Kero Blaster Review
After the overwhelming success of Cave Story, Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya has turned his attention to the shoot-em-up genre in Playism’s Kero Blaster. Featuring a quirky hero and a quirkier environment, does this game deliver a winning experience?
Kero Blaster Review
Things aren’t going so well at Cat and Frog Inc. A series of “things,” or “negativus legatia,” have taken over the world, and it’s up to Kerotan to clean things up. The company is a small one, with a grumpy president, her suspicious pet, and a few others, but they all band together to do their part. It’s a simple tale told in brief cutscenes between levels, but it’s absolutely charming and full of character.
As the head of “custodial sciences,” Kerotan teleports from world to world to shoot his way through waves of baddies. Those familiar with run-and-gun games like Contra or Metal Slug will know what to expect here. The ultimate goal is to get to the end of each level and defeat the boss, defeating baddies and overcoming hazards along the way. Said bad guys include snowball-chucking freezers, laser-spewing turrets, and a clock that has a bird as a sidekick. The originality here is unrivaled, and the seven levels in the main game feature creativity not often seen in games.
Kerotan stars his journey off with a pea shooter with short range, but his arsenal soon grows to include a flamethrower, a bubble gun, and a spread gun. All of this weaponry is upgradeable through shops found in each level, which adds a bit of depth to proceedings. Health can also be upgraded, and lives can be purchased for those looking for an edge.
The controls take some getting used to though. Kerotan can only shoot in three directions, so those looking to fire downward like Cave Story’s Quote are in for a rude awakening. In addition, the ability to duck is not there, meaning it can be difficult to avoid hazards. Paired with a slippery control scheme, and you’ve got controls that don’t always lend themselves to avoiding the constant projectiles and enemies the game throws at you.
Those looking to master the game will be surprised at its brevity. Its seven levels can be completed in around two hours, though a new game plus mode is available. Certain stages also contains parts for a secret fifth weapon, making it fun to hunt down the pieces and scour every level. There is also Zangyou Mode, which unlocks after successfully completing the main game. This three hour mode has an all new story, remixed levels, and a completely new level at the end. The difficulty is ramped up a few notches, and the final boss will put your weaponry to the test.
Kero Blaster is a blast from the past full of charm and challenge. Though it may not be the longest adventure around, those that take the time to master Kerotan’s slippery controls will have quite the adventure with Cat and Frog Inc.