Kong360: Gorilla Warfare doesn’t really belong in the indie section of the game marketplace. It’s very much a mainstream game, with a mainstream sense of humour and mainstream gameplay. Being the old grumblepot I am, you would expect me to start whinging about how there’s not enough innovation in games, and there’s no need to be making this kind of game as it’s just a rip off of any other two-stick shooter around.
While you could easily say that most of the elements of Kong360 have been ‘borrowed’ from any other top-down effort you care to mention, I have a really hard time slating it, as it’s really good fun for the pittance it costs. Also, it’s going to make a lot of people (so long as they actually play it) laugh, scream and shout at the screen, and that’s something that really isn’t to be put aside lightly.
So, from the off, you notice that this isn’t, exactly, your standard top-down, two-stick shooter. It took me a while to realise, but it actually uses FPS controls. This means a kind of fragging experience, and one that requires a little more skill to get into. Furthermore, it’s not all on one level, as the 20-odd maps offer three or four different height levels. Given that aiming is not automatic, there’s a degree of complexity here that is at least a grade above the norm.
The FPS tilt doesn’t stop there either, as the game types (four-player online and local via splitscreen) are what you might expect from an FPS. Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch currently feature. In essence, what this melding of mechanics and controls leads to is a retro-styled top-down shooter that has a genuine appeal for the masses. Anyone who plays a fair amount of FPS titles will instantly feel at home with this title, and the added complexity of the different levels and slightly less straightforward control mechanic makes it so much more than most other two-stick shooters.
Sure, it’s perhaps not as refined as some XBLA titles, but it’s not far off. If you want to feel like you’re getting value from your indie purchase, then this is a perfect title for you. It’s worth a helluva lot more than the 240 points price tag. Of course, this is always going to be more fun with a few friends in the house, or online, but the beauty of an indie title is that it’s not going to take much for you to convince three friends to fork out for it. It’s games of this quality that really shine in the indie market, and while there isn’t a great deal of originality, there’s quality – and fun – by the bucketload.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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