Venture Kid Review


Videos and commentary on Venture Kid have been blowing up my Twitter feed lately, so I decided to buy the game to try it for myself. I remember seeing the trailer a few months back and it was obvious that I was in store for a game that is heavily inspired by Mega Man. Sometimes, inspiration can lead to developers making a game that amounts to just being a carbon copy. While the gameplay is familiar, Venture Kid does enough to separate itself from its source of inspiration.

Inspiration Leads to Spectacular Gameplay

You are tasked with jumping and shooting your way through eight levels with a new weapon or item being your reward at the end of each. Of course, a new fortress appears after you beat the initial eight levels. You must then fight your way through those levels to confront the final boss. It’s easy to see that Venture Kid is going for the Mega Man approach, but Venture Kid changes things up a little bit to stand on its own two legs. Instead of choosing a themed boss to fight, you choose the level you want to visit. If playing in classic mode, then you are forced to play through the game one level at a time. Adventure mode lets you choose the stage you want to tackle, which is much more like Mega Man. I’ll be discussing my time playing through classic mode.

Levels are fairly straight forward and see you tackling screens full of enemies and obstacles. Some levels change things up by offering multiple paths, or letting you use items. Placing these special items around the level is something Mega Man didn’t do. Two such items are an hourglass that freezes enemies and obstacles, and a bomb that can be used to open new paths. Doing this creates some interesting situations and served as a way to differentiate itself from its inspiration.



At the end of each level, your trusty friend rewards you with a new item built just for you. This changes up the “absorbing boss powers” trope created by Mega Man. Not everything you receive is a weapon either as some are special abilities such as a double jump, or the ability to walk on spikes. You will have to keep an eye on the weapon’s power meter, so that will feel familiar. One big change is that weapons don’t seem to serve as a specific weakness for the game’s bosses. Essentially, your preferred weapon will get the job done in each fight.

Venture Kid does change up the health system a tiny bit. Instead of one large meter, your health is measured in hearts, more akin to Zelda. You can buy more heart containers if needed through the game’s shop, which can be accessed anytime you wish, unless you’re in a boss battle. You may not need to use this feature often as the game is fairly easy to complete. Regardless, you can buy items with orbs dropped by the enemy, or by collecting the ones scattered throughout each stage. You sometimes need to find hidden areas to get the bigger orbs, or to find the eight hidden treasures needed to reach the final boss encounter, which happens to be pretty great.

Plenty of Replay Value

Despite seeming like a one time experience, Venture Kid offers plenty of replay value for those that want to keep playing. There are three difficulty modes, so you can choose to tackle the hardest difficulty. There are also other modes to play, which includes a survival mode that lets you play through random levels until you die, and an unlockable boss rush. If those things don’t entertain you, then you can also set out to get all 47 of the game’s achievements. My initial playthrough clocked in at around 1.5 hours, though I’m still having fun tackling achievements and survival mode.

Gorgeous Pixel Art For the Most Part

Pixel art is here to stay, and that’s fantastic for those of us that adore it. In most cases, Venture Kid features gorgeously crafted enemies, backgrounds, and level art in general. Each level feels distinct complete with its own color schemes and enemy designs. It feels more like an NES title than some pixel art games, which is always something I like if done well. If I were to criticize the game’s art, there are some generic designs, which include some enemies, backgrounds, and even the main character. These aspects weren’t enough for me to consider the game’s art bad, because the majority of the game can easily be admired.

Infectious Chiptune Soundtrack

Much like my stance on good pixel art, I also love a good chiptune soundtrack. Venture Kid shines exceptionally well in this department, and I’d even go as far to say that the soundtrack is infectious. It rivals the best NES soundtracks, in my opinion, and may get stuck inside your head for weeks on end. The standout track belonging to a certain Castlevania inspired level.



Conclusion

Venture Kid is a spectacular game, and even though it can be found on mobile for much cheaper, nothing beats playing a sidescroller on the big screen. It takes the best aspects of Mega Man, then adds a dash of its own ideas to create a worthwhile experience. Venture Kid is somewhat of an overlooked gem because of its similarities to the “Blue Bomber.” I feel like this title would be appreciated more had it arrived during a Mega Man drought. However, this isn’t the case seeing that Mega Man 11 was released not so long ago. If you have the spare cash and want some familiar action in your life, Venture Kid could fulfill that gap in your life.

Final Score: +4

No comments