Short Burst Review: Kyotokei WiiWare
For die hard fans of side-scrolling shooters.
For newcomers to the side-scrolling shooter genre, this one is not the game to practice on.
Kyotokei, A Microforum WiiWare horizontal shooter, is a game only for the die hard fans of this genre. You might have played similar games such as Cotton or Ikaruga (on XBL), which Kyotokei is heavily borrowed but gave it equal glee. Though there’s many characteristics from other classic shooter, the gameplay is simple and engaging. But how far can you last?
Magical Siblings are on a mission to stop an evil witch Rika from taking over the whole land, Estaria. Flying on a bird in the sky through 5 levels of various environments, the siblings use their powerful aura of protection to absorb enemy spells and unleash all their power in intervals and also regular shots of power. Up to 2 players can defeat legions of enemies and 5 major bosses by switching auras depending on the situation.
The shoot ’em up plays like a regular side-scrolling game. Enemies come at you and you shoot them up with your aura power which is either blue or red. Enemies also have the same auras. You absorb enemy power and fill the power gauge by choosing the same aura as them and letting them attack you with their magic. Enemies can also be shoot down with the same aura but it takes longer than shooting them down with the opposite aura. In certain situations, you have to constantly switch auras. Also by doing so, you can rack up points for the combo multiplier. You have to chain enemy kills in groups of four like-colors.
Basic controls and gameplay
For shoot em up side scrolling, the controls have to be very responsive. The game is very quick moving therefore the success of kills is a matter of timing and observation. If you are a quick observer then this game is right up your alley. Which ever controller you use – Wii Remote, Classic Controller (which I used for the review), or GameCube, the controls are solid. There are three levels of difficulty – Easy, Normal and Hard, however, I find that easy mode was still rather hard and not for the faint of heart. You get a few continues after you die to advance in the story, but after those are up, it’s back to the starting line just like in an arcade.
The visual style of the game is similar to a lot of Japanese side scrollers. Some call it weird, others call it a work of art. I find it a mix of the two and makes a good impression on the type of monsters and bosses you come up against. Since the action is fast-paced, the background scenes are pretty bland but when you reach the boss, the movements stand still and then you can fully grasp the art of the game. Characters and enemies have unique characteristics but the bosses are the most impressive.
The soundtrack of Kyotokei sounds like classic action side scrolling. Nothing to amazing and each level sounds similar to the last one. Voice acting isn’t impressive and sound effects are of the normal in these types of games. But the focus is more of the movements and not so much the sound it makes.
Cons and Pros
Even on easy mode I had a hard time with this game. But I also had a hard time with Ikaruga as well as I never could get past the second level. I think true fans won’t have a problem but if you are a noob, prepare to be frustrated.
Since you don’t see much of side-scrolling shoot ’em games, Kyotokei could easily curve your appetite with a play-through. It may not be the most innovative in the genre at the moment but it’s still a decent game to spend some time if you’re a fan. If you’re not a fan of the genre or didn’t like Ikaruga, then you’re going to get too frustrated to advance. The demo is available or you can buy the game for $5 USD or 500 Wii Points.