Review #050: kuso (Nintendo Switch)
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Allan J.
Developed By: Fred Wood
Published By: Fred Wood
Category: Platformer, Action, Arcade, Adventure
Release Date: 11.20.2018
Download kuso from the Nintendo eShop here.
So, let me just start by saying that kuso, in Japanese, means “shit”—and I found myself using much harsher words whilst playing this game! kuso is insane! I am a fan of platformers. I always have been. When I was younger, platformers were my video game bread and butter. I wasn’t always the best at them, but I had an older sister to call on if I ever got stuck.
This usually ended up with her hijacking the controller and playing for another hour or so before it was my turn again, but I grew to love watching video games being played almost as much as playing them myself. I am almost certain that the creator of Twitch was a little brother too, but I digress. Regardless of how good you are at platforming, this game will make you shout obscenities aplenty, but in the most glorious possible way!
Prepare To Die…
The gameplay itself isn’t too complex when you break it down. Basically, you run and you jump. Simple enough, right? Wrong. The pace and placement of the obstacles, the precision required to land on exactly the right pixel at exactly the right moment, and the split-second choices you must make in order to stay five moves ahead of the stage are both rage-inducing and ridiculously satisfying at the same time.
Two things save this game from being impossible: unlimited lives, and the ability to put a checkpoint down wherever you want, so that you don’t have to start back at the beginning of the stage each time you die—and you will die… a lot. I personally used a new checkpoint every half screen that I progressed. There really are NO easy stretches in any of the levels. Normally, I am hesitant to play a game with this level of sheer difficulty, as I value my controllers and prefer my walls without holes in them, but in this case, it’s just delightfully infuriating. There’s just such a rush of complete satisfaction when you finally get past a spot that was starting to seem like a programming glitch that simply couldn’t be beaten.
kuso is another title in the recently growing trend of modern retro-style releases. kuso is pure 8-bit retro deliciousness, proving once again that you don’t need 4k graphics to make an amazing game. The music is spot-on, with an 8-bit industrial/dance OST that syncopates with the movements of the obstacles throughout the stages. This actually comes in very handy when you are trying to time a series of precision platform jumps with laser beams firing from the only pixel on which you can land. The soundtrack is almost reminiscent of the early Mega Man series, which is saying quite a lot!
Rage with a Friend
Another great feature in kuso is the split-screen local multiplayer mode, where you and a friend play through the stage in a head-to-head race to the finish. Personally, it will require quite a bit more practice on my part before I am ready to attempt a speed run of any of these stages, but for the hardcore gaming folk, this multiplayer mode—as well as the single-player speed run mode—will be an excellent test of skill. There is also a “Hard” mode, but I’ll be honest, I am afraid to try this mode. Maybe one day…
kuso looked fun from the initial gameplay video I watched of it, so I was expecting some solid entertainment value already, but I was not expecting it to be so incredibly fun! Sure, I used every profane word I could think of while trying to remind myself that it was just a game, but then I would complete the level and suddenly feel like a gaming god without rival—always a short-lived feeling though, since the next obstacle course was never too far away from the last, but still!
If you have the ability to hone the rage within, lean forward for that +10 concentration bonus, and promise yourself you will not break your controller, then I would recommend kuso to you. I love this game. To quote the creator of kuso, Fred Wood, this game is “a challenging yet fair platforming game, and it's now available on the Nintendo Switch for $5 across the world.” And better yet, It’s actually only $4.99… and worth every penny! Go to the eShop and buy this game right now!
Final Score: 10/10
Download kuso from the Nintendo eShop here.
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