Saturday, 17 December 2016

Keriotosse! (Saturn)

I'm tagging Keriotosse as a fighting game, like I have with a few other similar 32-bit oddities in the past, but it's a very tenuous tag, as this game lacks most of the trappings of what you'd consider to be a real fighting game. There's no healthbars, no knockouts, almost no special moves, and no punching. What it actually is is a somewhat silly contest in which four characters on a small circular stage all try to kick each other off the edge. The last one on the platform wins the round, and the first to win three rounds wins the match.

Thinking about it a little more, the stages themselves actually suggest a little inspiration from the Bomberman games, as each one is slightly different, whether it has interactive playground equipment, running water, strong winds or other such features, that all have some kind of effect on the proceedings. An annoying feature that every stage has is that no matter what kind of surface they take place upon, all the characters slid around as if it were a traditional platform slippy slidy ice stage. Obviously the devs were thinking this would aid in characters kicking each other around, but it's mostly just a nuisance.

The characters are a weird, incoherent selection, seemingly made up of anything that came into the designer's heads. Your starting selection includings a harpy boy, a deep-voiced alien woman, a beer-loving bunnygirl, and an aging buddhist priest. A few stages into single-player mode, you'll also start encountering other weirdos, including robots of both faux-Gundam and faux-R2D2 flavours, a weird masked princess, and others. They all mostly play identically to each other, with the exception being the special attacks. I assume these characters can be unlocked, though unfortunately, I haven't yet found out how.

Special attacks are limited-use (typically once per round, though if the round goes on long enough, they do eventualy recharge), and each character's is totally different. For example, the harpy boy can fly around for a short time, taking him out of reach of attacks and allowing him to swoop down and claw at his foes. The monk surrounds himself with a ring of hearts, that knockback foes much further than the normal kicks. The bunnygirls can offer a pint to an opponent, that leaves them drunk for a short time, and the R2D2-like robot can trigger a large explosion. It's nice that the special attacks aren't just slight variations on the same few effects, but it does mean that some characters have massive advantages over the others. In my experience, the priest and the harpy boy are by far the best equipped of the initial few selectable characters.

Keriotosse isn't a bad game, but it's not a very good one, either. It's incredibly average. The only reason you should really play it is to see the very nice low-poly stages, and the slightly less nice low-poly characters. I mean, I can't think of any better kicking-people-off-platforms games, but it's not a very exciting concept to begin with, either. After this and JSWAT and that awful game with the pig, I should really try to seek out a forgotten Saturn game that I can be a bit more positive about, shouldn't I?

No comments:

Post a Comment