While there is no shortage of Anime inspired action games to choose from, I always enjoy seeing what newly released games add to the genre. With that said, there’s a lot that these titles can do wrong, whether it be terrible gameplay balancing or boring quest lines, there needs to be enough content to hold the player’s attention for hours if the titles hope to be successful, and that’s no easy task.
KurtzPel is a 3rd person anime-styled action battle game created by KOG Games, the developers of other anime-inspired games such as Grand Chase and Elsword. While it is still in early access, there are a lot of elements found in the current closed beta that I enjoyed and some that I hope gets expanded upon and polished before it launches.
The story shown in the beta is a bit confusing, but that is mainly due to the fact that there is still dialogue and cutscenes that need to be added to the game. While I wasn’t too sure what was going on, the cutscenes and VO found in the closed beta version of the game were well executed. The story is mainly delivered through cutscenes and NPC dialogue that occurs prior to each mission instance, but there is also a mechanic where you have a chance to encounter NPCs you’ve met before and increased your affinity with them which gives you various rewards. I thought this was kind of a neat way to get to know the characters of the game better, and I want to see what happens upon reaching higher levels of character affinity.
The character creator in KurtzPel has many options for creating your perfect waifu or husbando, and there are some interesting character creator choices that you don’t see in a lot of games. When you create a character for the first time, there are some questions you answer for the game to recommend a character trait to you such as “Hero” or “Shy”. From there you can choose to go with their recommended trait or choose one from the many presented to you.
The character trait determines the character’s voice, posture, and what options you can choose for things such as hairstyle and eye shape. While I found this mechanic interesting, I think limiting customization options through character traits hinders the player’s ability to truly make the characters they want to make. That being said, there is still a handful of redeeming qualities found within the character creator, such as the various layers of fine-tuning character customization, and there is a good range of characters you can make with it.
As for gameplay, KurtzPel offers both PVP and PVE content, although, from my time in the closed beta, I found the PVE content to be more promising than the PVP. From the main city hub, you can access the mission map to select from a rotating set of available missions.
There are 3 types of PVP modes available in the beta, capture the flag, deathmatch, and conquest. Regardless of the game mode, the matchup will be 4 players fighting against each other in a 2v2 matchup. PVP in the beta was a bit clunky and there wasn’t a lot of clarity on what was going on. Most of what I saw consisted of stunlocking other players with attacks or getting stunlocked by attacks with not a lot of room for counterplay. However, I’ll admit that this could be due to my own lack of ability.
PVE in KurtzPel is similar to games such as Vindictus and Dauntless where each mission is an instance where you fight a boss enemy. There was a lot of variation in the bosses and overall I had a good time learning their different attack patterns to get better at beating them. The only downside that I saw in the beta was that you had to pair up with another player for a lot of the battles which requires you to queue up. I would like to have seen an option for you to do those missions without having to wait for the game to find another player to join you.
The class and equipment system in KurtzPel is fairly straightforward. There were 4 weapon types to choose from in the demo called Karma and each Karma type comes with a different set of combos. These combos are supplemented by Karma slots that you can unlock and customize to offer your character more active and passive abilities. Your character can equip two Karma types at any given time. During combat, you can switch between Karm with a press of a button to give some flexibility when it comes to combat. There are also costumes and accessories you can equip that give you some bonus stats but are mainly for customizing your character’s look.
While KurtzPel still has a lot that can be worked on to make it something truly special, the foundation and overall concept that I saw in the beta has me optimistic about the game’s future. Overall, the game has a lot of promise, and I look forward to seeing what the final version looks like when it launches.
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