Fresh off of playing a homage to a classic video game series, I decided to have a look at…another homage to a classic video game series! This time, we are dealing with a game very clearly based off of The Legend of Zelda. The game didn’t settle well with viewers on YouTube when its trailer featured wonky music playing in the background. It’s meant to serve as a comedic effect since one of the trumpet players was trying too hard to produce notes. Commenters on the site have been taking the comedic tune literally and pronounce the soundtrack the worst thing ever. For now let’s ignore all that for a moment and get to the game itself. Shall we?
The music from the trailer plays on the title screen. Players can visibly take note of the band members playing the music, with the trumpet player indeed looking like he’s having a hard time following through. It’s funny and sets the tone for The Legend of Kusakari. They also perform the jingle for clearing a level, but it does sound enough like a victory jingle to appropriately function as one (even with the trumpet still playing notes incorrectly). The music pieces during the levels themselves are more in-line with what anyone may expect from a Zelda or puzzle game. If anything, throughout the five chapters in the game at least a couple will be sharing the same set of background music.
With a silky-smooth sixty frames-per-second, The Legend of Kusakari can be a sight for sore eyes. The graphics are clean and easily identifiable. There are loads of grasslands to maneuver about but the scenery does change enough to break from the visual repetition. All in all, everything in this category is serviceable.
Let’s get things straight here: This game looks like a Zelda game, it controls like a Zelda game, I can guarantee you it is not a Zelda game. Whilst The Legend of Zelda is about exploring, fighting enemies, collecting Rupees, and taking on dungeons, The Legend of Kusakari is an arcade-like puzzle game where the protagonist has to cut grass. The premise is that cutting the grass helps heroes fight their enemies without having to worry about getting tangled up or interfering with the tall grass blades. It’s a silly, yet clever.
Players have to cut all of the grass in the stage to move on to the next. Enemies or battles between heroes and enemies could get in the way of the lawn cleansing so it’s important to keep an eye out for them. Players need to keep track of the map as well as the player’s heart meter which drains down gradually over time. As mundane as the cutting sounds, the game actually keeps at a good pace. The heart draining makes sure that players don’t simply cut the grass at their own leisure. Since there are enemies that could further jot down the heart meter, they become a bigger threat here than they would be in a Zelda title (even if the worst that happens is that you must retry the level).
While the general design is pretty sound, I do think the game could have used more sprucing up than just trickier situations. What’s present is solid enough don’t get me wrong. It’s just that there could be more to play around with. Maybe teleporters, power-ups (aside from the cutter leveling up), and other sorts of ideas could make for even more interesting designs.
Suggestions aside, The Legend of Kusakari is a worthy time for any gamer looking for some quick puzzle action. That even includes people that don’t play Zelda games. It has a healthy amount of content for its inexpensive price (including an Endless mode with online leaderboards, by the way) and it has a solid foundation for arcade-y fun.
Yes, I did just say all this regarding a game about cutting grass.