Review: Akai Katana Shoots and Scores (Xbox 360)

No, it’s not a basketball game. Just another solid offering from Cave.


But we aren’t complaining, by any means.  Akai Katana provides a beautiful visual feast to stare at through its multiple levels, and the animation is razor sharp for hand-drawn stuff, especially the explosions.  The music is good too, backed by several shooter-inspired tunes.  We also like the fact that the original Japanese dialogue is included, rather than translated into bad English.  Whew.


There are slight flaws with Akai Katana’s formula.  There are only a few stages offered before you face the Emperor, and once you beat them, the only way to replay is by using different ships and power-ups.  Also, the game’s difficulty leans more towards “what the heck” level, so if you aren’t prone to “shmups” yet, this may not be the best way to start.


Still, for $40, Akai Katana provides more than enough visceral joys to give you your money’s worth.  Like most good Cave shooters, it has plenty to offer in replays, online leaderboard challenges and the sheer thrill of destroying armies with a mere spray of firepower.  Can’t go wrong with that, can we?