Consoles such as the NES, SNES, Master System, and Mega Drive excelled with certain genres. Because of their lack of processing power, simplicity was the name of the game. Consequently, basic side-scrolling beat ’em-ups were much-loved. Games like Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Streets of Rage, and more were lapped up by every fan. Sadly, unless you are after a hit of nostalgia, this genre has died off. Therefore, when I was offered Krut: The Mythic Wings to review, I was a little dubious. Would the dated mechanics and well-trodden gameplay work for a modern audience? Let’s jump right in and see what the answer is.
Developed by Good Job Multimedia and published by Blowfish Studios, this is a short but tough side-scrolling beat ’em-up. Unlike its retro peers, this one focuses on mythology and an unusual story. Subsequently, you experience a nice layer of lore and a unique blend of environments to explore. Furthermore, there is a good roster of monsters to defeat, plenty of bosses to overcome, and a bunch of abilities to unlock. On top of this, there are some Metroidvania elements and an array of chests to find and pillage.
Krut: The Mythic Wings tells a desperate story.
What I love about mythology is the blend of absurdity and emotion. There is a sense of romance, heroism, sacrifice, and more, as each tale is told. Luckily, Krut: The Mythic Wings uses each of these elements as it tells its desperate story. Annoyingly, though, the fantastic plot plays second fiddle to the fast-paced action. This was disappointing as the plot is excellent. Consequently, I wish the developers did more to tie in key moments with the fascinating story.
You control a Garuda warrior who is proud of his ancestry and his home. After a great battle, the ogres destroyed the Garuda army and the capital city. The one remaining warrior is banished from his home and lands mortally wounded on the island of Himmaphan. Here, a strange man listens to his plight and offers his assistance. After the warrior’s wounds are healed, he is given a mystic and powerful artefact called the Mythic Wings. These are the key to his success and the only way this warrior can overcome the ogre army.
A dramatic tale, I know, but what more would you expect? As I say, this would have been phenomenal if it was more poignant. As it is, you are left wondering what could have been. If the developers had incorporated more victims of the atrocities, it would have been touching and relevant.
It could have been a Mega Drive game.
Because of its old-school influences and dated mechanics, Krut: The Mythic Wings could have been a Mega Drive game. The action focuses heavily on the side-scrolling movement and the simple combat encounters. However, there is some depth thanks to an upgrade system, combo attacks, and some special powers. This small idea prevents the game from stagnating early on and keeps you interested throughout.
Each level you tackle has a theme and specific enemies. Whether it is a lush forest or dusty tomb, you’ll hack n slash your way to victory. Every foe you face and every stage you explore has unique strengths and obstacles to overcome. Accordingly, you must study your opponents and strike when they are weak.
Killing every monster is essential, as it rewards you with health, mana, and gold. The first is necessary to survive. The second allows you to fly and use special abilities. Finally, the gold lets you buy upgrades. These improve your combos, strength, and agility and are a game-changer. Interestingly, they can only be purchased at relics and this makes the gameplay harder. You must decide whether to renew your health, buy more lives, or improve your character. Whatever you decide, the relics are essential if you wish to survive.
6 bosses and their underlings.
Every great beat ’em-up is jam-packed with gargantuan bosses. Luckily, Krut: The Mythic Wings is no different. With an array of theme-specific bosses, you have your work cut out for you. However, before you clap your eyes on these hardcore killing machines, you must destroy their underlings. These powerful and annoying enemies test your patience and skills as you attempt to exploit their weaknesses.
Once you’ve brushed them aside, you must prepare to kill each boss. If you are successful, you’ll be awarded a special power that progresses the story. Like their counterparts, these enormous beasts have a weakness and follow a set pattern. Therefore, victory is achieved by finding their Achilles’ heel.
Disappointingly, this repetitive approach soon becomes tedious. After you’ve finished a couple of stages, you are desperate for something new, but this never materialises.
Krut: The Mythic Wings is beautifully polished and performs admirably.
Though I’ve made much of its dated influences, Krut: The Mythic Wings looks incredible. Thanks to its varied backdrops, polished sprites, and vivid colour palette, it has a modern finish. What’s more, no matter how hectic it becomes, it performs admirably. Whether you were being attacked from the sky, or hit from the ground, the gameplay never stuttered.
Alongside this, the action was full of drama because of the fantastic audio. The hard-hitting soundtrack worked perfectly with the brutal combat encounters. Then there were the euphoric moments when your enemies were slain. These upbeat elements helped to overcome some of the mundane repetition. This was great, as it could have easily plateaued and become disinteresting.
Easy to pick up controls.
Like its peers, Krut: The Mythic Wings is easy to play. Thanks to its responsive controls and simple button layout, you’ll master it in no time. Furthermore, the combos are easy to understand and memorise. Moreover, they were a cinch to execute and look sublime and all-powerful. I adored this approach, as it allows you to focus on the fighting while becoming a hero.
Though the gameplay was repetitive, there was replay value and longevity. With 3 difficulty settings and a grading system, there are plenty of reasons to return.
Krut: The Mythic Wings will divide its audience.
There are many reasons to enjoy this title. First, it is a polished and interesting mythological tale. Second, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of mindless violence? Finally, the bosses are interesting and the conclusion is fulfilling. Yes, it has its shortcomings that will divide its audience. However, there are more positives than negatives. All things considered, I liked it and I recommend you to buy it here! You may have fallen from grace, but with a little help and a strong will, you can rescue your people and become a hero.