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Xbox 360 Game Review

Akai Katana


Format: Xbox 360
Rising Star Games
RRP: £29.99
5 060102 953227
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 11 May 2012

Unleash the power of the Blood Katana. The Empires war has ravaged the world and the people are suffering in its relentless pursuit of domination using the feared Blood Katanas. The sacrifices have been great, their deaths giving power to these blades. Do you have the strength to lead a small band of rebels to victory in the face of overwhelming odds...?

Akai Katana is a scrolling arcade shoot 'em up (shmup) that was originally released in the arcades in 2010, with a Japanese console version available in 2011. Rising Star Games have delivered a Western release that will be well received by shmup fans.

However, you'd better know what you're getting into before you shell out £30, as this won't be to everyones tastes. In fact, I can see a lot of people being incredibly disappointed if they're not familiar with this style of arcade shmup. But, for those in the the know, this is an essential purchase.

The aim of the game is to amass as many points as possible - which you do by destroying as many enemies as possible - and defeating the obligatory boss at the end of each level. For the novice this soon becomes a bit to much - with bullet hell unleashed on you as you try and dodge out of the way, or use your whit's to stay alive. But on a plus point you can continue the game if you use up your three lives and it simply continues where you left off. The bonus to this is that it's very easy to unlock Xbox achievements in the game.

On the presentation side I was surprised to see that the developers had adopted a retro feel for this game. It looks, sounds and feels very old school, but that's hardly a major complaint - and in fact helps it to generate a charm all of its own.

Shmup fans will be in bullet hell... er... heaven.


Nick Smithson

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