A while back I reviewed Kraino Origins for PC and enjoyed my time with it. Most of what I wrote in that review still stands here with the Switch Version, except that this game feels like it always belonged on the Switch. The Switch version feels like it’s more responsive and tight. The game is still a challenge, but it feels like a more manageable experience. All that said lets dive into this Kraino Origins Switch Review.
Here we go.
Reviewed on Switch
Disclaimer: Review code provided by PR/publisher.
Kraino Origins is a 2D action-platformer that is a real throwback to SNES-Era games. It features a detailed and dope Retro 2d pixel Graphic art style. I’m not going to lie to you this game isn’t for the weak. In Kraino Origins you have infinite lives and only lose portion of the money that you have every time you die. Don’t be fooled into thinking infinite lives makes this game easy. On the contrary, you’re going to need those lives. This game goes for blood and everything is out to kill you. Trust me your enemies are going to succeed a lot.
Unlike when I was playing the game on PC months ago, the Switch version does feel a bit easier. Maybe this is due to the controls for the switch version feeling tighter, or perhaps there were other gameplay improvements that were done in the lead up to this Switch port. It isn’t often that I say this, but this game feels like it plays better on Switch then it did on PC.
Combat is mostly centered on wielding your weapon, a long reaching Scythe at enemies and platforming to get to the end of each level. Imagine if Mario was a skeleton and was cutting his enemies down with a Scythe and you get the general concept. The gameplay feels like a mixture between Mario, Castlevania, and a bit of Dead Cells. The controls are the standard gameplay elements that you see in action platformers. There’s a standard attack button, a jump button, a jump then attack down button, a spin your scythe to deflect projectiles button. That all the controls the game has, but that’s not a bad thing. The controls may be simple, but it doesn’t stop you from having a great time.
The Artstyle and Soundtrack:
Kraino Origins looks like an old 2D SNES game with vibrant 2D pixel graphics that is easy on the eyes. What is impressive is that this really detailed game was developed by a solo developer. You can tell that a lot of love and care was put into the visuals of this game. Each Level of the game is slightly different and unique. Visually speaking everything in this game looks cohesive and accents the colorful ghost and ghouls vibes that the game is going for. I liked that everything in this game feels like it has a purpose that goes with the overall theme. On the flip side, the soundtrack was a bit hit or miss. There were times when I was thoroughly enjoying the music and others when I would turn the volume down to mute and play silently because I didn’t like the background music.
Despite the game’s difficulty you will find this game addicting. I found myself continuously trying over and over to make it just a bit further than I got last time. It’s so satisfying when I do get past a point I was struggling with. That’s what this game does the best, it makes you want to get better and claw your way to the next checkpoint or the end of the level. This game is challenging, but for the most part fair. I didn’t really feel cheated when I died.
Another pro in the game’s favor is that it is on the shorter side with only eight total levels. The game doesn’t overstay its welcome and chooses to be a high quality shorter experience.
A criticism I have of the game is that the controls and the introduction of a gameplay mechanics could have been introduced in a better manner. There is a small prompt on the screen that introduces a new mechanic and there are few reminders of that as you progress in the game. In the game you also can buy upgrades that will help in your journey, however you stumble upon the shop that sells them instead of it being advertised in the game. I get having hidden feature in a game, but for upgrades like bomb projectiles that can seriously help you in the game, you’d think that the shop would be presented as a focal point.
Just a small nitpick on what is a good game.
Overall/Should You Play Kraino Orgins on Switch:
Overall Kraino Orgins is a solid throwback to retro SNES games and its at its best on the Nintendo Switch. The combat is good, the platforming is solid and the 2D pixel art style is great. If you’re a fan of retro games like Castlevania and Mega Man I’d definitely recommend giving this game a try.
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