And this isn't even the maddest bit...
Suda 51s games are mad. We know that. But hes properly outdone himself with this one. The game portion he has produced is a side-scrolling platformer with free movement but the gameplay of an endless runner thanks to the additional, constant threat of a great big monster chasing you from the left. Dextrous and repeat play is rewarded with unlockable artwork and animated scenes. But wait the game portion? Yep, the playable part is only one fifth of the actual product.
You also get four anime chapters of varying length, from a few minutes to just shy of an hour. They tell the story of the eponymous Ranko, who has severe daddy issues. In that shes an assassin and its time to kill him. Of course it is.
The Japanese character design is questionable, with cosplay-baiting costumes and a schoolgirl cast but the art style is noteworthy in that it changes completely several times throughout. One moment youre watching a cut-scene in wobbly-edged computer 3D, the next beautiful 2D hand-drawn artwork.
Despite the rather unique visual style(s), the in-play graphics are comparatively modest, and oddly keep Ranko a long way from the camera. For such a well-designed character, shes too small to really appreciate during the action. Instead, youll be focusing all your attention on the twitchy, reflex-based wall-jumping and enemy slashing. Its the kind that feels clumsy and awkward when you do it wrong but flows deliciously when you do it right. I was reminded of speed-running the side-scrolling Modern Sonic sections of Sonic Generations. Very similar to play.
At 11 levels long, its a short piece (wahey!) but the games diminutive length is intentional, with replayability coming from exploration as you seek out all the hidden routes and collectibles. Perhaps releasing it on PS3 is a strange choice, as it would likely fit iOS much more naturally. But PS3 does Blu-Ray, and Blu-Ray does HD anime, which is just as much a part of the package as this very peculiar game.
Click on through for more barking mad screenshots from Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day.
One animation is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame
Japanese Kanji overlays are frequent
Ranko's classmate *loves* karaoke
Some dialogue scenes play out like RPG conversations
It's a collection of anime, of which the game is but a short piece
Every rabbit flies away eventually. You knew that.
But this one's caught in something...
No, I'm sorry. I have no idea what's going on here
That's more like it! This is the game
Combos are achieved through slamming enemies into one another
You can move left if you want to...
...but there's a massive beastie waiting there
Much better to keep running
Every stat imaginable is tracked and viewable
Making this a real perfectionist's game
I didn't play the giant raccoon bit
This would have been my reaction if I had
Here's the 'shaky 3D' art style bit
There's a lot of 'fan service' if you know what I mean
But a lot of artistic merit too
And a wolf taste-testing a small child
But I guess it didn't taste very nice. That's all folks!