Review – Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge

Have you ever heard of Gekido? Apparently there was this game franchise that had one title for the PS1 and one for the Game Boy Advance back in the day. This beat-em-up series draws insane amounts of inspiration from Japanese culture and anime, even though the games were made in Italy by the oldest developer in the country, NAPS Team. Those are all things I found out not long ago, since both games in the franchise flew by unnoticed until I heard about the re-release of the second game in the series, Kintaro’s Revenge, for the Nintendo Switch.

I had little expectations for a game like this, and I pretty much got what I was expecting: a Game Boy Advance game running on Switch hardware. Thankfully, it’s a somewhat decent Game Boy Advance game running on Switch hardware.


Is that green blood or just some plant on the background?

At its core, Kintaro’s Revenge feels just like your typical Final Fight or Streets of Rage, with the added twist that there’s a larger emphasis on story and exploration. The combat is straightforward enough, given the GBA’s limited amount of buttons back in the day. You have a kick button, a punch button, a dash button, and a jump button. There are a few combos, but all fights can be won with a good dosage of mindless button mashing. That is if you can get used to the game’s faulty hit detection, especially when you’re trying to fight some enemy bats. Those little rascals were the burden of my existence every time they showed up. Weirdly enough, there’s also a lot of platforming in this game, and you can already imagine the jumping mechanics aren’t exactly as decent as they should. The game features quite a lot of gameplay flaws, but you can get used to them; most flaws are reminiscent of the game’s age.


Pretty sure I saw you in some King of Fighters title

The visuals have received very little improvements. The game still looks like a game that’s one step away from being called King of Fighters, visually speaking. The GBA’s small resolution can still be seen here, as everything has been stretched to an insane degree. The field of view has been marginally improved, but it’s still far from ideal, especially when considering the vast amount of leaps of faith you have to perform during platforming sections. The game also features some static anime cutscenes, nothing amazing but also nothing worthy of criticism. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is very subpar, be it the original GBA collection of tunes or the brand new revamped soundtrack made specifically for this game. You won’t remember any tune after turning the game off.

You may be asking yourself if the game features anything new besides a bland soundtrack, and my answer is “yes”. A far from excited “yes”, may I add. There are two new modes, Survival and Relic Hunter (a roguelike mode, because we’re in 2018 after all) and a brand new co-op mode. They are far from being amazing additions, but they sure do improve the game’s replayability.


You mean the Nintendo DS?

I’m not going to say that Gekido wowed me in any way, but I can’t deny the fact it wasn’t a bad experience. It’s a very dated beat-em-up, but it gets the job done, providing a bit of retro fun as if you were playing some sort of Game Boy Advance Virtual Console on the Switch. Given the current beat-em-up scarcity on the Switch’s library, Gekido can be a decent option if you’re looking for something from the genre. But I doubt it’ll continue to grab your attention for long, especially once better titles show up for the system.

Graphics: 5.0

An upscaled version of the game’s original GBA graphics, including the small field of vision due to that portable’s limited resolution.

Gameplay: 6.0

The same old gameplay from the original version, complete with the limited button usage (reminiscent of the GBA’s limited amount of inputs) and occasionally wonky hit detection.

Sound: 5.0

Nothing here is worth talking about. There is a remastered soundtrack, as well as the GBA’s original soundtrack. None of them are special in any way.

Fun Factor: 6.5

If you’re looking for some retro beat-em-up gameplay, you’ll have a decent amount of fun with Gekido. It’s hindered by its age and it doesn’t bring a lot of innovation to the table, but it succeeds in providing an alright experience.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge is available now on Nintendo Switch