User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 134

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  1. May 18, 2019
    7
    "Katana Zero" is essentially a side scrolling version of "Hotline Miami" but with a flavor of 90s anime and samurai action. You play as an assasin, with halucinations and a questionable grasp on reality. Sound familiar? Also you take orders from a shadowy organisation and between these hits you do menial tasks like drink herbal tea at home or go to the video store to rent movies. Yes this"Katana Zero" is essentially a side scrolling version of "Hotline Miami" but with a flavor of 90s anime and samurai action. You play as an assasin, with halucinations and a questionable grasp on reality. Sound familiar? Also you take orders from a shadowy organisation and between these hits you do menial tasks like drink herbal tea at home or go to the video store to rent movies. Yes this description fits both of these games perfectly. In broad strokes they are the same game. "Katana Zero" does however have a certain character of its own and not only in change of gameplay perspective. The story is original and interesting. There are even parts with unexpected emotional gravity. You care for some of the characters, or at least one of them and after a few hours of playing the game, you are probably invested in the plot.

    The graphics and controls are good and the action is fast and satisfying even if it comes in a bit too short bursts early on in the game. This does however get better once you get past the slightly too easy first half of the game.

    Not a masterpiece in any way but most certainly worth checking out if you like samurai assassins, VHS-nostalgia and fast paced one hit kill action in a gritty neo-noir world. Just don't forget to wear your bathrobe while playing.
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  2. May 3, 2019
    9
    This is a bite size masterpiece! Story, narrative, presentation, and gameplay, are all amazing. The only 2 things that are questionable and a matter of taste are: 1 It's length and 2 the fact that it is not a AAA photorealistic game. Other than that if you don't mind quality over quantity and can appreciate a more retro inspired presentation this is a game that you should try.
  3. May 7, 2019
    10
    Great art, great mood, awesome soundtrack, great story, and awesome gameplay. This is the first game in a while that I actually had fun playing. It's really well made and very fun to play.
  4. May 7, 2019
    10
    Honestly it's probably a 9.5 or something but it's a really great game despite me personally being burned out on pixel throwbacks. Action feels perfect. Story is interesting. Dialog options effecting actual gameplay is cool. Watch a playthru of the first couple levels and you'll prob love it.
  5. Apr 23, 2019
    10
    Katana Zero is a masterpiece. The story is really engaging, mixing Russian mafia, government conspiracies, Samurais, and a Vietnam-ish backstory. The dialogue is amazing and interactive, so it offers some replayability to experiment with different dialogue options.
    The soundtrack is one of my favorite things from this game, it's just as good and fitting as Hotline Miami's OST. Synthwave
    Katana Zero is a masterpiece. The story is really engaging, mixing Russian mafia, government conspiracies, Samurais, and a Vietnam-ish backstory. The dialogue is amazing and interactive, so it offers some replayability to experiment with different dialogue options.
    The soundtrack is one of my favorite things from this game, it's just as good and fitting as Hotline Miami's OST. Synthwave and Techno are used for the action parts of the game, and some kind of blues with Japanese vibes is used for calmer parts or dialogue.
    Gameplay-wise the game offers just the right amount of elements and skills to master, the game is never easy, but neither is it ever frustratingly hard. There's a specific skill that makes some parts of the game easier by slowing time down, but you can use it only for a couple of seconds before it needs a cooldown.
    The art style is a mixture of Hotline Miami (neon-noir), the messenger (japanese) and Mother Russia Bleeds (russian mafia, drugs and secret laboratories)
    The game itself is not very long, and ends with a huge cliffhanger, but it manages to stay original and without ever being repetitive through the whole game, which is something really hard to find nowadays.
    Definitely one of my favorite games of this year. I know I'll be replaying it over the next years and can't wait for a sequel or DLC.
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  6. Apr 22, 2019
    10
    I'm absolutely in love with Katana Zero, it cured an itch I've had for games since Hotline Miami and it stuck itself up there with my favorite games I've ever played. it's really fun and everything about it is really top notch, and it's a quick play through. Absolutely worth 15 dollars, the love and care that went into this game shines through every pixel and every sound effect.
  7. Apr 25, 2019
    10
    This has become one of my favorite games to play on the Switch. The game play is fast and fluid. You can deflect bullets with your sword, throw objects, maneuver like a ninja and much more. The trial and error in this game is incredible and finding new ways to wipe out enemies without a scratch keeps me on my toes. I love these graphics too. takes me back to the good old days and the musicThis has become one of my favorite games to play on the Switch. The game play is fast and fluid. You can deflect bullets with your sword, throw objects, maneuver like a ninja and much more. The trial and error in this game is incredible and finding new ways to wipe out enemies without a scratch keeps me on my toes. I love these graphics too. takes me back to the good old days and the music is outstanding. Story wise, this one is a mind bender and short, but enjoyable. Expand
  8. Apr 24, 2019
    9
    Gorgeous graphics, amazing sound track and very cool story. The level of polish on this game is incredible. Bigger (and smaller) studios should take note. That's the quality expected when shipping a game.
  9. Nov 1, 2019
    10
    What is this? I don't know! I came in unsuspecting, expecting a sidescroller, but I got so much more. It's Hotline Miami. It's Gunpoint. It's Leon the Professional. I don't know, but I like it A LOT.
  10. Apr 18, 2019
    10
    Katana Zero has been absolutely incredible. The story is very intriguing, and does not leave you a moment of respite, making you want to continue and keep playing. An Indie masterpiece.
  11. Apr 19, 2019
    9
    Really solid game. Quick and engaging gameplay, but more importantly it has a very interesting narrative. There's a (sorta) half ending and a regular ending. I don't know if there's any other special options to it, but it ends in a way that sets up later updates or DLC, or perhaps even a sequel... or both/all. There's also some unlockables, and in the process of looking those up, learnedReally solid game. Quick and engaging gameplay, but more importantly it has a very interesting narrative. There's a (sorta) half ending and a regular ending. I don't know if there's any other special options to it, but it ends in a way that sets up later updates or DLC, or perhaps even a sequel... or both/all. There's also some unlockables, and in the process of looking those up, learned of some level designs that had me facepalming at the amount of effort I'd put into them (versus what could have also worked).

    It also has a pretty solid soundtrack.
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  12. Apr 18, 2019
    10
    Sekiro meets Hot Line Miami. Although the game's systems revolve around the one-shot-one-kill mechanic, there is plenty of variety in the action and combat. The levels are absolutely thrilling, the story is great, and you can adjust all the games settings to your liking. Highly recommended.
  13. Apr 19, 2019
    10
    "The game, is fun. If it isn't fun, why bother?"- Ancient Japanese proverb

    This game gives some of the absolute best fast paced Hotline Miami style killing puzzle gameplay while also knocking it out of the park in the story department. Whereas Hotline had more of a satirical relationship between the two, Katana Zero gives you a much more detailed and immediately compelling tale to take
    "The game, is fun. If it isn't fun, why bother?"- Ancient Japanese proverb

    This game gives some of the absolute best fast paced Hotline Miami style killing puzzle gameplay while also knocking it out of the park in the story department. Whereas Hotline had more of a satirical relationship between the two, Katana Zero gives you a much more detailed and immediately compelling tale to take you between levels. The game feels perfectly balanced and levels that you might blaze through in one playthrough may offer a ton of options you missed out on in a subsequent one. Graphically the game is gorgeous as well and has some fantastic world and character designs with some really fun to look at sprites and animations. An absolute gem and a ton of fun to play in handheld mode.
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  14. Apr 19, 2019
    9
    작년 셀레스트같이 몰입감 쩔고, 케릭터 움직임 좋고, 인물들 개성 좋고, 비쥬얼 좋고, 자유도 충만한 인디 괴수작
  15. Apr 19, 2019
    9
    KATANA ZERO has lots of passion put into it. From the art direction and music, to the gameplay, story and dialogue.
    It's a short but sweet experience with replay value.
    This is a great introduction to a neo noir post war world, so the story isn't yet finished. There's plenty more to explore and expand upon in an inevitable sequel since the most important plot points don't get resolved.
    KATANA ZERO has lots of passion put into it. From the art direction and music, to the gameplay, story and dialogue.
    It's a short but sweet experience with replay value.
    This is a great introduction to a neo noir post war world, so the story isn't yet finished. There's plenty more to explore and expand upon in an inevitable sequel since the most important plot points don't get resolved.
    There's also more content coming for this game as we discover at the end of the first run, so maybe the story will continue then.
    I'm thankful creators still have a passion for pixel art, cool combat mechanics and good story telling.
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  16. Sep 23, 2019
    8
    The game would have been a 10, if the story was long. I wish they introduce an update for story.
    The game is so amazing, action-packed. The story makes you feel like you are into the game.
    Worth the buy would recommend you buy during the sale.
  17. Sep 2, 2019
    8
    Brilliant little game, not too short but not very long either. You will die quickly but its fast paced and addictive. The simple combat mechanics are enough to keep you hooked throughout the entire game. The art and animations are awesome, the story goes a little bit too mental for my taste but its part of its charm. Well worth the money!
  18. Dec 6, 2019
    8
    This a great but short game so it might be best to wait for a sale if you equate money spent to time played. I beat the game in under 4 hours.
    I found the story engaging and the pixel animation great.
    The gameplay is on point.
  19. Jun 26, 2019
    10
    Katana Zero is a brilliant game. The game never feels like it’s running out of ideas and keeps you entertained with its stunning visuals, immersive story, and BREATHTAKING soundtrack.
  20. May 30, 2019
    8
    Katana Zero brings quality over quantity as a time slowing platformer/tactical game. It also mixes in a psychedelic story.

    Game(s) like: Mark of the Ninja Pros: - Gameplay was super fun being able to slow down time. Any time manipulation and I am pretty much liking the game. - Though I couldn't always follow the story I like the Metal Gearish type story Cons: - Save points
    Katana Zero brings quality over quantity as a time slowing platformer/tactical game. It also mixes in a psychedelic story.

    Game(s) like: Mark of the Ninja

    Pros:
    - Gameplay was super fun being able to slow down time. Any time manipulation and I am pretty much liking the game.
    - Though I couldn't always follow the story I like the Metal Gearish type story

    Cons:
    - Save points were bad. My son switched to another game and I had to pretty much play over a level. This happened a couple times.
    - Couldn't skip dialog even if I'd seen it
    - I usually prefer quality over quantity but the gameplay was so good this game should of been longer
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  21. Jul 5, 2019
    9
    Katana Zero is, simply put, a phenomenal video game that has everything in a bite sized package: beautiful and fluid pixel art, a bangin' soundtrack, fast paced and breakneck gameplay, a wild story and intriguing characters. Seriously, what Katana Zero manages to do in its relatively short length is not only very impressive, but does it better than other bigger titles. If I had to giveKatana Zero is, simply put, a phenomenal video game that has everything in a bite sized package: beautiful and fluid pixel art, a bangin' soundtrack, fast paced and breakneck gameplay, a wild story and intriguing characters. Seriously, what Katana Zero manages to do in its relatively short length is not only very impressive, but does it better than other bigger titles. If I had to give the game criticism, then I suppose the length is a little short and there isn't much in replay value; however, you may miss a few things during your first playthrough.

    Katana Zero is a brilliant game that I simply can't recommend enough, and I urge everyone to definitely pick this one up.
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  22. May 17, 2019
    10
    This game in incredible!!! The cool factor in everything of this game is beyond belief, and then it can go cozy and I actually cared for the characters, I would've loved to see the character progress more, with news weapons during the playthrough and some leveling. But. I normally hate games where you continously die, and hate pixel design games. But this was gorgeous, ultra cool and theThis game in incredible!!! The cool factor in everything of this game is beyond belief, and then it can go cozy and I actually cared for the characters, I would've loved to see the character progress more, with news weapons during the playthrough and some leveling. But. I normally hate games where you continously die, and hate pixel design games. But this was gorgeous, ultra cool and the fighting felt more like a puzzle than anything else. Every room was a puzzle. This game is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Buy it. Expand
  23. Jun 21, 2019
    9
    Halfway through, I wanted to give Katana Zero a score of 10/10. The gameplay is fluid and responsive, the presentation is great, the characters are well-developed, and the overall atmosphere is extremely well-done. It’s easy to get lost in the game world and immersed into your role as the Dragon, especially as things get darker and your dialogue choices become more tortured and emotional.Halfway through, I wanted to give Katana Zero a score of 10/10. The gameplay is fluid and responsive, the presentation is great, the characters are well-developed, and the overall atmosphere is extremely well-done. It’s easy to get lost in the game world and immersed into your role as the Dragon, especially as things get darker and your dialogue choices become more tortured and emotional. Unfortunately, the confusing nature of the story (and the cliffhanger-ish ending, about which I won’t say another word) drags things down just a bit. I’m still getting all the DLC that comes out for this game, as I need to know how this story ends.

    Bottom line: this is one of the best games on the Switch and an absolute Indie Game of the Year candidate. Don’t hesitate to pull the trigger (or draw the sword) and download Katana Zero.

    For more indie game reviews google Switch Indie Fix.
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  24. Jul 16, 2019
    9
    Katana Zero does everything right. It has a brilliant story that blends a liberal dose of Tarantino with a touch of Cronenberg; it has crisp 16-bits graphics that's a plesure to look at; and above all, it has great action, which is the reason why you want to play it.

    The formula of Katana Zero is deceptively simple. Each mission screen is extremely short–possibly a few seconds, or a
    Katana Zero does everything right. It has a brilliant story that blends a liberal dose of Tarantino with a touch of Cronenberg; it has crisp 16-bits graphics that's a plesure to look at; and above all, it has great action, which is the reason why you want to play it.

    The formula of Katana Zero is deceptively simple. Each mission screen is extremely short–possibly a few seconds, or a minute long. However, some of the elements in the action are impossibly fast–until you use the limited "bullet time" mechanics in the game. Once you get used to it, you can happily run through the ultra-violent scenarios performing ninja stunts such as returning bullets to the sender with a slash of your katana, or throwing an object at a flying sentry while slashing through two enemies at the same time. The over-the-top, extreme action makes you feel like a badass, and the pulpy, unpredictable story gives a clever justification to the time-bending mechanics.

    Katana Zero is short, but it's all the better for it. As soon as I'd finished, I played it all over a second time. It's that good. This is one of the best indies of the year, and it deserves to be played.
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  25. May 21, 2019
    8
    Cast: 8/10
    Story: 6/10
    Fun: 8/10
    Gameplay: 9/10

    Recommended
    ----------------------
  26. May 2, 2019
    10
    L'un des meilleurs jeux indé de la Switch ! Un super jeux d'action/infiltration en Pixel Art mais avec de superbes animations et effets visuels complètement dingues. Le scénario est terrible et riche en rebondissement... la bande son est excellente à mettre à fond avec votre home cinéma ! Bref, un jeu à posséder absolument à un prix raisonnable
  27. May 18, 2019
    9
    I don't like pixel art games. But this game is just great. Superb music, interesting story. Really, really recommendation from me.
    Probably the best indie game this year!
  28. Nov 29, 2019
    10
    Очень классное приключение, важно, что игра заканчивается, пока механика игры не приедается!
  29. Jul 26, 2019
    9
    Katana Zero es una absoluta obra maestra.

    Se agradece un juego que realmente sea oscuro y toque temas pantanosos sin ningún tipo de complejo ni prejuicio. Un juego en el que puedes crear tu propia personalidad basándose en algo tan sencillo como cambiar de color las líneas de texto según el estado de ánimo o el tono en el que hablen los personajes, pudiendo así ser un borde e
    Katana Zero es una absoluta obra maestra.

    Se agradece un juego que realmente sea oscuro y toque temas pantanosos sin ningún tipo de complejo ni prejuicio.
    Un juego en el que puedes crear tu propia personalidad basándose en algo tan sencillo como cambiar de color las líneas de texto según el estado de ánimo o el tono en el que hablen los personajes, pudiendo así ser un borde e interrumpir gritando a todo el mundo o escuchar y tener la opción de varias respuestas.

    Disfrutas de cada pixel que en este juego resulta reconfortante y precioso por el diseño de arte tan enorme y bonito que tiene.

    Respecto a la jugabilidad no hay mucho que decir, recuerda a Hotline miami, con mecánicas nuevas e innovadoras, eso sí. Dinámica, ágil y rápida acompañada de una banda sonora que simplemente es espectacular.

    Imprescindible, nadie debería perderse esta obra.
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  30. Aug 18, 2019
    8
    Jogabilidade fluida e muito envolvente para quem gosta de um jogo frenético. Ótimo port para o switch
  31. May 9, 2019
    9
    This game is very fun and it is definitely the best experience I've ever head in a side-scroller. The story is not super amazing but it is still interesting and dark. The way the game flows is satisfying; you do a mission, talk to your neighbor, go to sleep, then go to therapy, and you do another mission. The dialogue in this game is amazing and you have multiple choices to what you areThis game is very fun and it is definitely the best experience I've ever head in a side-scroller. The story is not super amazing but it is still interesting and dark. The way the game flows is satisfying; you do a mission, talk to your neighbor, go to sleep, then go to therapy, and you do another mission. The dialogue in this game is amazing and you have multiple choices to what you are going to say. You can even piss people off by interrupting them while they are talking and it's and absolute joy. The combat is smooth and fun and the game rarely seems unfair. The only negative is that it's a little short and the plot points sort of end on a cliffhanger. The game hints at having more content in the feature which I am very excited for. Overall, it's very impressive and fun and it's amazing how one person made this whole game. Expand
  32. May 15, 2019
    9
    Its shortage is what made it 9 of 10.. But everything else is great.
    Story.. Music.. Ghraphic.. Game play.. All of then. Is so good
  33. Jun 5, 2019
    7
    How to describe Katana Zero? It is not a masterpiece by all means, that's for sure. However it is a solid game. Though I mainly liked it for the art style and music the gameplay gimmick of "slowing time" mixed with a story that's mostly average you end up K.Zero. Fast action moments and dialogue options having partial effects on the story makes it interesting enough to finish. Although notHow to describe Katana Zero? It is not a masterpiece by all means, that's for sure. However it is a solid game. Though I mainly liked it for the art style and music the gameplay gimmick of "slowing time" mixed with a story that's mostly average you end up K.Zero. Fast action moments and dialogue options having partial effects on the story makes it interesting enough to finish. Although not a gem, it's worth checking out if you want a samurai retro game adventure. Expand
  34. Jun 17, 2019
    9
    Good game moites...however it was quite short there must be a sequel........................
  35. Jun 25, 2019
    9
    Gameplay:
    The animation of slashing enemies around in Katana Zero is pretty satisfying, and the game has a good variety of enemies, every enemy has a different way of defeating, but the main mechanics are very simple, it doesn’t have any depth at all, thus putting a lot of weight on the level design.
    Design : The best aspect of Katana Zero design is the different ways to complete every
    Gameplay:
    The animation of slashing enemies around in Katana Zero is pretty satisfying, and the game has a good variety of enemies, every enemy has a different way of defeating, but the main mechanics are very simple, it doesn’t have any depth at all, thus putting a lot of weight on the level design.
    Design : The best aspect of Katana Zero design is the different ways to complete every level, you have the freedom to take the path you want and finish the level the way you like.
    Every level offers a great variety of new mechanics and goes in-depth in them and intertwine them in a genius way.
    the design carries the gameplay for most of the game.
    Story:
    An intriguing mystery in an interesting setting, genius storytelling with a good multi-choice dialogue and whole lot of interesting characters, the only flaw in the story is the ending, it doesn’t “end” anything.
    Extras :
    The art direction/scores are actually one of the best in the industry, it immerses you in the neo-noir setting to the limit. Bottom line... Katana Zero is a must-play masterpiece.
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  36. Jul 12, 2019
    9
    Katana Zero may not have an open world, maybe not even a world that the story fully fleshes out or takes time to explain, but I can't think of a game that is as fast and cool as this one. Deceptively deep combat, with new features to add in every level, not to mention multiple endings and new modes to unlock, Katana Zero gives some of the Dark Souls-ish gratification of beating a level,Katana Zero may not have an open world, maybe not even a world that the story fully fleshes out or takes time to explain, but I can't think of a game that is as fast and cool as this one. Deceptively deep combat, with new features to add in every level, not to mention multiple endings and new modes to unlock, Katana Zero gives some of the Dark Souls-ish gratification of beating a level, and makes you feel like a badass, all at once. Indie Game of the Year contender for me, perhaps even the winner. Expand
  37. Sep 16, 2019
    9
    One of the finest pixel art action games out there for sure! It is absolutely stunning in every aspect. The only downside is the short playtime but the timed run modus adds more than up for this. Worth a buy!
  38. Sep 4, 2019
    10
    I saw it for the first time at the Nintendo Direct, I think. This game made me wanting to buy it from the first sight. "Katana ZERO!" is an indie game with pixel graphics and great soundtracks. Gameplay can seem quite challenging, since getting hit means death. However, it is a game that you won't like to stop mid game (sadly, I had to take such a break for two days while being in theI saw it for the first time at the Nintendo Direct, I think. This game made me wanting to buy it from the first sight. "Katana ZERO!" is an indie game with pixel graphics and great soundtracks. Gameplay can seem quite challenging, since getting hit means death. However, it is a game that you won't like to stop mid game (sadly, I had to take such a break for two days while being in the middle of the plot). Great game with breathtaking animations and boss fights, I would max it out again! Expand
  39. Sep 27, 2019
    9
    Loved the game. Great story and setting. Gorgeous pixel art and animations. Cool soundtrack. Intense bloody action makes you feel like a bad ass. Totally worth the money.
  40. Nov 12, 2019
    8
    This game is super fun!!!

    The slow motion effect is even more fun.

    The story is epic and weird and its a fresh approach.

    Controls is good on the switch.

    This game is a must buy.

    Seriously enjoyed it.
  41. Dec 23, 2019
    9
    Juegazo, engancha tanto que te lo acabas rápido y es que esa es la única pega, que es corto
  42. Jan 13, 2020
    0
    I guess ZERO refers to the rating they wanted you to give the game by not explaining how the game saves. They have a complete disregard for your effort, time, and quality of life in this game. What a waste of my time.
  43. Dec 19, 2019
    10
    Such an amazing game with beautiful animated sprites and a story that you just get so sucked into and with great execution too! I recommend this game to anybody who wants to sit down and invest their time in a game that will have you at your edge but also keeps itself at a warm hearted place. Absolutely amazing story and gameplay mechanics that will make you want to go for the most optimalSuch an amazing game with beautiful animated sprites and a story that you just get so sucked into and with great execution too! I recommend this game to anybody who wants to sit down and invest their time in a game that will have you at your edge but also keeps itself at a warm hearted place. Absolutely amazing story and gameplay mechanics that will make you want to go for the most optimal and fastest routes. I love it! Expand
  44. Dec 31, 2019
    8
    Game was fast pace ! Finished a bit fast but game has reply value with the speed run and other tweeks
Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jul 11, 2019
    60
    Katana Zero looks fantastic and has fun fast paced combat, unfortunately the combat is broken up with a confusing and convoluted story. It was all over too quickly, but for people who want more, a dialogue system provides replayability.
  2. Jun 21, 2019
    90
    As is often the case the Switch version adds nothing to the experience, but the graphical style and lightning pace suit the handheld screen way better than they suit a full-sized TV. The Switch, as a result, feels like the natural home for Katana ZERO, which slots perfectly into the existing catalogue.
  3. May 24, 2019
    85
    Katana ZERO offers a creative art direction, great soundtrack, addictive gameplay and an engaging narrative. However, the adventure is short, about 5 hours, and its conclusion can be frustrating. I'm sure we'll hear about your continuation soon.