Suda 51 is always producing some off-the-wall stuff, so when I got a chance to check out Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew there were sidescrolling elements and a bit of platforming, but I didn't expect to do it as a high school assassin who's latest target is her own father. Color me even more surprised to find that Bandai Namco is taking a chance on releasing this game later on this year, since it's four parts anime, one part video game. I didn't get to see a whole lot of the animation side of things, but what I saw of the gameplay gave me pause.
Players will control the titular Ranko Tsukigime as she hustles toward her target, outrunning the evil spirits that are constantly nipping at her heels. Speaking of which, that get-up doesn't seem too conducive for assassinating people, but it's Suda 51 and Katsuhiro Otomo (the creator of Akira), so I figure a lot of logic is out the window. Players will run, jump, float, and slash their way through myriad paths that make up each level. Finding the most efficient path may not always be the most high scoring, and kind of gave me the feeling of a little bit of Starfox 64, where numerous paths would open up if certain conditions were met. In this case, it's through the use of vehicles that kind of act like power-ups. Perhaps I didn't get a whole lot of the game. But during the levels I played, I felt like I was seeing all the game had to offer. I'm really hoping that when the game is finally released it turns out I'm wrong.
Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day is also all about its own visual flair, which, coming from the duo working on it, hardly seems surprising. This game is quite a visual spectacle as the screenshots will attest. Enemies are dispatched in a psychedelic explosion of color which will wipe out surrounding enemies if the colorful explosions manage to touch them, setting off chain reactions of death and color. The aesthetic matches the animation offerings that take place before the game according to the Short Peace time line, though it is still a weird transition to go from anime to game. Perhaps I'll be a little more receptive to it when the full game is launched later this year.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
In a past life I worked with Interplay, EA, Harmonix, Konami, and a number of other developers. Now I'm working for a record label, a small arm of casual games in a media company along with Gaming Nexus, and anywhere else that sees fit to employ me.