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Review: Kero Blaster

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
While there are many great games out there, this is one manages to be good fun and stay fairly true to Christian moral values.

If you're looking to add a new game to your collection, consider this one!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platform Shooter
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2015
Review Published On: April 21st, 2021
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Humble Store, Steam

Save System:

Your progress is saved automatically at the start of a new level, when you defeat a miniboss, or when you leave a shop.

Summary of
Major Issues:

This is a fairly standard platform shooter, with the enemies disappearing in a poof when you defeat them.

Screenshots

[view screenshot]
Shootin' up the swamp

[view screenshot]
Rational thinking will not help you here

[view screenshot]
Killing weeds



Game Overview

Do you remember playing through Cave Story? It's probably one of the most well known Indie games out there, but it's not the only game produced by Studio Pixel. Among the other games they've made is another platform shooter, called Kero Blaster. It's not a Metroidvania, but it still has the same style of charming characters and smooth gameplay that made Cave Story famous.

In Kero Blaster, you're following the (mis)adventures of an intrepid janitor as they go about their duties. The C&F Inc. teleporters have been malfunctioning lately, and it's believed that a good cleaning will fix them up. To this end Frog will be teleporting around the world, using his Kero Blaster to ward off enemies and clean things up. In other words, as silly as it sounds, this is a game about going out and fighting grime. Pun completely intended.

But that's not all there is to the story. As you visit different locations and overcome increasingly dangerous foes, it becomes apparent than there's something going on behind the scenes. Dark, blobby creatures start to appear around the malfunctioning teleporters, and eventually the fate of the world (or at least your little corner of it) may be resting on your slimy shoulders.

Now, while I mentioned that Kero Blaster's gameplay feels similar to Cave Story, the two games are very different. The only thing that's really shared between them is the Bubble Gun. Kero Blaster isn't quest driven, nor is it as brutally difficult. You also don't need to worry too much about saving your progress, as you have several lives to complete each level and plenty of checkpoints within levels. Losing all of your lives simply forces you to replay your current level. Sometimes, you'll even be allowed to continue without refighting a boss you already defeated.

With all of that said, I'd like to leave more of this game to your imagination. There's a lot of crazy stuff going on in this game, and I think it would be more fun if you didn't know what sort of silly things were around the corner. There's a lot of fun to be had with this title, so if you enjoy platform shooters like Cave Story, then you'll love this "ribbiting" adventure.

Points of Interest

Hard but lenient difficulty
Chances are pretty good that you'll have trouble making progress at first, but when you do lose, it doesn't feel like you were cheated. Since defeat is just a tap on the wrist, you're encouraged to try again and improve your skills. Also, since you don't lose coins or upgrades, losing can be viewed as an unusual way to slowly gather new upgrades.
Unlockable modes
Completing the game for the first time unlocks "Zengyu Mode". Zengyu Mode is noticeably harder than the normal game, as it features new level designs with more difficult monsters. It also comes with a new storyline about a dangerous "work generation machine" and the shadowy company behind it.

If you're able to complete this harder mode, you'll unlock the true new game plus mode, known as Omake Mode.
Steam community features
In addition to a set of Steam trading cards, there are ten achievements for players to earn while (quite literally) taking out the trash. Three of these achievements are earned by beating each game mode for the first time, but the others have incredibly hard requirements. For example, one of the achievements requires that you complete the game without taking damage during the normal game's final boss fight. Considering the bullet spam during that battle, I'm not surprised by how few players have earned this achievement. If you really want to earn them all, be prepared for a rough time.

Concerns and Issues

Mild violence
Although you spend the game running around and shooting things with various weapons, all that happens when the enemies "die" is that they either poof out of existence or fade away, much like you'd see in an older arcade game. Likewise, Frog starts flashing red when their health is low, and they'll simply fall over when they run out of health.

This does not exactly translate into the story however, as Frog wakes up in the hospital (or on a park bench) when you've run out of extra lives. It's even more pronounced at the end of the normal mode, where our poor janitor gets caught in a massive explosion, leaving them in a full body cast.
Workplace problems
Both storylines revolve around the boss' problems. The first story has her regrets take physical form as "negativus legatia", which are the black fuzz monsters that are causing the teleporters to go haywire. As the game progresses, she becomes increasingly angry and lashes out at people (usually Frog). The second game sees her remember her involvement with the use of a "work generating machine", which led to her eventual slide into the unpleasable corporate boss she is today.