Top Critic Average
Tanuki Justice is a throwback to the run and gun games of the 80s and 90s, for better or for worse. While it does sport some challenging difficulty and a distinct pixel art style, some of it goes into unfair territory and ends up being an exercise in frustration.
Tanuki Justice is typically ‘retro’ in terms of its overall presentation. The colourful, pixel-heavy visuals pay homage to NES titles (although the art design often screams Sonic), and the soundtrack features some catchy, albeit rather repetitive tunes. There are a couple of annoying quirks typical of some 8-bit games, like the inability to jump down through a platform, and items disappearing after just a few short seconds. Otherwise, if you’re after a fun little run ‘n’ gun platformer reminiscent of early Mega Man titles, this might just be the one for you.
Tanuki Justice is a super fun and difficult game reminiscent of challenging games like Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man. Not much for a story here but has a lot of ninja throwing star action, what more do you really need.
Not many indies completely nail retro arcade games as well as Tanuki Justice does so if you love 2D action then this is a must-have game.
Tanuki Justice has excellent features, such as charming retro graphics, precise gameplay, interesting challenges and a lot of charisma. However, it becomes limited by certain restrictive mechanics, such as the inability to descend from platforms and a short journey. In the end, the game is a brief and cool title in general.
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Overall, Tanuki Justice has been one of the most fun sidescrolling run & guns I’ve endured. Paired with a colorful pixel background and rhythmic synth music, on top of exciting gameplay, the false nostalgia brings me back to when I first started playing video games.
Tanuki Justice is an enjoyable and welcome retro release, one that recaptures the magic of ninja action games like Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden while adding some bullet hell shenanigans to provide a different type of challenge. There are some mechanical imperfections and omissions which do hamper the intended fast-paced ninja action. Still, the experience as a whole tends to shine through thanks to its vibrant presentation and strong level design.
I can’t help but be charmed by Tanuki Justice. It’s the second game I’ve played published by Storybird Studio, and it’s another great retro throwback. Yes, it’s challenging and sometimes unforgiving, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. The few modern conventions here do ultimately make it a more well-rounded package, as well as elements like being able to select stages in any order once you’ve beaten them or try it with another player. And while I do feel it’s a bit pricey, it’s still pretty easy to recommend at less than $20. If you’re a fan of retro-looking for something new, this is a great holiday treat.