Daikon Set (Wii U) review
"A bizarre and beautiful treat in honor of past legacies."
So I've been playing my Wii U often only because I don't own a Switch as of yet. I've been on Miiverse a lot too! As I heard that Miiverse will be shutting down services I stumbled upon the Daikon Set community. There I found out that the game was free! So I gave it a shot and after playing for at least an hour I felt that there was more to this game than meets the eye. I now have more of an appreciation for platinum age video games! English is my second language so hopefully it sounds good! So let's begin! Here is my review of Daikon Set.
Developed by the indie company Butterfly, Daikon Set consists of 3 full games sprinkled with modernism. Each with 3 levels and a credits section which by the way the song playing during those credits is a banger! The 3 games are Chroma Star which is an interesting take on Space Invaders, Pink Mite which is a dodging and maneuvering game which is also for me at least a better version of Flappy Bird, and The Queen which is a dodging and survival game. The games may look simple but in a good way can be extremely difficult as you later unlock another level.
Let's begin with Chroma Star. The gameplay is of an oddity but it works well. You basically shoot ships heading down towards you and shoot to push them away from a barrier. If one touches the barrier you fail. For some of the ships you have to shoot according to its color. That's where things get intense as you have to juggle the ships throughout the whole song in a level. The last level is way different but a nice fun surprise. I won't spoil it but if you know the controls of this game well enough you are set to fight!
Next is Pink Mite and one of my favorites! So you play as this cute pink butterfly inside a bubble and the goal is to reach the top without getting hit and with this game being bitter once you fail you start over again! You only move left or right but must always tap the A button to hop or float your way up. Skill, high focus, and fast reaction is required for later levels as it gets very difficult.
The last one is The Queen which is a game where you have bouncing pellets and to complete the game you must survive throughout the whole song in the level. You can bounce them back by using your shield which is limited in usage. Get hit by a pellet and its over. It is very easy to play but difficult to complete not knowing when you are almost finished. It sure is a nice take on Pong.
Now for the overall aesthetic of the game. It holds very well! It is well designed artistically and well thought out. The random fine art pieces of hands during the booting of the game already had me hooked! The illustrations in the game are reminiscent of Famicom boxes which blends well with the Nintendo Color TV Game inspired graphics. The music in this game is absolutely amazing and by far one of the best parts of this game! From the retro 80s space beats in Chroma Star, the ambient seducing lyrics in Pink Mite, and the soft calm sadness in The Queen. All of it just perfect and united!
Going back to what I said earlier about this game being more than meets the eye. Daikon Set according to users on Miiverse seems to be a tribute game. A good handful of people saying the game has many nods, influences, and homages from companies that influence Butterfly.
Games like this specifically are rare as the gameplay and graphics are dated. Although there could be use for a time bar indicating how long you have left in a level but isn't necessary. There is actually replay value in this game believe it or not only because of its music. I love the music a lot and for me to hear them again I have to play the levels. In order to hear the song all the way through you have to play. Failing a level just cuts the song off. I guess it is a cool way to force a player to play again but hopefully a soundtrack is coming soon.
In all Daikon Set makes sure that we don't forget where video games started where graphics way back were just squares. Plus the fact that the developers at Butterfly created something so uniquely ancient just shows that there are still people out there that are young and still want to make games like this! They could've easily created a generic indie genre game but decided to be different and took a risk by making it free on a Nintendo platform! I'm sure we all hope to see more from Butterfly and what they have to offer for the future is looking bright for this young developer.
Community review by pedrorojas (September 25, 2017)
You like games. I like games. We all like games.
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