Good news for fans of Japanese-styled action side-scrolling titles, Akai Katana is finally here and it’s actually quite good. While it’s a given that these types of games are going to present gamers with a visual feast, they are usually a hit or miss when it comes to gameplay. Luckily, Akai Katana is a big hit in terms of its ability to cater to both casual level players as well as “bullet hell” experts.
Bright, colorful, constant stimulation, and an insane amount of on-screen activity; these are some of the trademarks of modern horizontal-styled games, and Akai Katana is certainly no expectation. This game is visually spectacular; in fact, many gamers might find themselves becoming addicted based solely on the visuals alone. This is a fast paced game featuring a ton of action, with exactly the kind of visuals you’d expect to accompany it. Visually, Akai Katana is simultaneously modern as well as old-school, perhaps not an interesting experience for everyone, but for those of us who enjoy lightning fast arcade style action, there is much here to excite and enjoy.
In terms of gameplay, Akai Katana offers a very silky and smooth experience. Along with the intense on-screen action, this game touts very “even” feeling controls. Unlike some other similar titles, Akai Katana seeks to present gamers with a relatively short, but awesome, campaign; translation – great care has been put into this title to ensure that it maintains a higher level of re-playability than some of its contemporaries. Likewise, despite the fierce on-screen action that’s nearly always occurring, the player view is never completely obscured. Akai Katana is not necessarily the easiest game to master, nor is it the most difficult. Casual gamers might feel that the difficulty is somewhat imbalanced, while the more experienced side-scrolling expert might feel right at home. Regardless of your previous experience and abilities, Akai Katana is fun on a number of different levels simultaneously.
Despite some qualms about the game’s length, difficulty, and/or lack of any kind of stage select option, Akai Katana is a truly wonderful game for its genre. Anyone who might be looking to purchase a game like this is likely already a big fan of the horizontal / vertical / side-scrolling niche of gaming, so you already know what to expect, right? In all honesty, Akai Katana delivers on almost every single front for a game of its genre. It’s visually up to par, the controls are wonderfully balanced, and it definitely offers up a challenge to intrepid gamers. The scoring mechanics of Akai Katana add greatly to its replay value, as does online functionalities. Story-wise, this title doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it could be said that these kinds of games rarely do. At any rate, it’s highly speculative that gamers are playing games like Akai Katana for their stories; the baseline appeal of these types of titles springs from their on screen visuals and action. Definitely worth picking up if you’re into these kinds of games, and honestly, it’s probably one of the better ones to have been released (in recent years).