By Leah McDonald / August 24th, 2022
|Title||Krut: The Mythic Wings|
|Developer||RSU Horizon, Good Job Multimedia, Pixel Perfex|
|Release Date||July 12th, 2022|
|Genre||Action-adventure, 2D side-scroller|
|Platform||Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S|
I grew up playing side-scrolling action games, so when I was asked if I wanted to try one out that featured Southeast Asian mythology, I was all for it. The game looked interesting, and as we have established before, I am a sucker for mythology, so it seemed like a good fit. Unfortunately, it ended up being a mostly mediocre experience, but let’s break it down, shall we?
Krut: The Mythic Wings is based off the 2018 CGI movie Krut: The Himmaphan Warriors, which I tried to find to watch for this review, but sadly it wasn’t available for streaming in my region. In the game, you play as a Krut warrior named Veera, who washes up on the mythical Himmaphan Island after losing a battle against invading rock ogres. Long ago, his ancestors had turned to Himmaphan Island to help repel a similar invasion, and he hopes to harness the power of the island’s Silver Wings to do the same. It’s just too bad the locals don’t remember the previous war the same way, and are hostile to his intentions. Veera will need to battle across six regions and collect the elemental powers of their leaders, in order to power up his Wings to hopefully win the battle for his homeland.
It’s here where the game begins to falter for me. First things first, it’s visually quite nice. The environments are varied and colorful, and both your character model and enemies look good. Movement feels fine if a little weighty, and I liked the animations for your combos. For the most part, boss designs were interesting, and I enjoyed seeing mythological creatures that weren’t your standard Greek/Egyptian/Japanese that gaming tends to over-represent. The story itself is pretty standard good vs. evil with a couple twists, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a shame the gameplay is repetitive and tedious, and the music forgettable.
In classic 2D side-scrolling action tradition, each level is a combination of fighting and platforming. Veera starts off with some simple light/heavy attack combos, and you can unlock three additions using the game’s currency system, spirit (let’s call it SP for short). Using heavy attacks eats up your blue energy bar, but if you let it fill up, you can use your Silver Wings, which gives you an automatic ranged attack and ups your strength for as long as it lasts. You’ve also got a double-jump for both attack and traversal. Each region has its own take on the same enemy types, so there is a decent variety. Unfortunately, enemy placement leaves a lot to be desired. I would spend long swaths of each level without any encounters, or would be inundated with flying enemies during platforming sections. The water level was particularly bad for this. Each enemy hits like a truck and takes forever to kill, often proving more difficult than the actual bosses. I like zippy action games where you’ve got a lot of enemies, but they aren’t that hard to take down. Krut opts for a more methodical approach, where even the mooks are trouble and you can’t just run in guns blazing. This wouldn’t be a problem in and of itself, except SP comes from killing enemies, and it’s used for everything.
Let’s talk about the upgrade system real quick. In each level, there are three save points: at the beginning, before the mid-boss, and before the final boss. You have to use SP to unlock the save point. You cannot upgrade abilities without doing this. So once you’ve unlocked the save point, you can buy three upgrades each for max health, attack power, critical attack, extra combos, wing power, charge power, and extra lives, with each upgrade costing considerably more. Upgrades are thankfully permanent, except the extra lives, which replenish once you’ve used all yours up. I hated this system. Even if enemies weren’t a slog to kill, there are so few of them per level that you’re constantly low on SP. If you want to upgrade new abilities, you have to automatically subtract 1,000 SP from your total because that’s what it costs just to unlock the save point. What would have been a simple risk-reward system becomes an interminable grind because of this. You can absolutely beat the game without upgrading, but even with upgrades, fights take forever and just aren’t super engaging. Add to this the limited lives and Krut just ended up being not very fun to play.
Krut: The Mythic Wings isn’t a bad game, but it also isn’t great. It’s mechanically sound, just incredibly tedious. I liked the Southeast Asian mythology and character designs, but the poor enemy placement and grindy nature of the upgrade system dragged down the actual gameplay aspects to the point where I wasn’t having any fun. For $9.99 USD it’s not the worst investment, however, with little replay value, you’re probably better off trying a different side-scroller.
2D side-scrollerAction AdventureBlowfish StudiosGame ReviewGood Job MultimediaKrut: The Mythic WingsPixel PerfexPlayStation ReviewsReviewsRSU Horizon