Krut: The Mythic Wings is the latest game from Thai designers Pixel Perfex, along with developers Good Job Multimedia and producers RSU Horizon. It attempts to emulate the old hack and slash arcade action of the early 90s, even going so far as to not have any type of save system whatsoever. After a few of the more frustrating hours of my gaming life, I’ve beaten the title so that I could bring you this spoiler-free review!
Get used to pressing X, X, B
Krut: The Mythic Wings starts with 15 or so minutes (depending on how fast you press A to go through the dialogue) of opening cutscenes. Static images are overlayed with text explaining this mythical world where bird people are under siege from very large and angry Rock Trolls. It is a lot of exposition, and the translation is decent enough to at least be easily understood. Then, you get into the gameplay. When I said this game was trying to be a retro arcade throwback I really meant it. If for any reason you ever need to stop playing and come back later, once you leave a run you must restart from the beginning.
That’s right, there is no save system of any type. If you are going to beat this $9.99 budget title you must start from scratch, and for a game that froze on me multiple times, it was one of the more frustrating games of my life to try and play through for a review. There are six levels in total, each lasting between ten and twenty minutes. While the controls feel bad but not terrible, the game ends up being balls hard. This is because if you hit an enemy they are not stunned and rarely react. If an enemy hits you though it’s an immediate stunlock and you’re not getting out of it until their attack ends. The controls are your standard fare.
X is your light attack, Y is heavy. B is an incredibly powerful dodge that can be used at any time even if you are mid-swing, and A is jump. You have two meters, health, and energy. Once the energy meter is filled you can press both bumpers and unleash your “hover around and shoot out energy from your swords” super move that heals you for 1hp per hit. That super move is hilarious at times because with most enemies you can find a spot that breaks their AI and spend 15 seconds just wailing away at their health bar. Heavy attacks use your energy meter so I’d advise against using them because the super move is so much more powerful.
The majority of your time in combat will be spent on the ground pressing X two or three times and then immediately dodging through your foe. You will do this with every ground-based enemy until the game is over. Whether a normal enemy or boss this is the main thing you do, and it became boring 5 minutes in. There are air-based enemies who mostly shoot projectiles and are extremely cheap to try and fight. Invariably you just end up chasing them with jumps while pressing X twice to take them out, over and over and over again. There is a combo system built into things but the majority of the time you can’t do any of the combos because enemies just attack you in the early parts of them.
Running to the right
Another major issue is that every level layout feels the same, not only with enemy types repeating but with your never-ending quest of “getting to the right”. A few levels mix this up by having impossibly tall and suspended on nothing in mid-air platforms that you have to go left for a bit to get on, then you head right again. The midway point of each level has a checkpoint stone and a mini-boss. These all play the same, you run up, swipe at them a few times with your light attack, and then dash through them or jump if they do a ground pound. There is a light upgrade system that you can access at each checkpoint stone, but the fact that each stone costs 1000 “souls” to activate makes it nearly impossible to ever upgrade. If you wait a minute and run back through an area all the enemies will respawn so you could grind if you wanted, but if you die 3 times it’s game over and you have to start over from the beginning of the level.
It really is just run to the right, face the same crab or plant enemies 10 times, fight a mini-boss, repeat, and fight an end boss structure. It never changes, and everything looks like it would have been at home (at a much lower resolution) on a PS1. This looks like a jazzed-up phone game from 2012; with stiff animations, low-resolution texture work, and bland backgrounds. There is no voice acting to be heard but the soundtrack is surprisingly good. It is the star of the game overall, simply by being the most competent part.
I do not want to sound mean but playing through this game for review was a dismal experience. If I could have just saved and come back later, it would have helped immensely especially after having it freeze on me multiple times I was deep into a run and having to start from scratch again. I think the developers were going for a score-focused run-based nature but it doesn’t work in its favor, at all. One positive is that the platforming didn’t feel awful. It was odd and a bit jumpy but things could feel nice and responsive at times. The combo system though is completely wasted because enemies almost never react to your attacks. They just do what they’re gonna do so it feels like you’re hitting them with feathers instead of steel.
At $9.99 if you are jonesing for a hit of that old-time low-budget arcade nostalgia, I still can’t recommend this game. With a bland, uninteresting, and predictable story, repetitive and awful feeling combat, poor enemy variety, and the maddening decision to have no save system mixed with constant freezes and crashes this game simply is not worth your time.
|Reviewed on||Xbox Series X|
|Available on||Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC|
|Release Date||July 12th, 2022|
|Developers||RSU Horizon/Good Job Multimedia/Pixel Perfex|
|Rated||T for Teen|