Quick Look: Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day
10/04/2014 6 Comments
We recently managed to spend some time with Bandai Namco Games upcoming release of Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day and two of the animated shorts, but what exactly did we discover? Well lets find out.
As we already explained in our break-down this PS3 release of Short Peace is a combination of four animated shorts and a fast paced platform game developed by Crispy’s in conjunction with Goichi Suda (Suda 51), however what you may not know is that the game is considered the fifth part of the Short Peace collection and in turn offers a complete package to the user.
To make it slightly easier I’ve broken this preview down into two segments, the gameplay and the movies, this way you can view our opinions of each product separately.
Ranko Tsukigime is the main protagonist within the game segment of the Short Peace collection, hence the title Ranko Tsukigime Longest Day, whereby by day she is an average high-school girl, but by night she is a merciless killing machine. The reason Ranko kills is because she is attempting to track down and kill her farther, and as you’d expect this is the sole purpose of this game and it’s a storyline that is played out through various animated cut-scenes and fast-paced gameplay.
The rules of the game are relatively simple, reach the goal and defeat as many opponents as possible – with high scores awarded for the fastest time and most kills achieved. It’s not just the games rules that are simple either, as the controls are also simple, with analog/d-pad being used to move ranko while the X and Circle buttons are used to jump and attack. To add a bit of pressure to the player Ranko is always chased by a mysterious fog (that look like hands) whereby if it catches up to Ranko then its game over. In reality this is the only way to die within the game, but to aid players in this situation you can use the R1/L1 button to bide yourself some time, however this ability can only be used three times after which it’s game over and the level must be re-started.
Progressing through the game is done through stages and to tie these stages together are an extensive collection of animated cut-scenes. These cut-scenes vary not only in length but in animation and it seems that they are a nod to the animation style used in the animated shorts. For instance the opening animation is 3D CGI, such as that used in Farewell To Weapons, but animated cut-scenes later on use a comic-book/manga style design. To tie these animated scenes together is on-screen text, just like you’d expect to find in a visual novel game, but interestingly these were still videos and an “in-game” joke appeared even telling you that. I assume you can skip these cut-scenes, but seeing as it would spoil the overall experience I never bothered trying – however I will point out that all of these scenes were only available in Japanese with English subtitles, so those hoping for an English Dub of the game may be out of luck.
What’s interesting about the game is that there seems to be no health bars or weapon gauges, so as long as you do not get caught by the green fog you can continue playing. With rules like this you’d expect the game to get stale quite quickly, especially as it’s played at a fast pace, but amusingly that isn’t the case thanks to the inclusion of boss battles. We were only able to sample a single boss battle, which featured two enemies in a vertical motion, but it adds a different spin to the gameplay as opposed to just dashing from left to right (with the odd attack) you must now run upwards while avoiding the bosses and attacking them. What makes this particular boss battle difficult is that one wrong hit will send you off the platform and into certain death.
What I experienced of Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day is just what I expected it to be, a fast paced 2D Platformer mixed together with detailed animated cut-scenes and while it may seem like a fast experience their seems to be plenty of replay value to be had with multiple routes, power-ups and unlockable content, but as you’d expect that is being saved for the full release later this month.
The Animated Shorts:
During are preview of Short Peace we were treated to two of the animated shorts, Combustible and A Farewell to Weapons, both of which offered around 15 minutes of animated entertainment along with a varying difference in storytelling.
The first film that was demonstrated was Combustible, a unique 2D animated film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo which showcases the strong bond between two childhood friends Owaka, a merchant’s daughter, and Matsukichi. Both Owaka and Matsukichi have been friends for a long time, and eventually Owaka comes to love Matsukichi, however due to varying circumstances this relationship can never be and once Matsukichi discovers this fact she accidentally causes a fire which engulfs the entire village. My initial impression was that it was to be an emotional love-story between two people, whereby love can overcome all, but in reality it is more of a disaster story and a way of emphasizing the message that fire is dangerous, no matter how small it may seem.
The second film that was demonstrated was A Farewell to Weapons; a 3D CGI film directed Hajime Katoki and sees a five-person platoon enter Japan in search of weapons. The film has a “Freedoom” animation style to it, whereby it is a 3D CGI as opposed to 2D animation, but the story that portrayed was a good one. The general idea is that these people are looking for weapons to collect and return to base, however while out in Japan they discover a robotic tank (so to speak) that attempts to kill them. An epic battle ensues which sees the platoon pulling out all kinds of weapons and explosive devices in order to stop the robotic machine, but to no avail. It’s an action packed story that focues more on firepower and explosions than story-telling, but there is a story to be told and that is this robotic tank is here to rid weapons on earth, hence the title A Farewell to Weapons.
Both animated shorts clocked in at around 15 minutes a piece, each presented in Japanese with English Subtitles (so it’s safe to say that an English dub of the movies is out of the question), however what’s unique about both of these movies is that they attempt to cater for everyone. Combustible is a traditional animated piece with a unique twist on it, characters seems to fade across the screen as opposed to walking and it has a deep message to provide to its auidiences, meanwhile A Farewell to Weapons has the traditional CGI animation but focues more on action and explosions rather than evolving the storyline.
Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day attempts to offer much more than just a game, the animated shorts will appeal to the variety of anime fans while the fast-paced platforming action will appeal to the gamers out there but overall it’s a package that attempts to cater for everyone and if you give it a try you might just like it.
Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day will be available exclusively for the PS3 from the 18th April 2014.