What is: Shizoku Shuriken Brawl?
I was approached recently by the devs behind a very unique game called Shizoku. They were kind enough to give me a free copy of the game, and I was pretty blown away by what they made. The game is a new take on the popular and classic video game “Pong.” Shizoku is like pong, meets basketball, meets ninja Gaiden. It was a challenging but fun game to play. Let’s jump into the gameplay.
I played couch co-op in Shizoku on two Nintendo switch gamepads, so that was a little difficult for me. In hindsight, I should have tried out the keyboard options a little more. The 1v1 face-off in Shizoku is pretty straight forward. Each player is defending their “home” which takes up about a quarter of the top side of the map. Each time you score a point, the Shuriken resets, and it is fair game again.
The Shuriken has some give and take to it. You can spike the shuriken on the ground and then sword slash it to where you want to go. It was a lot more complicated than I was expecting to score a point, but as I got the hang of the game’s physics, it was certainly much easier. As far as controls go all I could find out was spiking the Shuriken, jumping, and slashing. You can make some flashy plays and double jump, but I couldn’t quite figure out all the different controls and combos that there were.
Getting to the graphics segment is always my favorite part. Shizoku Shurkien Brawl has some outstanding graphics. The simple 8/16 bit feel and the smooth pixels leads to a retro-style game on a modern engine. The sword slashes transition nicely, and you get that feeling of being a ninja and unsheathing your weapon very quickly. The dust trails were a nice addition and not one I have seen in a retro-styled indie title yet. I took some extra time to admire the scenery of the cherry blossom tree. It has a whirlwind effect that I had to stare at for a few minutes; it was mesmerizing.
Shizoku Shuriken Brawl has to be the unique game I have played in the past few months. It’s Pong with samurais; I can’t think of a unique game than that. I like that they kept the game simple yet challenging. While there isn’t a lot to the actual controls, you have to think of diverse solutions to get your points. I played pure offense, and it seemed to work for me, but there were times where I could have easily been punished by my impulse decisions. They aren’t related, but this game reminded me of Rocket League. They took a simple design, expanded on it, and then created something fun and easy to pick up and play. The game is pretty lightweight and takes up almost no space on your hard drive, which also helps the start up time. This means you can turn this game on, play a quick match, and then turn it off if you wanted. Rushing2600, the studio behind Shizoku Shuriken Brawl has done something amazing here. The more community outreach they do, and the more people see the value of this game, I could see a niche competitive side for it, much like AvariaVS and EndCycle. Be sure to check out their twitter @2600Rushing and their website http://rushing2600.com/ for more info. I will be posting a link to download the game off of Kartridge below. Thank you for reading and farewell traveler.