Friday 23 December 2022

Jitsu Squad Review (Switch)

 Jitsu Squad continues the recent revival of the scrolling beat’em up on Switch with frenetic and colourful approach to walking right and smacking people. The plot is as simple as always with these games with the four heroes having to stop a demon from getting hold of a magical stone which will of course grant it god like power.

The game has a Saturday morning cartoon look about it with bright colours and character designs that wouldn’t out of place in the brash world of the nineties. If you didn’t know better you could certainly see this being a spinoff from one of the many TV shows of the time, most of which spawned their own scrolling beat’em ups.

There aren’t a huge number of levels but each is distinctive from the last and they have their own sets of enemies to pummel with suitably large bosses at the end. And the amount of enemies is really something with the screen almost completely filling at times. It does get chaotic, especially in multiplayer, and we’ve seen reports of performance problems on Switch but we didn’t come across too many instances that let the game down.

With all these enemies to hit, it’s a good thing you have a decent array of moves to do it with. Much of the time you’ll be bashing away at the attack button but you gain new moves as you progress by collecting scrolls and there is also a throw and block button. Blocking can also lead to counter attacks with almost all enemy moves reversible. When things get really crowded you’ve also got the special move button which is effectively a smart bomb of sorts. Each of the four characters also has their own style and move set ranging from the standard tropes of quick ninja to strong tank.

Overall, Jitsu Squad is a fun addition to the ranks of the scrolling beat’em up. Very few games in the genre such a wide-ranging move set and the diversity in the characters is also fun. It is a very short game though and there’s little to do once you’ve been through it a couple of times. While many will be drawn to the Turtles and Streets of Rages of this world this is certainly well worth checking out and fans of the genre will likely have a blast with it.

Overall 7/10

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