Dating from the 16-bit era and the 90s, Kaze and the Wild Masks is a 2D platformer we play in Kaze, a rabbit who tries to lift the curse that befell Crystal Islands and her friend Hogo, the prisoner of an artifact. Controller in hand, the title of Pixel Hive is very reminiscent of a certain Donkey Kong Country. But is it enough to make an impression?
Despite the years, there is still a team – often independent – that is returning to the 2D platformer genre with cult games like Donkey Kong Country, the heyday of which dates back to the 80s and 90s. After a few minutes in the company of Kaze and the wild masks We quickly feel the influence of Rare’s title on Pixel Hive’sespecially when it comes to gameplay. The player-controlled rabbit can jump, of course, but most importantly jump in a nice pirouette on the heads of the enemies (if they are not protected by spikes) and even throw the pots that sometimes lie on the ground, which reminds the barrels swung from the mascot of Nintendo. The timing of the animations is also very similar to the sounds of the cool soundtrack. The icing on the cake, during a level you can collect the four letters of the word Kaze, just like at the time for “Kong”. Without forgetting the transformations made possible by the wild masks that reflect the different animals of the one you know. In short, we feel the (big) wink and the recipe still works well.
The most important thing remains: does the Pixel Hive platformer manage to develop its own identity outside of all these inspirations? The answer varies between good and bad, provided Kaze and the Wild Masks has its own little universe, but its strengths are too classic to really tell apart. Which doesn’t make it a bad title though. With its pixel art and the very nice gaming sensations, the seven to eight hours of the adventure follow each other comfortably, despite some level design errors, which can lead to frustration, especially in the most advanced level of difficulty. The latter limits the control points and healing items per level as well as the hits that Kaze can receive before death, and is here reduced to two versus three in simple mode. The challenge is waiting for you, and those who want a more peaceful experience will find their way there too.
Kaze and the Wild Masks – The first 10 minutes of the adventure
Another good point is the variety that the title offers. During the forty levels Kaze and the wild masks very rarely rest on their laurels
While we’re talking about diversity, you should know that all of the layers of Kaze and the wild masks are hiding on the edge of the letters to be collected. Two bonus areas with small challenges (Often collect multiple gems or defeat enemies within a limited time). If you emerge victorious, you will receive an item that will ultimately open up a secret level in each of the four areas. A much more difficult level than the others.
On the fence
The major reptilian phases are also part of the few moments of frustration (especially in difficult mode) that we encountered. Kaze then rushes forward at full speed, and it’s complicated to instinctively react to any enemy or obstacle that wishes your death. It will therefore be necessary to start over and over again. Some passages even seem wobbly at times in terms of the timing and location of the platforms. These are the few bad moments that spoil the pleasant taste of Kaze and the wild masks. A good platform game, but not really memorable.
- A decent pixel art
- Good platform sensations
- Diversity as a keyword
- Lots of hidden areas
– –Negative points
- Too classic
- Some frustrating moments
With Kaze and the wild masks, the Pixel Hive studio plays the security card: the title is a solid and colorful platformer very inspired by the cadets of the genre of the 90s. Adventures with different phases (especially thanks to the wild masks that allow you to transform into different creatures), lots of bonuses and even some bosses. But beyond those good points, there are also some frustrating moments that don’t help the title stand out from the crowd, at least in our minds. A game that still appeals to those who love the platform. Just don’t expect to get knocked down.
March 21, 2021 at 12:11:00 pm
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