Kawaii Deathu Desu – Review

Thou shalt not worship false idols. Worshipping these idols will kill you. Kawaii Deathu Desu is a simple two button beat ’em up. Developed by Pippin Games and published by Top Hat Studios.

Story

Death is sick of being seen as a grim figure, rather than the cute girl she is on the inside, she is also familair with being worshipped as an idol, so she decides why not just become an idol, she takes to the stage and gains immediate popularity, but the fans are overzealous and run up on stage to get to her. Death’s manager shouts from the side of the stage. “You’re killing it Death-chan!”. With her unfamiliarity with the Idol world, Death misunderstands and well… old habits die hard, so she proceeds to cut down every approaching fan with reckless abandon. All set to her brand of cutesy pop music.

There actually isn’t really a story in Kawaii Deathu Desu per se. Everything above was just what I believe happened via context clues. Really the game opens with KDD on stage in Japan and then you tour around the world killing all your obsessive fans.

Gameplay

Kawaii Deathu Desu, is a simple game. You select your character (just KDD to begin with), head to a stage (Japan to begin with), and perform. Performances are comprised of your character standing on stage while various fans run at you. To defend yourself from the fans you can attack either left or right, that’s about it. Kawaii Deathu Desu uses a two button system. Left shoulder button or left arrow to attack left, right shoulder button or right arrow to attack right. Simple. The objective is to survive to the end of the song, fans touching you will damage you. As long as you can avoid that from happening you win.

Attacks also move your character to the left or right, this can be used to outrun the fans until you have cleared one side enough to turn around. You also have an energy or magic meter that rises, once full you can launch a character specific special attack. For instance KDD summons a larger floating scythe which increases your range dramatically until the bar drains.

Winning the battle, or surviving the song, will provide you with souls. Souls have various uses, from levelling a character, which increases their stats, to unlocking new characters and new outfits (which are just cosmetic changes). Unlocks and upgrades are quite expensive so you’ll need to grind the levels a lot to unlock everything.

Stages

There are 9 stages over all, each level is split into three modes. Normal, Hard and Insane. Normal mode is the standard and will need to be completed multiple times to unlock the other modes and next stage. Hard is a ranked mode so you can gain a ranking. Insane is an Endless mode and gives you an overall score. Other than the ranking and score, there are no differences between the modes, or stages. Fans get more health and become more frequent, but the gameplay does not change. Nor do the rewards, completing or failing any mode will award you souls to use, the amount changes, but you’ll be best off grinding normal mode at first and then hard mode when you can.

Graphics

Kawaii Deathu Desu, uses a 2D pixel art style. Characters you play as are designed well and animated well, each character looks different and has their own attack style and animations. KDD is a cute girl, but when she attacks a scythe appears and her head becomes a skull with blue fire. Emmy is more of a tomboy and as a Zombie when she attacks via punches and kicks she turns green. Suu is a succubus and a different kind of cute girl, who attacks with her claws and has a ranged kiss attack, etc. There are a number of different characters, and it feels like a lot of effort has been put into them.

The fans however, seem to just come in three main styles, Girl, Guy and Fat Guy. The fans will have different colors and outfits between stages especially when the world stage is changed such as Japan to China. But they all are essentially the same, typically the Fat Guys will have more health and randomly the Guy or Girl will run faster, but not always. I would love to see some bosses in the game, like an evil manager or shadowy studio exec.

The backgrounds of the stages have some detail to them, and little things like stage lighting. They are merely cosmetic though, none of them actually change the way the level works. There are no bonuses for standing in a particular location or hazards to avoid.

Sound

As the game is essentially a series of Idol performances, each level has a song, again the songs are fun but have no impact on the level. Fans come at random no matter the song playing, slower tempo or faster doesn’t impact this. Unfortunately you won’t even hear the background music for the most part as your character will yell over the top of it while attacking. The fans seem to make generic crowd noises only.

Conclusion

Kawaii Deathu Desu is a simple and fun game, in short bursts. Levels don’t really require skill to win, just press the buttons fast enough usually does the trick. There is a real lack of variety, with all levels and fans feeling exactly the same, paired with the simplistic controls. Unlocks and upgrades are fairly expensive so it will take a lot of grinding between them. It feels like missed opportunities to set the game around Idol performances and not only have the songs make no impact but even drown them out.

Now this all might seem like a lot of negatives, but it is an enjoyable game. The developers are focused on adding free updates and are interested in community feedback. So the potential that exists in the game may still be fully realised.

Rating: 6/10 – A fun concept, but ultimately lacks variety.

Title: Kawaii Deathu Desu
Genre: Beat ’em up, Button Masher
Developer:  Pippin Games
Publisher: Top Hat Studios Inc.
Release Date: 30 Aug 2019

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