Review – Sun Wukong vs. Robot (PS5)

Ratalaika Games is specialized in publishing short, simple, and cheap indies that are usually beaten in about an hour, giving you a platinum trophy in the process. The two previous games we’ve reviewed from the company, Prehistoric Dude and UltraGoodness 2, fall under this very specific category. When they announced they were publishing a metroidvania called Sun Wukong vs. Robot, however, I was quite intrigued. Those games are all about exploration and immersion, something that (usually) can’t be done in an hour-long title.

Sun Wukong Vs. Robot Graphics

Sun Wukong Vs. Robot isn’t exactly a looker, is it?

Truth be told, Sun Wukong vs. Robot is one of the longest and most feature-rich games they have released in a while, but that doesn’t mean a lot. It’s the most basic of metroidvanias I’ve played in recent memory, in which you play as the titular Monkey King, who wakes up inside an odd factory-like dungeon heavily guarded by robots. Your objective is simple: escape from this prison, all while destroying a handful of bosses, grabbing a few powerups while you venture through the dungeon. Storytelling isn’t this game’s forte, and you can easily skip its dialogue-free cutscenes without an issue. You’re here for the gameplay and what little content is in here.

Gameplay-wise, Sun Wukong vs. Robot is the most basic of metroidvanias. You start off with one simple melee attack and the ability to jump. You will eventually reach the first boss battle which will grant you the ability to craft a small shield to protect you from incoming attacks for a few seconds, converting damage into mana. Your next acquisition will be a beam that lets you damage multiple enemies at once, and so on. None of them felt like game changing abilities in any way, as there is little to explore and not many items to unearth and collect. Most of the game’s progression system is tied to spending experience points on character upgrades. The game asks for a ludicrous amount of XP in exchange for any kind of upgrade, so be prepared for a bit of grinding.

Sun Wukong Boss

This is the game’s first boss. Yes, both the dog and the orange Master Chief wannabe up there.

Believe it or not, the generic gameplay is actually the game’s highlight. The two to three hours it offers in terms of grinding and basic boss battles might be generic as hell, but they’re serviceable. The same cannot be said about the game’s presentation, which is just the most basic and uninspired you can think of, despite never looking or sounding utterly terrible.

The game attempts to emulate an 8-bit graphical style, but it just doesn’t look very good. It doesn’t look like a NES game, it just looks cheap and generic, with really small character models and bland backgrounds. As a silver lining, however, the handful of (mute) cutscenes included in here feature much better spritework. Something you would actually expect to see from a retro revival game, but they are few and far between. Finally, the sound department, while far from being the worst I’ve seen, is just downright forgettable. Although, some sound effects stood out for the wrong reasons, with one in particular (from a specific boss battle), sounding like a copy-and-paste version of the lightsaber sounds from Star Wars.


This beam is as exciting as the game gets.

You can have a tiny bit of fun with Sun Wukong vs. Robot. It’s not inherently terrible. It’s just one of the most generic and forgettable metroidvanias I’ve played in a while. It offers nothing new to the genre, its visuals are lackluster, and its overall design is just beyond bland. If you’re a die-hard fan of metroidvanias, or if you’re a platinum trophy hunter (you can grab two of them with one purchase, as PS4 and PS5 trophies are stacked separately), then you might be able to enjoy a couple of hours with it, and then forget it like the rest of the gaming populace. If not, well, you’re still going to forget it like the rest of the gaming populace…


Graphics: 5.0

Sun Wukong vs. Robot tries to emulate an 8-bit graphical style, but its models and backgrounds are either way too basic or way too forgettable to ever stand out. It does have one or two “cutscenes” that look quite good, though.

Gameplay: 6.0

Weird hitboxes and the occasional input delay aside, it’s your basic 2D platformer control scheme. You can get a few powerups along the way, but they don’t do very much to improve gameplay.

Sound: 5.0

There is nothing inherently terrible about the sound design. It’s there, it exists, but it’s really forgettable, just like most of the game. Some sound effects stood out for the wrong reasons, however, with one in particular sounding like a copy-and-paste version of the lightsaber sounds from Star Wars.

Fun Factor: 5.0

It’s a harmless, generic and forgettable metroidvania which can be completed in a couple of hours. It can give you a few trophies with little effort, as well as satiate your hunger for an exploratory platformer if you’re a die-hard fan of the genre.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Sun Wukong vs. Robot is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Sun Wukong vs. Robot was provided by the publisher.