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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #366: Gekido: Kintaro's Revenge (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Naps Team

Publisher: Naps Team

Category: Fighting, Action, Adventure, Arcade

Release Date: 3.22.2018

Price (at time of review): $14.99 – Digital (€29.99 - Physical)

Buy Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge from the RED ART GAMES here.

Revenge From Advance To Switch

One genre that I can’t get enough of is beat ‘em up action games. When I hear an older port is coming over to the Switch—or a new game—I immediately get pumped up. For a guy who played an unhealthy amount of Final Fight as a kid on SNES, and as an adult who considers Haggar my spirit animal, I’d say that beat ‘em ups were, and still are, a personal favorite.

The game we’re looking at today is Gekido Advance: Kintaro's Revenge, which is a beat 'em up game originally released for the GameBoy Advance in 2002, and created by Italian studio, NAPS Team. It is a sequel to the PlayStation game, Gekido. So, from the GameBoy Advance to the Nintendo Switch, Gekido’s sequel is finally here—minus the word “Advance”—and I’m ready to punch some bad guys in the face, so let’s jump in!

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

A year has passed since the epic battle that decided the fate of mankind in the first game, which claimed the life of the beloved Angela. Dark omens once again tell of the return of an evil presence. Ushi is the last remaining master of the ancient art of Shin-Ken, and he calls upon Tetsuo, his disciple and adopted son, to investigate some strange happenings outside the city.

From here, the game focuses on Tetsuo, who has returned to his sensei's house, only to be dispatched to a remote farming village where it seems as if the dead rise from the grave. Upon further investigation, Tetsuo finds out that the village has been having strange happenings ever since the old temple became overrun with demons. When he returns to the village after talking to the old guardian of the Temple, the village has been attacked by, "...ravens..."—according to one of the dying villagers. Also, it seems as if all of the children have vanished as well. The story flows really well, and even includes new cutscenes in the Switch port.

Tetsuo Solves Problems With His Fists

From the start, we are greeted with three modes: Survival Mode, which is your basic “fight till you die”; a rougelike mode, named Relic Hunt; and the original Story Mode, which follows Tetsuo’s journey through five levels of kung-fu Walking Dead-type happenings. Traditional old school brawler beat ‘em ups, like Final Fight, start you on the left side of the screen, and have you clear enemies and progress left to right over and over. Gekido Kintaro's Revenge does it differently by having you venture inside shops, houses, and caves, going up and down ladders, and finally, will even have you doing some mild platforming, which was a huge surprise to me.

Now, saying it was a surprise doesn’t necessarily mean I liked it. It took me away from the action, which is the reason I play these games. Most of the time, you’re hunting down a key or an item to progress forward. The problem-solving and platforming—though it took me away from the action—wasn’t so bad, as I ended up enjoying the gameplay; and, luckily, it didn’t take me away long enough to slow it down too much.

The revamped version comes with a new soundtrack and new anime-style cutscenes, and the cutscenes blended in beautifully to the gameplay, where one moment you’re reading the story, and then suddenly, you’re dodging a zombie spitting acid blood at you. The controls worked for me, as I never had any issues—if you’ve played a classic brawler like Final Fight or Streets of Rage, you’ll be used to the fighting style. There’s punch, kick, throw, jump/jump-kick and, a special power move. Though the moves are standard, the game isn’t, as you really have to stay on your toes.

This game can be brutal, and, at times, it felt like the enemies were sped up, but this may be unique to this game’s combat style; and though I didn’t love it, I did enjoy the combat and fighting. You really have to work to land clean shots and string combinations together, which will have Tetsuo throwing fiery flaming uppercuts—a la Ken from Street Fighter II. One thing this version has that the previous version didn’t is couch co-op, allowing you to have a friend enter the battle with you. This takes the experience up another notch, as this was always my favorite way to play these classic-style beat ‘em ups.

As you work your way through each level, you’ll encounter a level boss at the end, as well as big bad Kintaro himself. Each boss is different than the baddies I faced throughout the levels, but once I learned their move sets and vulnerabilities, taking them down became a lot easier—but be careful, because If you die too many times, you must restart the level from the beginning.

Audio & Visuals

The game comes packed with the original soundtrack and cutscenes, which is a nice touch. I wasn’t really feeling the updated music, so I changed it over to the original and it fit the game perfectly, so I kept it that way. The fighting sound effects and in-game sounds are well done, I only wish they had added voice actors to the new cut scenes.

The anime-style cutscenes were a welcomed addition, though the in-game graphics could’ve used a facelift, because being docked on my big screen really showed their age, and some updated sprites would’ve helped. There are some extra screen size options along with the original GBA resolution: a full screen stretch or a strange 16:9 hybrid that stretches the playing field during the outside portions of the game, but shrinks it back to regular GBA screen ratio when you’re inside houses or caves.

It’s A Wrap!

Overall, Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge was a treat for me, as I had never played the original game, but absolutely love beat ‘em ups. Luckily, not playing the first game didn’t hinder my experience at all, and the game played fairly seamlessly throughout my play-through. Though the game is dated and it’s also not a perfect game, I would still highly recommend picking this up for your collection, as it’s a fun gem to be able to pull out and run through with a friend. I highly recommend if you’re a collector—or even a fan of physical over digital media—to grab the physical copy over at RED ART GAMES while it’s still in stock.

Score: 7.5/10

Buy Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge from the RED ART GAMES here.

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*Review Code Provided by NAPS Team

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