Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. May 17, 2012
    The shooting is so tight and the stages so well designed that it reminds you that sometimes you don't need a revolution in game design to have a great time.
  2. May 17, 2012
    For fans of the genre and developer, Akai Katana is going to be one of the best times you'll have with a game this year. For everyone else, you may just find yourself ascending to bullet hell heaven if you dedicate some time to learning the game's obscure but absolutely thrilling mechanics.
  3. May 21, 2012
    Cave has crafted another piece of software especially indicated for the 2D shooter devotees. And it´s a good one indeed, with frenetic action and high detailed visuals.
  4. 80
    It all feels rather complicated at first, but you'll quickly settle into a satisfying groove.
  5. May 10, 2012
    Another inspired descent into bullet hell from the masters at Cave, and one that has both an unusual amount of tactical depth and yet remains surprisingly accessible.
  6. May 26, 2012
    Akai Katana Shin is another good shoot'em up. Great challenge, full of modes -cooperative included - and ideal for leaderboards lovers, has good gameplay but not better than other options in the genre.
  7. Jun 8, 2012
    It's not CAVE's best effort, but does further showcase their ability to nail a niche genre with near pixel-perfect accuracy, ensuring that those who grew up with similar titles aren't left with only nostalgia and a trusty Megadrive in storage for when the time calls to dust it off and bang in an indestructible copy of Thunderforce IV.
  8. May 21, 2012
    Fans of bullet hell games are going to enjoy the gameplay mechanics of Akai Katana. It's a great solid shoot-em-up that once you master its in-depth mechanics you'll become captivated by its addictive gameplay. It doesn't do anything to push the genre, but then that was never its intended aim. It also won't do anything for people who don't like these games, but for people who love putting their sharp dodging and shooting skills to the test then Akai Katana will be a welcoming pleasure for you as Cave once again shows why they are the rulers of the genre.
  9. May 15, 2012
    A great choice for both longtime pros and those just getting their feet wet. Just don't let its daunting persona keep you away-while Akai Katana is certainly another case of sink-or-swim, it's quite a lot of fun once you're no longer thrashing about wildly from fear of drowning.
  10. 80
    A lot of bullet-hell fans have declared Akai Katana the best there is when it comes to the gameplay mechanics and especially love the slash-mode. I think I understand them, even though I'm not so sure I understand everything that's going on in this game. In slash, Akai may well be the most complex Shoot 'em Up there is.
  11. May 16, 2012
    This is more of a game for hardcore fans I will suggest, and those fans will love this. However casual gamers should not hold back and give this a try, there is a highly addictive nature to it that most will like.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. May 15, 2012
    "Akai Katana Shin" is a horizontal scrolling shooter, released in arcades in 2010 by one of the best Arcade shooters manufactures, CAVE and"Akai Katana Shin" is a horizontal scrolling shooter, released in arcades in 2010 by one of the best Arcade shooters manufactures, CAVE and the console version for the Xbox360 have extras over the Arcade version. The game has redone graphics, a new stage and changes in gameplay, plus a 9X16 mode so that redesigned enemies and bullet patterns fit better on widescreen display.The game story is set in a fictional era, similar to Japanese Industrial Revolution (1870), in which we see a evil Emperor Basho use a new power source discovered, called Guiding Ore to develop a powerful Guiding Katana and take control of other nations. The player assumes the role of a small group of rebels who rose up against him and try to overthrow the Empire.The graphics show a Old-Style visual, with purposeful pixels, as we see in many CAVE games: yet they have a detailed and a very good use of colors and effects. The vehicles have varied designs, and enemies attacks in squadron waves on the screen, whereas the sub-bosses and bosses appear alone: every machine in the game have a look reminiscent of WWII war machines.When you destroy an enemy, he falls apart and the pieces, and even enemies falling on the screen, being the most impressive the effects of multiple shots, both yours and the enemies ones, which has a pattern of bright colors, almost hypnotic.The bosses are always characters in human shape, with a sphere of energy and shooting special attacks, and somewhere in the fight, they summon a portal through a war machine appears for help them, being a a warship, tank or other variations theme. The game have also other small nice graphic details, as when the bosses dies, there are a very cool explosion effect, and in the Pause screen or menus we have cherry blossoms, which fall on the screen, carried by the wind, made for high resolution.The stages take place in various scenarios of Japan, among cities, mountains full of forests, snow-capped mountains and oceans, always presenting the classic elements of Japanese culture and background elements that give the air of late nineteenth century.Among the stages we have small-Still Motions with hand drawings of the characters, telling what is happening in the story. The game music fits fully into the gameplay, being a mixture of Jap Pop and J-Rock , discreet but well bound and consistent with the action, in addition also the game have cut-scenes snippets of Japanese music of the samurai era (which extended into the industrial revolution, in the end), with period classic musical instruments. The background sounds are excellent, and we hear constant-firing and explosion multiple perfectly adjusted the action, and the final explosion of Bosses, great both in the graphical look and sound.The gameplay is of a side-scroller Arcade shooter, with some differences: there are 3 types of characters, each with one type of aircraft to use, ranging from Model A to C, each with a standard type of shots (concentrated, dispersed, etc.), and around your ship, there is a Drone, which is a small piece of red energy which helps shooting and capturing the enemies orbs.In the Ninja mode, you press X, and your aircraft becomes a character with a ball of energy around and a gun that has firepower ultra- concentrated, but of limited scope.With B releases the shot in focus, which damages all enemies on the screen and transforms your shot at scoring items.When you're not shooting, it can be handled by moving your ship around you, in the position you think is best for the shots, and when you press the fire button it get fixed in position. The orbs of energy obtained destroying enemies, and that are captured are either green globes with an E inside (the so-called energy globes, that fill the ninja power bar), or golden with G in (Gold globes, ie points).At the top of the screen is on the left, a red bar, which is divided into sessions, which are your live, and that will be gradually down, as you are hit. In the right side of this bar is filled with a reverse flow, of ninja power, which allows you to become instead of the ship a the character, with a concentrated form of shots. This bar will be emptied slowly as the power is used: bellow this bar we see many bombs you have.Each attack type has its special advantage: while the ninja shooting ninja is concentrated and eliminates enormous amounts of enemies (releasing Gold orbs), concentrating the firepower to stronger enemies, he does not destroy the shots of them, that can kill you. In other way the bomb explosion causes the destroying both enemies (releasing Ninja Power Orbs) and their shots on the screen, allowing in the meantime to you attack the special enemy(s) in question - very useful to evade the almost impossible boss shooting and screens full of enemies.This game is a very nice, but dated shooter, but recommended only to the fans of the style: it have nice graphics designs and a quick, enjoyable gameplay. Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2012
    Akai Katana really reinvigorated my interest in the shoot em up genre. Like most shmup games, it's pretty short. It clocks in at about anAkai Katana really reinvigorated my interest in the shoot em up genre. Like most shmup games, it's pretty short. It clocks in at about an hour (depending on skill). However, this game has lots of reasons to go back to try to get a higher score, different modes and characters and pretty challenging achievements. The game's pretty simple. A button to shoot, a bomb button, a character switch button and of course the analog stick to move. But this is pretty challenging. I'm not a noob or a pro with this genre but I died like 50 times at the end of my first playthrough. Overall, I loved my time. It was short but well worth it for the experience. Full Review »
  3. Aug 4, 2013
    I've always admired Cave shooters. They practically invented the "bullet hell" variety of shoot-em-ups, where you're dodging literally hundredI've always admired Cave shooters. They practically invented the "bullet hell" variety of shoot-em-ups, where you're dodging literally hundred or thousands of bullets. This game is no different. 3 different planes to choose from, beautiful 2D visuals, and intense shooting gameplay with challenging bosses await those who play this game. A few innovative features like a Phantom (which is used for defense and attack) collecting numerous score items (a staple in Cave shooters) add a little variety to the fold. However, like most shoot-em-ups the game goes by pretty quickly, and it's not for the weak-willed. As mentioned you'll be dodging literally thousands of bullets and projectiles at times, leaving little margin for error. If you like shoot-em-ups, definitely give this game a go. If you don't like these kind of games, this won't change your mind on them. Full Review »