Review: Tales Of Kenzera: ZAU (Switch)

Review: Tales Of Kenzera: ZAU (Switch)

The most straightforward component we can relate about Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is that it’s an proper gateway sport into the Metroidvania genre. The Switch is so chock plump of unheard of titles at this level that it will on the whole be worthy to take hold of the build to start (we can abet with that too, by the kind), but Kenzera offers a somewhat breezy 6-7-hour experience that must always silent give you a stamp as to whether or now not to dip your toes in a bit additional. For genre veterans, on the different hand, whereas the gameplay is indubitably correct sufficient to sight you by to the pause, there’s runt here that hasn’t already been achieved in other locations… and better, too.

Tales of Kenzera: ZAU Review - Screenshot 1 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

What elevates the sport, on the different hand, is its atmosphere and legend. Within the event you’ve been following Tales of Kenzera’s kind in any admire, you’ll know that a mountainous deal of the space takes inspiration from Sugent Studio’s ingenious lead, Abubakar Salim, and his private experience facing parental loss. Incidentally, Salim (a stage and camouflage camouflage actor and the disclose of Bayek in Murderer’s Creed Origins) additionally offers the disclose for protagonist Zau, and now we like to commend the voiceover work as a whole; it’s brilliantly achieved all the procedure in which by and helps the space resonate quite a bit greater than if we had been merely studying lines of debate.

Zau himself is on a hurry to revive his deceased father by capturing the spirits of three monsters and offering them to Kalunga, the God of Loss of life. Kalunga accompanies Zau in his quest and affords advice each and each practical and philosophical, and now we like to confess that we relished every moment that the sagely spectre confirmed up. Total, Kenzera’s legend is a touching, heartfelt memoir elevated by the performances of the disclose actors, and had been it now not for this, we apprehension the sport would like slipped from our reminiscence nearly without lengthen.

Now, we must always silent stress that Kenzera’s gameplay is stable. Scoot feels fluid, you’ve obtained a go capacity that’s nearly always satisfying to pull off, and the strive in opposition to, whereas absolutely now not deep or now not easy, feels impactful and fun. The matter now we like is that you just may well genuinely portray that here’s the studio’s first crack at a Metroidvania sport; there’s very runt field fervent, exploration is kept at an absolute minimal, and the unlockable abilities don’t add a mountainous deal of sort or depth.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The supreme disappointment for us comes with that lack of exploration. The very simplest Metroidvanias boast glorious, interconnected worlds stuffed with secrets and methods that construct you need to to like to drag off the beaten song, and even supposing Kenzera’s world is indubitably glorious, the branching paths quantity to runt greater than linear corridors that lead to a explain blueprint. Whenever you’ve quiet the specified item or beaten the boss, you need to to back off by the same corridors till you reach what we’d picture as a mini hub condominium. It’s only here that you just may well then free up a brand unusual door or reach a brand unusual condominium to growth additional.

Wrestle encounters are sprinkled all the procedure in which by the experience. You’ll encounter about a enemies on the fly as you construct your manner by the sport, but most strive in opposition to segments are minute to explain areas throughout which the exits are blocked off; accomplish of love Bayonetta or Satan Might perchance possibly well also Yowl.

You’ve obtained the procedure in which to rob out your foes with melee assaults and prolonged-range projectiles, and you may well toggle between these with a faucet of ‘L’, swapping out Zau’s sun and moon masks and thus altering his appearance and moveset. Some enemies are colour-coded to demonstrate their strengths and weaknesses, so the sport does an proper job of guaranteeing you’re now not ravishing sticking to at least one methodology of attack. Effectively, in thought a minimal of.

Tales of Kenzera: ZAU Review - Screenshot 3 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Sadly, each and each enemy sort and the arenas the build you battle them are minute. We love the strive in opposition to, but when the 20th encounter feels precisely akin to the first, it gets awfully repetitive. You may well try to combine up your approach as worthy as you want, but when the sport throws the same enemies at you within the same patterns time and once more, it’s now not easy now not to ravishing utilise the same offensive tactics every single time.

Fortunately, there are capacity trees tied to each and each mask, so that you just may well enhance each and each your melee and prolonged-range abilities independently. So as an illustration, you may well free up a drag throughout which you jump up and slam down into the ground to deal anxiousness, or you may well add an additional hit to your fashionable attack combo. Unlocking each and each unusual capacity feels welcome, but it absolutely doesn’t add a mountainous deal or depth or sort to the overall strive in opposition to gameplay. Actually, we accomplish of style it had been all ravishing on hand correct from the starting up.

By manner of its overall ravishing, Kenzera is a vibrant adventure that can very smartly be simplest described as a tainted between Ori and the Blind Forest and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. The map camouflage camouflage in explain appears love it changed into once swiped straight from an Ori sport, and to be distinct, that’s genuinely no corrupt component. Sadly, love many multiplatform video games for the time being, Kenzera does suffer from muddy visuals and stuttering frame charges on the Switch (although here’s reportedly below investigation). It’s admittedly now not as corrupt as we’d at the starting build feared, but here’s undoubtedly one among those cases the build while you happen to may well like beefier hardware on hand, then we’d imply playing it in other locations.


Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is an proper sport, but it absolutely sits within the shadow of severely better Metroidvanias on the Switch. We worship the atmosphere and storyline, but as Surgent Studios’ first stab at what has confirmed to be a wildly standard genre over the years, it struggles to location itself aside with somewhat bland exploration and repetitive strive in opposition to. Coupled with compromised visuals and efficiency on Switch, veterans of the genre may well would like to present this one a drag over. For rookies, on the different hand, the breezy gameplay may well construct for a nice introduction to Metroidvanias.


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