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Kyurinaga's Revenge Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Even with the samurai theme and nods to Akira Kurosawa, Kyurinaga's Revenge is a mess. The 2D platforming is overly simple and often easy, the bosses are unbalanced, and the quick-time event battles are beyond frustrating without a second person around. And perhaps the most egregious problem is the fact that the developers never do anything new or interesting with this vegetable world. There are so many good ideas squandered in this below average action game. Rating: 40%
Kyurinaga's Revenge
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  • Review Score:

  • C-
Few filmmakers have been more influential than Akira Kurosawa. Even if you've never seen one of the thirty movies the famed Japanese director released between 1941 and 1993, chances are you've felt their cultural impact. His movies have been remade and repurposed dozens of times, from the Seven Samurai turning into The Magnificent Seven to George Lucas using The Hidden Fortress as the blueprint for Star Wars.

Kyurinaga's Revenge is the latest piece of entertainment to draw inspiration from Akira Kurosawa's fifty extraordinary years as a filmmaker. It's a 2D action game that shoves all of those old samurai movies into a blender, creating an over-the-top adventure that attempts to use the incredible setting and familiar cliches to create an irresistible hero's journey. I'm not sure the finished result stacks up to the lofty inspiration, but I certainly appreciate the effort.


What I didn't realize going in is that Kyurinaga's Revenge is the sequel to Yasai Ninja, a game I didn't play that came out in 2015 to largely negative reviews. Here we have the further adventures of Kaoru Tamanegi and Broccoli Joe as they unwittingly get tossed in the middle of a life-or-death struggle with a vengeful warlord. The evil Kyurinaga has found a source of unlimited power, and it's up to a couple of unlikely friends to save the day.

If you couldn't figure it out by the names, all of the samurais and ninjas in this world are vegetables. Our two heroes are a squat, fat onion and tall, skinny broccoli who get sage advice from an extremely wise radish. The pair is told to hike up a giant mountain to learn the secrets needed to defeat the powerful Kyurinaga, which will require the duo to use their unique abilities and samurai skills to save the day.

Although it can be played solo, Kyurinaga's Revenge is really intended to be played with a second player. The two killer vegies walk side-by-side, each with their own purpose. The squat onion is able to drop off bombs to blow up walls, while the broccoli can throw knives to cut down objects and detonate explosives. The good news is that both characters are more than capable of swinging a sword and wall jumping to safety.

As a single-player adventure, we're able to switch between the two characters at the push of a button. This works well for the first half of the game, when the levels are almost too easy. Fans of 2D platformers will recognize a lot of the level designs and have no problem navigating the floating platforms and getting past the spike pits. But then, completely out of the blue, there's an absurd difficulty spike that all but ruins the game for solo players.

Kyurinaga's Revenge (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The problem is never the 2D stages, but rather one horrendous mini-game we're forced to deal with from time to time. In what I'm sure sounded like a great idea on paper, the two heroes are locked in an intense battle where enemies are coming from both sides. What makes this tricky is that the onion can only take on foes coming from the left side, while Broccoli Joe is in charge of the right. The two will need to alternate punching in the buttons displayed on the screen, fending off the ninjas until the level ends.

This starts out simple at first, making you only press one button at a time. But by the end of the game we're asked to input three different buttons in what has to be the shortest amount of time I've ever seen. The game hates it when you press the buttons too fast and hitting them too slow will result in taking damage. There's an impossibly small window you need to hit, which is nearly unmanageable when you're also switching between the two characters.

I'm sure these battles are a lot more doable when playing with a friend, since you only need to focus on half the screen. But even on the easiest difficulty, some of these battles are needlessly frustrating. There's one fight towards the end of the game that goes for nearly ten minutes straight without a single checkpoint. That's not fun, and it kind of made me hate playing Kyurinaga's Revenge by myself.

And it's not only these battles that suck, but pretty much any time the game deviates from the typical 2D platforming. The very first boss fight, for example, is an astonishingly frustrating exercise in luck and memorization. I went from losing practically no lives in the run-up to that boss to immediately dying dozens of times because of the extended fight. This was the first sign that Kyurinaga's Revenge was going to be a wildly uneven adventure.

Kyurinaga's Revenge (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It doesn't help that the game has a rough and outdated look. If we're being completely honest, this platformer looks like a Nintendo 3DS game that somehow found its way to modern consoles. The characters are small, the levels are lacking detail and you'll see a lot of the same obstacles and enemies repeated throughout the game. Ironically, the best looking parts of the game are also the least fun to play.

Even with the samurai theme and nods to Akira Kurosawa, Kyurinaga's Revenge is a mess. The 2D platforming is overly simple and often easy, the bosses are unbalanced, and the quick-time event battles are beyond frustrating without a second person around. And perhaps the most egregious problem is the fact that the developers never do anything new or interesting with this vegetable world. There are so many good ideas squandered in this below average action game.
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