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Games ProtoCorgi(NS )-Review

Evan Norris

857 views / 13 hours ago / published

Everyone wants to know if they can pet the dog. No one ever inquires whether they can bring their animal companion along for the flight. That’s why Chilean developer Kemono Games made ProtoCorgia, a horizontally-scrolling shoot ’em up where a robotic dog takes on enemies. Video game follows Bullet, a C 3 (Cute Cyber Corgi) class robotic as it bravely fights the enemy to rescue its master and developer, a wonderful researcher kidnapped during an alien invasion and left for dead in deep space.

The story of ProtoCorgi is the first thing the player encounters, which is unusual for a shooter.The game begins with a gorgeous anime-inspired cinematic that serves as somewhat of a masterclass in non-verbal, visual storytelling. In just 60 seconds, without a single piece of written or spoken word, the facility, debate, and stakes are all very clear to the spectator. This story knowledge helps to elevate the experience above the level of simple bullet-and-hitbox interaction. The fact that the game centres on the bond between a pet and its owner is also likely to appeal to many players because this is a dynamic that they can relate to on an emotional level.

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ProtoCorgi’s narrative is only really there as bookends. To survive the alien invasion, you’ll need to make good use of the game’s shooting mechanisms and power-ups, and to climb the local and global leaderboards, you’ll need to chain together point multipliers. Several poor decisions and chances to score have allowed Kemono to pull ahead significantly in both arenas. The game begins with our courageous corgi using a button-tap BARK attack (the projectiles are the letters B, A, R, and K, which is adorable) or a rapid-fire pea-shooter, both of which may be greatly expanded with power-ups including spread shots, homing rockets, and laser beams. Bullet may also spin to attack from the left or right, and the coolest part is that it can unleash a heavenly version of itself to rain down blows from above.

The benefits of ProtoCorgi’s straightforward and gratifying scoring system. You’ll earn a few points for each ship and setup you destroy, but the real payoff comes from the multiplier indicated visually by the pet dog deals that encircle Bullet. Any looted fruit from defeated foes will have this multiplier applied to it. What’s the deal with fruit? Because shoot ’em ups are fun. You can earn a lot of points by snagging fruit with a low multiplier, but you can reap much greater rewards by continually blasting ships, sending your multiplier skyrocketing, and then snagging a large quantity of fruit. ProtoCorgi values perseverance beyond all else.

Not only does perseverance pay off in terms of scoring, but also in the context of lead-ins. As you go through ProtoCorgi, you’ll unlock new materials and equipment. The vast majority of the time, this does an excellent job. You can increase the maximum number of lives and continues as you start and finish more runs, regardless of how well you do. This is a great feature because even if your first run is unsuccessful, as it probably will be, you will earn the right to make subsequent runs more successful. You can do as many practise runs as you like on the more challenging sections once you’ve completed each phase and opened it in the practise menu.

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The system’s flaw lies in the fact that some features, such as mechanics and tutorials, cannot be made available until certain milestones in the main project have been met. In addition, not all of the project’s assets can be used in the game’s level editor until you reach a predetermined threshold. For instance, the ice turret only becomes available once 200 of its predecessors have been destroyed. There’s grinding to be done.

The level editor is “a gift and a curse,” as Adrian Monk would put it. Kemono’s inclusion of a customizable phase function is impressive and merits recognition. Your own custom horizontal and vertical levels—complete with your own backdrop art, song, enemies, and bosses—can be uploaded to the server and played by players all over the world. That’s the silver lining. The issue is that the editor itself is cumbersome to use in many different ways.

You can always use the five challenging levels from the main game, which are both substantial and enjoyable, if you lack the fortitude to create your own. Everyone enjoys facing off against distinct foes and watching them progress, facing off against unexpected threats, having a fascinating former employer, and discovering a hidden path. Not everything works perfectly, since several monsters from earlier levels reappear as minibosses in the fifth level, and the vac-tunnel area in the fourth level supports the video game’s epileptic seizure warning, but ProtoCorgi earns its spurs.

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More impressive than the levels themselves is the way they all shift at different difficulties. Kemono could have easily just increased the HP of every enemy and stopped, but instead the designer made substantial changes to the positioning and behaviours of enemies to provide a unique experience at each difficulty level. The game’s replay value will grow dramatically as a result.

The visuals in ProtoCorgi make use of bright and cartoonish pixel imagery, with touches like the enhanced laser leaving paw prints throughout the area. The visuals as a whole aren’t up to par with the best shooters, but they’re nonetheless impressive. The game’s chiptune music, composed by Francisco Cerda, stands out even more. Each song was composed specifically for that phase. Phase one’s “Leviathan” music serves as an introduction to the experience, and by phase five, the experience’s “do or die” clamour is all around you.

ProtoCorgi is instantly endearing due to its bright visuals, catchy soundtrack, and chubby canine protagonist. Do not be fooled by the cute corgi; the game’s shoot-em-up mechanics are quite serious. Strong shooting, interesting scoring mechanics and level types, and well crafted experiences at every difficulty level sell themselves. While the level editor is clumsy and the unlock process can get grindy, Kemono still manages to do the genre right.

Games VGChartz Verdict

The publisher provided him with a digital copy of ProtoCorgi for the NS, which he used to conduct his analysis.

Learn more about the process we use to evaluate submissions here.

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