Akai Katana review
Akai Katana for Xbox 360, is a nostalgia-tingling reminder of the side-scrolling shooter genre of games that proved so popular back in the 90’s. You won’t know what’s going on half the time, but who cares when you’re having this much fun. But, how long does the joy last, asks Stephen Ebert. Find out in our Akai Katana review.
Akai Katana is an all-action shooter in which you’re solely in charge of battling against a tyrannical empire. It’s your classic tale of goodie and baddie. Not that you’ll find yourself sympathising too much one way or another. When it comes down to it, all you want to do is blast enemies up.
And that’s where Akai Katana excels – throwing so many enemies at you. You literally won’t know what hit you. And then hit you some more. Tanks, enemy blimps, aircraft and sentry guns flood the screen to present an at times seemingly impenetrable forcefield of evil that must be shot down to smithereens to progress.
It’s difficult, very difficult to progress without dying a million times, but with unlimited continues and generous checkpoints, anyone can clear the game, making it a challenge, but one that’s approachable to the novice player, but deadly taxing for the high score junky.
Die three times and your score gets set back down to zero in a heart-breaking instant. Leaderboard fans will love the heart in mouth moments constantly present. Akai Katana gives players not time to rest. It’s all rather intimidating, but strangely enough, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Forget your dumbed down shooters, Akai Katana is old school, with difficulty to match.
It’s just as well that gameplay is a lot of fun, because there’s little in the way an engrossing story. Or at least, not one you’ll find yourself gripped to. Many won’t have a clue what’s going on.
The game’s mechanics could also be clearer – thankfully players can watch a tutorial explaining the basics, but unless you’re a player obsessed with leaderboards, it’s unlikely you’ll be revisiting Akai Katana too long after first inserting it into your Xbox 360 for the first time.
The bottom line
This is a game built for players dedicated enough to learn enemies every movements and weaknesses, with the aim of making it up the dizzying heights of the leaderboards. For other players, Akai Katana is just another side-scrolling shooter, albeit a thoroughly enjoyable, and challenging one that will remind many why they loved gaming in the first place. Still, Akai Katana is one to try, rather than one to buy.