Excerpt: Some innovation comes from combination, “mashups” as they are fondly known in the Tech start-up world. In the gaming world, we see this with trends like Action/RPG games, where developers try to bring out the best in both genres.
Summary: I spent $80 on a double-pack of Cave’s Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets when I visited Tokyo last fall. Some people might think I’m crazy for paying that much on what could easily be a $5 downloadable game.
Excerpt: Publisher Rising Star Games debuts in North America with the side scrolling game Akai Katana , exclusively for the Xbox 360. Developed by CAVE Interactive has high challenge, online leaderboards, two player option, and non-stop, side scrolling action.
Pros: great level designs, colorfully sharp graphics help distinguish targets/enemies, high challenge level, online leaderboards, three game modes
Summary: European gamers take another trip to bullet hell thanks to Rising Star Games. Unlike most modern games, reading the manual for Akai Katana is essential. Not only is the games entire story contained within (threadbare even for a shoot ’em up), it is also vital for understanding the more complicated...
Excerpt: Why are fighter pilots battling bombers and flying supervillains in the skies over Japan? Who knows: we don't speak Japanese, and only Akai Katana ’s ending videos offer subtitles. But that doesn't diminish the excitement of dodging bullets in this wild side-scrolling shooter.
Pros: + Unusual resource-gathering mechanics add an absorbing layer of shape-changing strategy., + Completely insane local co-op sessions.
Cons: ? Why so few English subtitles to go with all the Japanese speech?
Excerpt: There are still plenty of fans out there who appreciate a good “shmup” — shoot ‘em up, for short — especially the “bullet hell” variety. These are shooters where ammunition comes flying at you from every single angle, and you need split-second timing or a hell of a lot of power-ups just to stay in...
Conclusion: There's no escaping the fact that Akai Katana is a Japanese shooter with wonderfully woven mechanics and an anime presentation. This drags the needle away from mass market and nestles it snugly against niche appeal, but if you've ever spent a few credits on Gradius, R-Type, Thunder Force, Ikaruga or...