There’s a plethora of Mario reskins throughout the years; some were a blast to play, like Yume Koujou Doki Doki Panic, and others not so much. Kitsune Zero is an exciting blast from the past with levels similar to old-school Mario games with a fresh coat of paint. It is a prequel to the upcoming title, Kitsune Tails, scheduled for 2023. In this Kitsune Zero review, we will be taking at its strengths and weakness.
Is it a good game to pick up? Or are you better off playing your old Mario games?
Be warned that we’ll mention “Mario” throughout this review, as it feels incredibly similar.
As expected from a Mario tribute, the gameplay feels close to home if you’re a fan of platformers. Multiple enemy types throughout each stage still resemble your standard enemies from Mario and even enemy placement.
The game relies on nostalgia but doesn’t feel dated because of the title it’s paying tribute to from a mechanical standpoint. If this is your first time playing a platformer, you will most likely find Kitsune Zero enjoyable.
The mechanics are simple; you jump through each obstacle and step on enemies, depending on their type, and reach the end goal. Along the way, you’ll gather multiple power-ups like the ability to throw fireballs, become invincible, etc. Some enemies are not killable by jumping on top of their heads; they require power-ups to be eliminated.
The level design provides excitement as every enemy placement has its purpose: to catch you off-guard. Sometimes, the enemy placement allows you to get through long gaps by jumping on them consecutively, which is a neat and exhilarating design choice.
Kitsune Zero also offers a hard difficulty mode that increases enemy speed by an estimated 1.5x the original. If you’re already a hardcore platforming gamer, we suggest setting the difficulty to hard to add a challenge to your playthrough.
Sound design is one of Kitsune Zero’s strong points. It is simple and sounds like something you would expect from an 8-bit game. We still truly enjoyed the classic and nostalgic vibe from the head-bopping soundtrack of the game.
Story And Character Design
The story is nothing grand or even worthy of your full-blown attention. Besides the mediocre story, there’s even voice acting in the game! I find the voice acting a bit cheesy but still appreciated the addition.
If you’re into Japanese Mythology, you’ll like all the different characters and designs. They look great, not too overly complicated, but they get the job done in portraying the characters for the story.
If you’re looking for excellent story-telling, check out this article: Immortality Review – A Masterpiece Like No Other.
Now, for the game’s technicalities, such as graphics, settings, and controls. These are things that I highly take into consideration when doing a review.
The game performs wonderfully on my PC for the graphics and overall optimization. This performance is to be expected due to the game being 8-bit in nature.
I would have liked to see Kitsune Zero have a widescreen implementation, but having a 4:3 aspect ratio might have been the developer’s intention to preserve the nostalgic feel of playing on a CTR television.
There’s not much going on about settings since it’s mostly about your standard volume controls, and you can’t change the game’s graphical fidelity. The resolution doesn’t seem to have an option either, which is not a bad thing but could be a nice feature in the future.
As for the controls, the controls are easy to get used to, and unfortunately, you can’t customize your controls directly from the main menu settings.
Overall Fun Factor
Kitsune Zero is an overall fun game if you try to look past it as a “Mario-Clone.” It hits the nostalgia of booting up your old NES console to play Super Mario Bros. While the game gets repetitive after a while, it’s still a fun blast from the past that will keep you playing for hours.
Kitsune Zero is a Mario-Clone with two things on its target; nostalgia and a new coat of paint. Don’t get turned away by its mediocre voice acting and story narration; it’s still an enjoyable game to try whenever you want to get that dopamine from your childhood.
Kitsune Zero provides a decent throwback experience that tries to put a modern look and feel on the classic Mario game, even at the cost of mediocrity.
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This review is based on the PC version of Kitsune Zero. The key was provided by Stride PR