECO Technology have done in developing this game. Set in Feudal Japan, the design style is very cartoony but in a respectful way that it captures the essence of time perfectly, and the combination of a 3D platformer in an engaging 2D world works really well. The decision to use vegetables as characters was a great way to stand out from similar titles too, although it could be suggested that it was just a clever way to link further to Japanese culture, with anime shows such as Dragon Ball Z historically using food puns to name some of the show’s characters, i.e. Kakarot (Goku) being a mutation of Carrot.
Throw everything together like you would in a stir-fry, yes I’m including the Broccoli and Onion in that mix, and Kyurinaga’s Revenge is a solid game with some great graphics. The gameplay is fun to an extent, but the lack of any real challenge in the puzzles and the repetitiveness of them lets it down somewhat. If you do get the game though I’d highly recommend playing local co-op if you do get the game as it is much more fun to play with a friend, but that doesn’t mean that solo play is all that bad. Still, it isn’t the best game I’ve played this year and could do with a fair bit of work, but if the right improvements are made this game has the potential to easily be scoring in the 80%-90% range.
- Kyurinaga’s Revenge is a puzzle platformer set in Feudal Japan and can be played both solo or via local co-op.
- The protagonists are a street fighting piece of Broccoli and a samurai Onion.
- The game could be more challenging, and puzzles more varied. Still, it’s a fun little game but more so when played with friends.
- It could be a useful tool to help encourage children to eat their greens via the theory of “you are what you eat”.
Kyurinaga’s Revenge is developed and published by RECO Technology. For the purpose of this review, we played Kyurinaga’s Revenge on the Xbox One, but the game is also available on PC and PS4.