Kamiko (Switch eShop) Review

My Great Capture Screenshot 2017-12-18 08-46-00

Title: Kamiko
Platform: Nintendo Switch eShop
Developer: Skipmore/Kan.Kikuchi
Publisher: Flyhigh Works/Circle Ent.
Release Date: April 27th, 2017 (NA)

Review copy provided by Flyhigh Works/Circle Ent.

This is a very long overdue review. This game came out nearly two months after the Switch’s launch, but it doesn’t matter how old a game is, as long as it’s a good game, why would that matter, right? 🙂 Kamiko is by the same team that brought you the Fairune series on 3DS. This game is a top-down action game very similar to the original The Legend of Zelda on the NES, but considerably modern in its presentation, even if it features that low-res pixel art-style as well. With that, let’s jump right in!

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The three playable characters

Kamiko lets you pick from three characters right from the start as well as from three save files. Yamato, with the long blue hair wields a long sword, the one in green named Uzume has a bow that shoots arrows, and the one in red named Hinome carries a smaller sword and a shield. The game as mentioned is very similar to the original NES The Legend of Zelda game, where you wander an overworld fighting enemies, collecting things, and the camera in in an overhead view.

Funny enough the game also has a long Zelda tradition; being able to cut grass and break open jars to collect diamonds to heal yourself with. One neat gimmick in the game is its use of Mana, where you use it to open temples of sorts which double as manual save points (the game auto-saves when one is activated anyway). You need to open four of these in various ways, and doing so will open a warp to clear the level.

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Yamato, the sword wielder

The three playable characters have their own play-styles. To elaborate, Yamato is more or less the default close combat character that specializes in very quick swings to attack foes. Uzume has a triple arrow shot sequence where pressing the button will fire one arrow, then hitting it again will fire two, and then three, with the latter two being spread out to cover more ground. Naturally Uzume is good for keeping a distance and out of harm’s way. Finally Hinome has an interesting attack that involves her throwing her shield not unlike Captain America, and while it’s away from you, you then can swing your smaller sword. I find this one to be riskier and overall just prefer Yamato.

At the end of each level is a boss fight. And they can be a bit difficult. Each feature a specific spot where you’re supposed to hit them (always shown as a red sphere), and you just have to try and survive a sequence of attacks, some quite difficult to dodge, and then attack when the weak spot opens up, You know, standard stuff! Before each fight you are given a special health diamond and  Mana crystal that permanently increases both bars, so that’s a neat thing to look forward to.

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Uzume, the arrow shooter

Mana is easy to regain by getting high comnbos on enemies and eventually you could get seemingly hundreds of blue Mana sparks headed your way (I got this to happen via a specific respawn spot). Oh yeah, enemies respawn literally as soon as you move the screen. A pain when back-tracking…

Presentation-wise. It looks really nice. It’s uses an 8-bit inspired pixel art-style, but the game uses more modern effects such as lighting and such to give it a very nice clean colorful look. Music I actually ended up really liking at points as well (especially the theme of the first level). It’s worth noting that the game is VERY short, said to be only four levels long, but levels can take a bit of time to clear as there’s a HUGE amount of backtracking in trying to get certain items such as blue orbs to unlock pathways to open the save temples.

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Hinome, the shield thrower, and also under one of the four level temples

Overall this is a really impressive game. It’s VERY cheap at only $5 USD, it’s got variety in character play-styles and level themes (grass, fire, etc). I’d certainly advise checking it out!

You’ll Love:
+ Great art-style. Simple, colorful, and the lighting really adds to it.
+ Music’s chiptune-style and can sound pretty awesome.
+ Only $5 USD, very cheap.
+ Three playable characters with their own distinct play-styles
+ Short and sweet, depending on if you’re into that or not.
+ Yamato was in particular quite fun, and collecting the Mana sparks and building up combos in the triple digits is pretty satisfying.
+ The levels are puzzles so they make you think in trying to find all the things needed to get out of them.

You’ll Hate:
– Again, it’s short, but for only $5, is that really a bad thing?
– It gets repetitive. Not to mention levels can really go on and on if you get stuck as I have numerous times.
– Hinome’s play-style’s a bit odd in my opinion. Jack of all trades, master of none I think describes her honestly, and not in a good way.

Score: 7.5/10

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