Naps Team are the oldest Italian development studio, they opened their doors in 1993 and have released many different titles over various platforms throughout the years. One of the more series they have created was Gekido, this went on to spawn a sequel for the Gameboy Advance a few years later. Since then it’s been a little quiet, that is until now, NAPS Team have decided to bring Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge over to Nintendo Switch, is it worth another look, read on to find out!.
Review update – The developer Naps Team contacting us after the review had gone live to confirm that on launch the controls will be remappable and that bugs & crashes have been addressed. As such consider the score to be the highest of it’s number, we don’t make a habit of changing scores but this fix does address some of the bigger issues within the title. Any questions regarding this please contact us on Twitter, via E-Mail or myself directly on Twitter @NamelessAndi.
Gekido: Urban Fighters originally released on the PSone as a 3D beat-em-up, this was followed up by Gekido Advance: Kintaro’s Revenge, this title was more in line with titles that inspired and shaped the genre. The games released to mid range reviews and over the years have gained somewhat of a cult status, taking advantage of the Switch’s push on Indie titles and portability it’s Gekido Advance which has been brought over.
Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge sees the mighty Tetsuo dispatched to a local farming village to look into the little problem of the dead rising from their graves, upon arrival everything seems fine bar the occasional zombie attack. After looking round for a while all the villagers disappear and things take quite the sinister turn.
The story in Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge is slightly more fleshed out that it’s kin, there are quite a few cutscenes dotted around the Story Mode and look fantastic on the Nintendo Switch. Naturally the nature of this game means the focal point of it is punching people in the face, despite this you can see the developers have put more effort than usual into crafting a tale of intrigue, zombies and punching people in the face.
Visually it’s very obvious to see where Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge has come from, from the backgrounds to the enemies and the main character it screams 16bit. The sprite work on the main character is wonderful to look at and some of the enemies aren’t slouching either, the bats on the other hand could of used some work.
On the subject of the enemies, the enemy variation gets very thin, very quickly. Bosses are a high point of this, especially as they become normal enemies in the stages that follow from their debut fights. I do feel a few more enemies could of helped, it’s possible this was a limitation of the launch platform so I can’t knock it too much.
Cutscenes have been given the HD treatment and look stunning, they do lack voice acting so the conversation scenes are slightly awkward, as a nice nod you can revert them back to the original cutscenes too which I thought was a nice little feature.
Aurally, Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge has had a massive overhaul from it’s GBA Days. The title now features a much wider variety in tracks and sound effects & once again should you want to, you have the ability to revert the soundtrack, it’s worth it to have a look but overall the newly crafted soundtrack is much stronger and pleasing than that of the original.
As mentioned previously, Gekido: Kinatro’s Revenge is based within the scrolling Beat-Em-Up genre, rather than just 5 stages of scrolling to the right, punching evil and saving the day, this game takes the more scenic route. You’ll spend your time exploring well designed levels, looking for keys and items to help you progress further until you hit the boss at the end of the stage.
The style of gameplay employed by Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge is somewhat of a double edged sword, on one hand it breaks up the repetitive nature of just walking to the right, on the other hand it has replaced it with backtracking and labyrinth like stages. It works well enough but there were sometimes when I felt it could of been streamlined just a little bit.
Another spin on the gameplay is the amount of platforming and traps you’ll experience, it doesn’t quite break up the gameplay as it has a tendency to grind it to a halt. Some stages will require you to do some quite tight jumps, while avoiding traps put exactly where you don’t need them to be, you’ll hit one and lose half a health bar as Tetsuo decides to respawn directly over the pit you tried to jump over. Frustrating and sequence breaking are just two thoughts that came to mind during these sections.
To tie into the platforming issue, Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge has one of the most bizarre control schemes I have witnessed for the genre. Jumping is done using the ZR button despite nothing being mapped to Y or X, D-Pad isn’t a movement option and I have tried to remap the controls several times but it doesn’t seem to work.
The combat in Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge feels fantastic, juggling is easy and satisfying to do, you have a range of special move combos to learn and even a special “keep away” attack to help with crowd control. It is responsive, vibrant and really hearkens back to the greats of a genre I love, despite the wacky controls and platforming/trap combo the combat had me coming back time and time again.
The story is 5 stages long, shouldn’t see you more than a few hours, it is fully co-op so it is always worth inviting a buddy round and blow through the game in an afternoon. Alongside that mode you have Survival which is good for just blowing off steam and seeing how long you can fight the undead & the substantial new mode Relic Hunter.
Relic Hunter sees you exploring randomly generated dungeons in search of Relics, like every other mode this is fully playable in Co-Op and adds so much to the games length. It’s worth tackling after you have done the story as it’ll throw late game enemies at you from the get go, overall it’s a tough but fantastic game mode and one I will continue to work through time and time again.
Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge is a funny little title, it controls strange, has some painful development choices & can look really rough but I am still having a tonne of fun with the title. it’s far from perfect but it’s so pick up and play, brilliant in multiplayer, Relic Hunter mode is a joy & you can’t really beat the genre for quick and accessible fun. The game does have a few glitches & has crashed on me a few times but NAPS Team are working on a patch and it should be available for launch.
Overall if you have any interest in the genre, Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge is one of the titles I would highly suggest, you get enough bang for your buck, the combat is great and the soundtrack is superb. Hopefully the title takes off and we see another Gekido title in the future with my complaints addressed as this series has more than enough potential there to be a real big hitter on the Nintendo Switch.