According to some, the definition of insanity is to repeat the exact same process over and over again and expect different results. In gaming, it could be the genre of speed platformers… is that a thing? It should be a thing. I just made it a thing! Speed platformers are those titles that are all about completing a series of jumps, dashes and perfect timing to complete a level within a very quick time frame all while clinching the controller, jumping up in down in frustration and screaming profanity as you miss the final jump for the 17th time. This is our Blackbird’s Kraken Review, a game you should be playing. It launches July 20th on Steam, and is a whole new campaign expansion for the original game.
What is Slime-san: Blackbird’s Kraken?
Think Super Mario Brothers but in fast-forward or for the younger crowd x120 speed. Such as been my experience with HeadUp Games latest title Slime-san: Blackbird’s Kraken. I’ve dashed, jumped and slimed my way through this stand alone expansion over the last week and wanted to share my thoughts. So grab that coffee, sit back and get ready for our review of Slime-san: Blackbird’s Kraken.
Following its predecessor Slime-san, this standalone expansion follows the same basic formula of speed platforming, collecting and challenge completing through 25 new levels. Offering several new unlockables, a wide range of new stages to complete, some fun housing and several other features, Blackbird’s Kraken feels like a great addition to the original title.
The visuals and gameplay are exactly the same as its predecessor with a change in theme. Moving away from the winter worm setting of the original, this expansion finds Slime-san jumping his way out of a Kraken in the summer, tropical setting. As such the level design and visuals reflect the new setting well. One of my biggest concerns jumping on the BlackBird’s expansion is that it would simply be more of the same in regards to levels and layouts. Thankfully, however, the level design makes sense in the context of new surroundings which in turn makes the layouts feel fresh and new. Blackbird’s Kraken feels like a solid expansion as opposed to simply more of the same.
As with the original, the controls feel great on the controller. Quick and responsive I never felt that the controls were a hindrance to the gameplay experience. I was especially appreciative of this for the boss fights which feel well polished and thought-out. For a speed platformer title, this is paramount and Slime-san has found a nice balance with its layout and controls.
One area that I felt has seen the most ramp up or change is the difficulty level at the beginning of the game. In fact I would be a bit concerned for people new to this style of game. Even as someone who has experience with not only this franchise but with the genre I felt a dramatic difference in difficulty starting out the expansion. For newcomers to the title I would actually recommend going back and playing through the original before attempting the expansion if for no other reason than to get used to how the mechanics work. Blackbird’s Kraken is not for the faint of heart or the impatient. As is the nature of this genre you will spend a lot of time repeating the same content until you have honed your timing and skill level.
That said there is a fairly extensive tutorial that will help you get used to the game and I was impressed at how well developed and informative it was. Even if you are jumping into the title as an owner of the original I still highly recommend taking some time to go through it. It may save you some controller throwing fits later on. Your controller will thank me later!
Slime-san: Blackbird’s Kraken offers a lot of features for an expansion. Even with my time spent I was just beginning to unlock set pieces, secret characters and dive into everything the game has to offer. With a crazy mini-game and an Island that you can spend time exploring on there really are a lot of things to do in this title. If you enjoy the speed platformer (it’s officially a thing now) Blackbird’s Kraken can offer you many hours of jumping, running and dashing.
Final Thoughts on Blackbird’s Kraken Review
The reality is that this title probably won’t be for everyone. With a steep difficulty level and being in a bit of niche genre it might not be your thing. If, however, you’re into this genre, Slime-San: Blackbird’s Kraken is worth your time. It offers some great new features, tons of things to do, areas to explore and so many unlockables for the completionists among us. The best part is that it is a standalone expansion so you can start with it. If you already own the original then it’s your lucky day as you will receive the title for free. It launches July 20th on Steam, and is a whole new campaign expansion for the original game.
One Hour Review Score – 8/10
- Great entry to the speed platformer
- So many things to do in this expansion
- Free to owners of the original
- Extreme difficulty in the beginning stages can lead to early frustration
- Niche genre won’t appeal to most people
Note: Our review copy was provided by the PR studio for review purposes.