Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 08.07.2017

Review for Slime-san: Blackbird

DLC is a bit of a tricky beast for developers when it comes to producing affordable content that expands the base game with new material instead of just unlocking assets that were already present or were withheld for financial purposes. As season passes at launch have become increasingly more common and titles have begun being developed with a DLC period in mind, scepticism in regards to the legitimacy of additional content and expansion packs have only grown. Among those suspicions of foul play, however, exist developers who are doing everything they can to give DLC a good name, and Fabraz certainly succeeds with Blackbird's Kraken.

Slime-san thrived on being able to offer high skilled challenges without the risk of losing progress. Deaths were frequent, but they were quick and always followed by an immediate respawn at the beginning of the level. Blackbird's Kraken follows the same formula, but it ups the ante with a significantly harder beginning and more out of the way side objectives.

Bananas replace apples as collectables, the winter atmosphere is traded for a tropical summer, and the worm's intestines are forgotten in favour of a kraken's intestines. The mere concept of being trapped inside of a mythical kraken lends itself to a hostility that isn't present with a worm's innards. In changing the setting, it makes sense that the stages inside of the kraken would be harder than inside of the warm, regardless of the fact that the DLC is clearly meant to act as a sequel to the original. It's a level of thoughtfulness that gives consistency and plausibility to Slime-san's organic world.

While Blackbird's Kraken does offer a very in-depth tutorial, the sheer difficulty of the early stages can make the whole experience off putting for anyone jumping in without a Slime-san background. That said, the level design is just as tight and rewarding as the base game and still offers a fair challenge.

Screenshot for Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken on PC

The goal remains to get to the end of each level with bananas along the way as a bonus means of currency. With few exceptions, bananas are always placed in sections of the stage where trying to grab them would mean taking on additional risks such as triggering otherwise dormant enemies or simply spending more time in the stage to the point where the kraken's insta-kill stomach acid would make a guaranteed appearance.

Each level keeps the four screen structure that the original had, meaning there are roughly 100 stages to run through not including the bonus challenge stages and New Game+. Since the overall content is about equivalent to one world in Slime-san, each level has its own set theme and gimmick to keep the DLC fresh. It can be frustrating, in theory, to give up traditional platforming in favour of a set of slower paced levels but Fabraz had made sure to keep the controls and feel consistent across the board.

Even though the level design wouldn't be out of place in the base game, Blackbird's Kraken truly does feel like a justified addition and not a piece of Slime-san that was withheld for the sake of a later release. Fabraz has built a new hub with a new story and new levels that almost feel sequel-like at times. Of course, the low amount of content in comparison to the original ensures that isn't the case.

As a standalone title, Blackbird's Kraken is an energetic platformer that justified its price. As a follow-up to the original, it's a great continuation that refines older ideas while introducing new ones. Either way, more Slime-san is always a good thing.

Screenshot for Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

While the difficulty might put off newcomers who never played Slime-san, Fabraz has gone above and beyond to make Blackbird's Kraken one of the most accessible and polished pieces of DLC this year. Being free for owners of the original and available for purchase otherwise, Slime-san's kraken intestine adventure maintains a strong precedent for affordable, quality DLC not too dissimilar to Yacht Club Games' recent practices. With 25 brand-new stages, at least 100 unique platforming scenarios, and a host of unlockables to discover, Blackbird's Kraken is gushing with hours of new content.

Developer

Fabraz

Publisher

Headup

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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