Kyotokei (WiiWare)

Game Review

Kyotokei Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Horizontal shoot 'em ups have become quite scarce in recent years, even on the WiiWare and DSiware services, so when one does pop up from time to time, fans of the genre tend to sit up and take notice. With Kyotokei, Microforum have crafted a fairly basic shoot 'em up that borrows heavily from such classic shooters as Ikaruga and Cotton. And while the game doesn't bring many new features to the table, the familiar feel and simple control scheme does offer up a rather engaging shooting experience for fans to tackle.

As far as horizontal shooters go, Kyotokei doesn't stray too far from the norm. You fly through the sky atop your trusty bird, firing your magic spell shots at enemies that are constantly coming your way. At the end of each level you'll square off against the boss of that particular area, and it's here where you'll have to make use of your entire arsenal of gameplay moves in order to best them and move on to the next level. Of course a few continues doesn't hurt either.

Much like the classic shoot 'em up Ikaruga, you have the ability to change the orb that surrounds your character between black and white with just the press of a button, which will in turn determine what colour of spell shot you'll be firing. Since enemies all come in monochrome, it becomes important to choose your colour wisely: you'll absorb enemy spells of the same colour, filling up your homing missile gauge. The more you fill the gauge, the more devastating the homing missile shot will be when you unleash it.

The game also makes use of a combo multiplier, which allows you to rack up more points for chaining enemy kills in groups of four like-colours. This will be yet another incentive for you to learn how to switch your polarity on the fly according the the ever-changing situations you'll find yourself in, particularly important during boss fights. You can even bring in another player at any time to help you out in a two-player cooperative style of play.

Any shoot 'em up fan will tell you that responsive controls are an integral part of the overall experience and Kyotokei doesn't disappoint. Whether you choose the Wii Remote on its side, the Classic Controller or even the GameCube controller, the controls are always smooth and easy to make use of. There's three different levels of difficulty and enough continues for players of just about any level of skill to be able to finish the game, too.

The game's vibrant visual theme really helps it stand out and although the scenery lacks a bit of detail at times, the speed with which the backgrounds scroll by does give the game a really impressive sense of speed. And when you combine all of this with several different layers of scrolling, you get a nice display of depth as well. The characters and regular enemies are all very well drawn, but you won't truly appreciate the presentation until you reach the game's rather bizarre bosses.

While the soundtrack does a more than adequate job of carrying the light-hearted theme the game employs, there aren't really any standout tracks that will stick with you after you've put the game down. It doesn't help that many of the musical pieces sound very similar in style either. The same can pretty much be said of the game's sound effects and voice announcing, both of which are decent, but certainly nothing to write home about.


Even with its lack of originality, Kyotokei's simple playability means there's still plenty of classic shooter fun to be had. The intuitive and responsive controls do a solid job of allowing players of all skill levels to enjoy the game and although many enemies are repeated throughout the five levels, the unique bosses offer up plenty of incentive to keep coming back for more. Kyotokei won't set the video game world on fire, but fans of the genre should find plenty to like with what is easily one of the more enjoyable shooter titles to appear on WiiWare to date.

From the web

Game Trailer

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User Comments (36)



Link79 said:

Wow I didn't think this would turn out so good.
Might have to get it at some point.



Dazza said:

As a big-time Ikaruga fan I was wondering how this one would turn out. Sounds pretty solid, I'll take a punt on this if it makes its way to the UK soon.

Good job on the review Corbinator



accc said:

That review read like an 8 or maybe even a 9, rather than a 7.



JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

@accc maybe you should submit to them the correct definition of a 7, 8, or 9 so that they will not make the same mistake in the future. Because no one else has their opinion on that sort of thing



DarkEdi said:

Excellent. Does it have replay value? like score chats or unlockable museum or things like that?



Omega said:

The graphics design in Kyotokei looks like a 9-year old has designed it after playing some PC-Engine games. And it's like most of the enemies (even bosses) only have 2 or 3 frames of animation. I guess you can not expect more for 500 Points.



accc said:

@Kainard I'm not complaining about the score it received or saying that it should've scored higher or anything, I'm just saying I was surprised after reading the review that he only gave it a 7. He praised pretty much every aspect of the game and didn't really have anything negative to say about it at all, other than its lack of originality.



Wilford111 said:

I was amazed by the graphics in this game.. only the bosses though. Everything else looks like stuff I've already seen.



KaiserGX said:

I know this is odd, but the main reason I am interested in this is because you use a bird.



GreenAbobo said:

Solid review. I've been playing it in spurts every day, and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Wii needs more shmup's!



DrDaisy said:

Can you select your character or is it dependent on which player you are?



GreenAbobo said:

@DrDaisy: It depends on which player you are. If you're playing alone you'll be the male character, not that you'll be looking at yourself enough to make it a big deal what with all the bullets and enemies you need to avoid.



gojiguy said:

looks like I'll be buying this one. Looks like my kind of game. No mention of how the co op is?



alLabouTandroiD said:

Sounds good and it still is the first horizontal "Ikaruga", right ?
Hope it makes the jump to Europe soon.



vaguerant said:

Microforum are actually some sort of weird Canadian/Italian hybrid, but this one definitely seems to be going for a Japanese shooter feel; might have to try this one, after avoiding their previous titles.



MeloMan said:

Yeah, Imma pick this up, I'm in the mood for a schmup anyway. And only $5? I'm game.



Henmii said:

Hmm, this could be worth downloading. Hopefully it comes to Europe soon. And only 500 points. That's pretty rare for a wiiware game too.

"Since enemies all come in monochrome"

That's wrong. They come in different colors!



DrDaisy said:

Sucks that there's no pause button, especially when you're playing with a GameCube controller where there isn't a Home button.



Steven9wii said:

this appears to be good, i have the demo version and enjoying it.
levell cooompleeete (ingame voice)



gabrielwoj said:

I tested the demo. I don't know why, but the systems are equal to Ikaruga. Even the last 2 images on the Demo end is the final boss of Ikaruga O_o

But it's kinda cool. I already have Ikaruga on GC, and you can play on Vertical configuring the Screen Position



Incognito_D said:

After playing the demo, it's definitely an entertaining enough game and the graphics are quite charming although it's certainly an Ikaruga rip-off and it feels to me like the developers were trying almost too hard to make it seem Japanese and Anime-esque, but it's immediately evident that it's not actually Japanese at all - that title screen is horrible!

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