Kuri Kuri Mix
by Empire Interactive
If you're looking for a game that you can have a good laugh with your mates, then this is the one for you!
Wacky, zany, fun and collaboration are just a few words that could be used to describe Kuri Kuri. What? Collaborate? Yes, in order to successfully progress through this game, you must be 'as one' with whomever it is sat beside you. A scary prospect for most of us used to trying to humiliate that same person by defeating them again and again. Now you must rely on them.
To start the game, you will either play as Chestnut (the orange boy bunny) or Cream (the pink girl bunny) or if you're really brave, you could play as both on one controller! There's a short introduction at the start of the game, which gives you the story behind the game; you can also find the intro in the game manual. And of course, these are fully subtitled. If you collect all of the silver jigsaw pieces as you play through the first four stages of a world you will unlock a new character for the VS mode, there are 8 to unlock including Pengy and Sneaky. You'll also gain hints along the way from some chickens, look out for them. Particularly the white one - he is much more helpful than the black one. All of their hints are displayed in text on the screen while the game pauses; you'll have to press a button for the text to continue.
There are two modes of game play, Story and VS. Story mode can be played single or two players and the objective is to clear all the worlds unlocking all 8 characters (for VS mode) as you go along. The single player game is just mad! You control both Chestnut and Cream and trying to keep an eye on both of those cute bunnies is a little difficult, to say the least. It's not easy when your eyes want to focus on one bunny. What does help in this mode is the zoom in button on the gamepad. It's easier to keep an eye on them both; the drawback to this is that you can't see what is in front. So you can't prepare yourself for what may be ahead of you, especially jumps.
The VS mode needs the Story mode to have been at least, part way played through so that you have a good choice of characters. Between 2 and 4 people can play here, competing against each other to collect jewels and reach the goal. Your character can perform different moves and these are all explained in the manual. The best thing about these two modes is their sheer difference in design; it feels as though you're playing another game. There's no time limit but you have to try and reach the goal line first. Putting the Story mode and the VS mode together, you get over 50 levels of game play.
For a cartoon style game, the graphics are what you would expect: very bright and colourful. There's nothing cutting edge here but the style of presentation adds to your level of enjoyment of the game. Visually the game works very well. The information on the screen is not at all obtrusive and the text colour and font are clear and easy to read. And there is even a sensory input, when you have been attacked by an enemy, for example, you will feel the gamepad vibrate in your hand.
Music world what problems could there be here? was my question when I found that there was a music world. Surprisingly only one, but it's quite a large one, as this puzzle RELIES on the ability to hear musical notes and repeat them. However, deaf gamers can overcome this obstacle. When you reach this part, Chestnut will be standing by a blue button. Wait for Cream to move off the piano keys and then jump Chestnut onto the button, it will turn red, signifying that a three note tune has just been played. The next sequence will work BUT you may have to repeat the actions again and again:
must jump onto the middle note.
I have to point out that Kuri Kuri has been made with the intention that the players communicate with one another. This being said, it is going to disadvantage deaf gamers, as they will have a gamepad in their hands and their eyes will be on the screen. While this is going to prolong the time spent on each World, it doesn't make the game impossible to play. It does mean that deaf gamers may have to play levels repeatedly to complete them.
Overall Game Rating :7.9/10 A highly entertaining co-operative game but stage 4 on the Music world presents a hurdle for deaf gamers.
Quality of text / Visual Clues : 7.5/10 While the text quality is excellent, more visual clues would have been much appreciated.
Graphics: 8/10 The big, bright cartoon style is very appealing.
Visual Presentation: 8/10 A wacky Japanese image that suits the nature of the game.
Interface: 9/10 The gamepad is extremely easy to use and all the games' functions can be controlled from one place. Although this can be tricky in the single player game.
Gameplay: 7/10 Brilliant, when there are lots of people to play with but lets itself down in Music world.