Thanks to Nnooo for the review code
Title: The Legend of Kusakari
System: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: 08/25/2016
Being a parody of the usual “hero goes to save the world and forgets everyone else” trope, The Legend of Kusakari leads you in control of a grass cutter who’s tasked with cutting grass while the hero takes on evil. It sounds like an absolutely stupid concept, but somehow it ends up playing out as a nice change of pace from the typical focus on hero characters.
Keeping up with the parody nature established in the story, Kusakari has a strange mix between a top-down perspective and stiff characters, using an art style that’s easier to show than to explain. For the most part, it gets the job done and menus are easy to navigate, but it’s unique to say the least.
Music and Sound
Unfortunately, the music is pretty bad. Emphasized by the use of trumpets on the menus, (seemingly done on purpose due to an excited musician that can be spotted from time to time) the levels themselves don’t have much when it comes to memorable tunes, prompting me to mute the music altogether in the options menu. Sound effects work as they should and thankfully considering the arcade nature of the gameplay disabling the music doesn’t make the game feel empty.
You have two game modes to choose from in The Legend of Kusakari, the normal campaign that consists of 50 levels and an endless mode with a high-score focus. The normal campaign is where the majority of the action takes place, with the main objective of each stage requiring you to cut every piece of green grass while avoiding enemies or passerby. From what seems to be a sign of him being out of shape, the Grass Cutter will lose health over time, with the health loss becoming more severe depending on if you decide to dash or use spincuts, which forces you to plan out a careful route where you must cut the grass long enough to build up your spincut level before using it at the right spot at the right speed to cut the grass before your health runs out. Of course if your health is on the verge of running out, you can cut a piece of blue grass to heal yourself, but these are few and far between, especially in the endless mode.
Depending on how fast you clear each campaign stage, you’ll get a letter ranking, with S being the best rank. Completing every stage in S rank time is a challenging task, which combined with the almanac you must also complete offers a surprising amount of replay value for completionists. Unfortunately as you progress in the campaign mode, the stages begin to drag on, turning S ranking into a chore.
In conclusion, The Legend of Kusakari ends up becoming a game like no other, with a bizzare premise and gameplay that can lead to an average experience. Unfortunately outside of the novelty that comes from the concept, the fun in Kusakari only lasts for a short amount of time, as eventually the later levels end up dragging on and on, especially if you want to complete the objectives for the hidden plants. The closest you’ll get to something that will engage you no matter how many times you come back to play would be the endless mode, which thanks to the online leaderboards offers a good reason to keep making new strategies to better your scores. Come for the crazy concept, stay for the Endless mode, and if you keep that idea in mind you should be able to make The Legend of Kusakari a moderately enjoyable game, even if it’s not for everyone.I give The Legend of Kusakari a 7 out of 10.