Tag Archives: Playstation Vita

REVIEW: GERONEKO

We’ve all heard our share of apocalyptic and End of the World tales, the cool and the serious, the strange and the strange-yet-could-be-true, but GERONEKO ($1.00) features one of the most bizarre world-ending storylines I’ve yet come across. When the Earth is suddenly destroyed in some kind of cataclysmic event1, a cat riding a ‘Super Space Vacuum Cleaner’ comes along, needing to shave the fur off a whole bunch of space animals. You can then use that hair to build a new planet, and start life as we know it over again.2

So, okay, that’s that. GERONEKO started out life as a Japanese Game Jam title, made the move to PSM (PlayStation Mobile? Remember those games? RIP.), and now finds itself on XBLIG. Because why not. It plays loosely as a ‘shooter’, although there are no guns or bullets here, just a single-screen black hole slowly pulling you and said space animals slowly towards the center to meet your certain doom, no doubt. You ‘shave’ these critters by passing over them, and it’s game over if any of them are sucked into the black hole before they’ve been shaved. Bizarre, but simple enough.

The game’s ‘Original’ setting is bare-bones and almost pointless; it asks you to shave as many animals as you can before your fuel runs out, then just ends without tallying your score or offering up anything else. ‘Arranged’ mode is a little meatier. Here, your ship can be refueled (using floating tuna cans, natch) to give you additional time, and you’ll have to avoid flying dumbbells3 during your space barber shop duties. You must reach a handful of score plateaus, with the action picking up at each turn.

GERONEKO - Screen

Apt description; checks out.

Things can get a tad hairy4, but minus the J-Rock track that kicks in after you’ve scored a certain amount in ‘Arranged’ mode, the gameplay doesn’t evolve much beyond that. More animals to shave, more dumbbells to avoid, more fuel to collect. If you’re good enough, you can unlock a bonus game afterwards to pad your score, pitting you against a ‘space ninja’ that hurls yet even more dumbbells at you. The future is bleak, my friends. And loaded with dumbbells.

And so it goes. GERONEKO sure has a unique premise, but very little else going for it gameplay-wise. It’s just too basic, and while it might hold your interest for a minute or maybe two, it’s more likely going to join a short list of XBLIGs where you literally stand up after and ask ‘What the hell did I just play?’


  1. According to the story, God said ‘Enough,’ and it includes the lines, in order, ‘All of life to live in the earth despair / Who has abandoned the faith, / In addition, a person was vomiting.’ I realize this is probably a Google Translate gone awry (we’ve all been there), but it’s still pretty funny to read, so far as apocalyptic Earth stories go. 
  2. No, you’re not high and I’m not either (I think), that’s the premise. I warned you it was bizarre. 
  3. A space cat’s #1 sworn enemy, apparently. I mean, they are heavy bastards, and it would probably hurt pretty bad to be nailed by one in orbit around a black hole, so it makes a kind of sense. 
  4. Pun very much intended. 
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REVIEW: Aqua Kitty

Few things elicit seventy million audible ‘Awww’s as much as kitten videos on the internet (you know you want it). Therefore, the premise of a group of cats so hard-up for milk that they resort to deep-sea milk drilling (yes, it’s a thing) in a desperate attempt to satisfy their thirst ranks somewhere between ‘Awww’ and ‘Where the hell did these cats gain the know-how and opposable thumbs to do so?’. Such is the idea behind Aqua Kitty (240 MSP), a previously Playstation Vita-only indie shooter that’s now scratched and pawed its way to the XBLIG channel.

#Xbone joke, check!

Piloting a submarine, and tasked with protecting the milk miners during their massive milk extraction, you’ll battle through waves of enemies in each level, stamping out multiple foot soldiers and would-be kidnappers (the red dots on your minimap). With separate hub continents amounting to new ‘worlds’, bringing with them tougher enemies and / or more waves, there’s no shortage of stages and variety.

It plays roughly the same regardless of ‘world’, each level just one big circle of hazards and foes, with a varying number of miners to watch over. Completion only requires one cat be left alive, though ultimately your score relies on you saving them all and keeping your combo meter high. In addition to your regular gun, a limited secondary shot fires a stronger and more concentrated blast, which clears out mobs quickly. Your overall power level is increased with each new ‘world’ hub unlocked, though judicious use of that secondary fire (it regenerates when not in use) is a surefire way to win.

Powerups prove essential in that victory as well, which include screen-decimating bombs and co-kitty pilots laying down suppressing fire for a limited time. Health is at a premium in Aqua Kitty, just nine lives three hearts per level, with occasional heart pickups dropped, provided you shoot them at the right moment; depending on the depth you open them, you can in essence ‘choose’ your powerup. Still, there’s little time or room for error, as each wave brings with it a renewed sense of urgency.

Aqua Kitty - Screen

Co-op makes all the difference in later rounds.

And you’ll have to be quick in your assessments, eyes darting from the minimap to the action and back several times, taking care not to be vaporized in the interim. It’s a challenge that legitimately feels rewarding when you have a perfect run, though casual players take note— the difficulty increases significantly in the second half of the game, more or less urging you to seek out a second set of eyes and hands. The local co-op, added for the Xbox port, could be the solution here, as playing solo on the later levels was a one-way ticket to frustration, in my experience.

That’s not much of a warning to those that appreciate a stiff fight, though, making Aqua Kitty a more than suitable shooter for those with a ‘cat / underwater / cats underwater’ fetish. There are no online leaderboards, sadly, and the price might tilt higher than the usual XBLIG release, but if you missed out previously on the Vita version or just love fine feline pixel art, the game transfers excellently.

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Review on Indie Gamer Chick