Tales of Kenzera: ZAU Review – PS5, PC, Switch, Xbox Series

African Spirits, Unforgettable Story

Tales of Kenzera: Zau Review

Introduction

A brief yet pleasant side-scrolling action game with strong Metroidvania influences is called Tales of Kenzera: Zau. It doesn’t very innovate in terms of gameplay, but what makes it unique is the lovely and touching tale it tells.

A Touching Story of Loss

The story of the game centers on Zau, a shaman who is mourning his father’s passing. Through the use of a deft framing technique, the story is told, and Zau’s quest to placate restless spirits parallels his own struggle to accept his loss. This is a very meaningful component of the game that the devs have put their all into. Excellent voice acting is used throughout, with special recognition going to the way Kunga, the god of death, and Zau are portrayed. Kunga is portrayed as more of a wise uncle than a cruel reaper. The small cast makes it possible to concentrate more on character development, which amplifies the impact of their interactions.

Vivid African Influences

Kenzera’s landscape, which ranges from verdant rainforests to undulating hills and volcanic volcanoes, is a riot of color. The game’s obvious African cultural influences provide a welcome change of pace and give it a distinctive look that is uncommon in computer games. The narrative elements make links to ancestor worship and the idea of death as a rite of passage, demonstrating the importance of this concept even beyond the imagery.

Approachable Metroidvania Gameplay

Tales of Kenzera: Zau’s main gameplay is recognizable Metroidvania ground. As they explore connected locations, they gain new skills that let them access areas that were previously unreachable. While responsive and entertaining, the platforming falls short of some of the best in the genre. In a similar vein, the fight moves forward quite quickly and effectively, with Zau employing masks to give him the ability to channel the energies of the sun and moon to suit his needs. There is a good amount of enemy variation, since new opponents are added gradually. The game stays away from a lot of retracing, which makes it easier for people who are unfamiliar with the Metroidvania subgenre to get started.

Room for Improvement

Tales of Kenzera: Zau might use some improvement in a couple areas, even though the gameplay is excellent overall. Even though the boss battles are graphically stunning, they are often simpler and lack the intricacy of other boss battles in the genre. There isn’t much of a talent tree; most essential skills are learned naturally as the story progresses. There are several optional difficulty areas, although they are not abundant. Lastly, a lack of in-depth collectible hunting may seem unusual for a Metroidvania to some.

A Beautiful Yet Poignant Experience

Tales of Kenzera: Zau is an unforgettable experience in spite of its flaws. It’s a worthy experience because of the lovely setting, heartwarming tale, and satisfying combat. Even if the level design and platforming fall short of their inspirations, they are nonetheless entertaining. Because of its moving examination of loss and sadness, Tales of Kenzera: Zau is ultimately a game that will stick with you long after the credits have rolled. Tales of Kenzera: Zau is a Metroidvania with a distinct cultural impact that is both artistically stunning and poignant, so it’s certainly worth checking out.

Final Verdict

A lovely Metroidvania with a lovely look, an endearing tale, and engaging combat is Tales of Kenzera: Zau. Even though the experience is quite brief and the level design and platforming aren’t particularly innovative, the game’s emotional core is what really sets it apart. Tales of Kenzera: Zau is a worthwhile trip if you’re searching for something different and emotional.

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The GoodThe Bad
Touching StoryStandard Metroidvania Gameplay
Vivid African InfluencesLimited Skill Tree
Approachable GameplayEasy Boss Battles
Beautiful WorldLight on Collectibles

FAQs

Tales of Kenzera: Zau is a side-scrolling action game heavily inspired by the Metroidvania genre. You’ll explore interconnected environments, gain new abilities, and battle various enemies.

The platforming and combat in Tales of Kenzera: Zau are designed to be approachable for newcomers to the Metroidvania genre. The boss battles are visually impressive but on the easier side.

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