Originally created in 2010 for actual 8-bit NES hardware, Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is a homebrew original has been ported to Xbox One via 8-bit Legit, a publishing arm of Mega Cat Studios. In short, it is basically 75% Mega Man with 25% Metroid-like exploratory stage design but 100% NES-hard challenge.
Battle Kid is a tough game but it isn’t impossible. With quick reflexes and a keen ability to quickly identify pattern recognition, players might have a chance. Outfitted with an arm cannon just like Mega Man, Battle Kid must overcome a friend-turned-evil. There is actually a lot of story here for an 8-bit action game. If you skip it, you won’t really miss anything but the narrative is there for dedicated fans. In time, the player will acquire new abilities, like floating jumps, so new areas can be reached giving it that Metroid-like formula.
This Xbox version is a straight port of the original NES version. With that being said, do not expect any quality of life features, something that I think is a missed opportunity and biggest downfall of this port. Other than having the ability to change a few background borders, no new features have been added (other than Achievements).
While I understand the integrity of the original intended experience would be compromised, I really wanted some simple features to make my playtime more enjoyable. For example, without button remapping, players are forced to use the A and B buttons on the controller when I would have much preferred to use X and A. A rewind feature would have been awesome, let alone save states or a save feature at all. Instead this game relies solely on a password system which is exceedingly long. In fact, it is easier to take a picture of the screen with your phone and reenter it next time you want to continue as opposed to writing it down. The original NES cart was designed without a battery so it is understood why this wasn’t a feature.
The music is great too. In fact, another missed opportunity is not having a music player immediately available from the main menu. Every 20 seconds or so, icons for the RB+LB buttons appear in the lower corner of the screen, indicating to the player that is how the menu is accessed. However, having it pop up repeatedly is distracting and wish there was a way to turn it off. It also would have been nice if a map feature was included. Instead, players need to rely on an X/Y positioning system in the upper corner of the screen to determine location. Making your own map old-school style is advised if you want to see it all.
Battle Kid itself is game where the passion of the small indie team shines through and definitely something classic 8-bit fans should play especially if they enjoy Mega Man 1-6 or the original Metroid. Without quality of life features though, players might be better off tracking down a homebrew cart or playing the ROM of the original to further that old-school style experience.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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