Reviews: Akai Katana

Akai Katana for the X-box 360

Akai Katana is a 2-D side-scrolling shooting game for the X-box 360. It is very unique amongst Cave's vast library of games in the genre. For starters, it combines a typical Japanese setting with WW 2 technology. Its story is also reminiscent of tragic Japanese tales of old. It uses large amounts of highly-detailed 2-D graphics mixed with 3-D backgrounds and effects and has a great variety in colors, making it have some of the most visual information ever seen in any Cave game (and that is a very high standard).

In other ways, though, the game is quite typical of the genre as it is focused on beating the game with a high score while having as few deaths as possible. Thus, it offers little replay value to someone who only wants to finish the game once without enjoying all it has to offer.

  • Officially released in Europe and America for a good price, with the story translated in English
  • Local 2-player co-op
  • Slash mode is effectively a completely different game, making this actually two games in one.
  • The characters and their stories can be very different from typical anime-esque ones. This is made most evident by the playable character Shion, whose youth was magically drained from her.

  • The game systems, both Original/Climax and Slash, are the most complicated ones ever designed by Cave, possibly even more complicated than Espgaluda 2. Yet, mastery of the game system is required to get anywhere close to a 1-credit run.
  • The Novice difficulty is still incredibly difficult without good mastery of the game system. This stands in great contrast to the Novice difficulties of all other Cave games.
  • There are no subtitles for the voices, leaving much of the story a mystery for non-Japanese-speakers.