Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril Review

Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril Review

Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril opens with a cinematic movie featuring Timmy — the character you’ll be playing as — and his classmate Chester. They are both attending school at the Disch Research Facility, taking a highly competitive combat training program, and are just taking their final exams. Timmy doesn’t seem to do as good as he wanted, but Chester is at the top of the class. Dr Byers calls Chester on the intercom to come down to her office, she tells him that he did great on the test but accuses him of cheating and states that at Disch they don’t tolerate cheating; as a result, she kicks Chester out of the programme. He is distraught and full of anger, and declares that he is the best and always will be. We see a creepy guy with no name saying “He’ll be perfect indeed!” “Ha ha ha!” I assume this is evil cackling!

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A few months later we see Chester once again; this time he isn’t a student though, he is attacking the research facility to steal a weapon to use for his Mecha. Timmy has been working with Dr B and receives a communicator, a battle suit — which can be green or bright pink depending on the difficulty you have selected — and a Mega Man-style blaster. It is now up to Timmy, who has been given the task of trying to prevent this Humongous Mecha from being built. To accomplish this he will need to get through the Fortress of Il’Akab — also known as the Fortress of Peril because of the numerous traps and defences in place. 

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Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is a homebrew platformer game that was created in 2010 by developer Sivak Games. It was published through Retrozone and was originally only available for purchase on a physical NES cartridge, which was fine if you are a huge retro fan like me and have an old console sitting around. If not, now is your chance to check out all the good retro 8-bit goodness that Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril has to offer on the Xbox One and X|S. 

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Since Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril was developed to be played on a classic console we have to keep this in mind while playing. An eight-character password system is used for continuing — unless you chose a harder difficulty level that doesn’t have continues. There are over 550 rooms to explore and challenge with a roster of more than 30 enemy types, and eight other main bosses standing in your way; be sure to keep some paper nearby or a mobile phone to take a picture of the password to return where you left off. The game has shiny checkpoints spread throughout the area, which is great because it not only gives you a new password but also replenishes your health. There are no other power-ups to collect for health refills, so you will come to rely on these spots!

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Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril feels like a Mega Man game in many ways but there are a lot of differences to make it unique. Control-wise, I love that when you jump, Timmy sticks the landing! You don’t have to worry about sliding on the blocks at all. It was nice to have a solid jump! You will have to fight bosses during your travels but you won’t acquire a new weapon. Instead, you will find various power-ups while you are exploring levels, like the High Jump item that increases your max jump height. Make sure when you find a new ability you head back to the checkpoint to get an updated password so you don’t have to go find it again. It’s incredibly helpful when you get the device that keeps track of your location coordinates. I found it useful to keep notes on obstacles I couldn’t pass yet — like the areas where I had to jump higher etc. — since that way I knew where to go once I had that ability and not waste time trying to figure out where that was.

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This game looks just like a classic 8-bit platformer like the Mega Man titles — because it is, I suppose — and along with the look, it also has great-sounding music that is super catchy and never gets annoying. Even with the difficulty set on easy, the game is still challenging, especially when you get to areas that have the evil disappearing blocks you may remember from the Ice Man stage in the original Mega Man, even that same sound effect that you came to dread makes an appearance!

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With a huge amount of stages to traverse and a variety of bosses and enemies to fight, Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril will challenge you and keep you busy for a long time! Since I played the easy mode just to get the pink outfit, I will definitely attempt it on a harder difficulty, challenging myself and seeing if I can complete the game with fewer deaths and in a shorter period of time. If you enjoy NES-style platformers, or if you enjoy the Mega Man titles as I do, you owe it to yourself to check out Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril! I can’t wait to check out the other games in the series!

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