A good old fashion run-to-the-right platformer that isn’t a rogue, Inukari – Chase of Deception features approachable design, large environments, and a strong message about the environment.
Playing as a fox that is trying to be Captain Planet, the goal is to reach the end of the stage and take down a boss that has been consumed by evil pollution. The “save the planet” message is clear and remains a focal point throughout. The story actually made me want to rewatch Princess Mononoke.
While there is an emphasis on persevering Mother Nature, the gameplay revolves around running and jumping to that next platform. Play control is smooth and very fluid and actually feels the best when in constant motion. Something about parkour platforming and slicing through baddies without stopping that makes you feel powerful and agile. Unfortunately, each of the three main stages are too big for its own good, often filled with a lot of nothingness and simple 90 degree bends.
Along the way are tons of enemies that basically turned into zombies from the sludge and the only way to free them is to nail them with your short ranged melee attack (or eventually the unlockable ranged leaf sub-weapon). This is where Inukari suffers – the repetition. It only takes an hour to see the credits roll but the majority of this time is re-doing the same actions, fighting the same 1-hit enemies, and jumping onto the same type of platforms.
The biggest question mark actually comes from the coins scattered throughout each stage. Each stage contains hundreds of coins but collecting them makes no difference to the gameplay. It isn’t like you can spend them on health upgrades or unlockable skills. There is a score counter in the corner of the screen but that also doesn’t mean anything since the player isn’t rewarded or punished for not collecting anything, or for collecting it all. Fighting the common enemy is also just as moot as collecting coins. Since they do not drop anything important or increase experience, it is actually easier and more efficient to just jump over them and keep going. Bosses can also be cheesed, like sticking to the far wall when facing the final boss and throwing the slowing regenerating ninja leaves until death.
As it is presented, Inukari is an ok platformer but far from a great one. However, I feel with a few tweaks, there is great potential if a sequel ever gets created just because the fluid play control, wall hopping, and double jumps feels spot on.
Also available on Switch.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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