Sunday, February 12, 2012

Katana Land - Demo Impressions

Katana Land
Katana Land is a 2D action platformer featuring ninjas and heros with katanas. Sounds good huh? Kablammo Games is the developer to this Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG). Katana Land released February 3, 2012 and retails for 80 msp.

I guess i'll start at the title screen. You have Play, Medals, Options and Exit. Medals are like in-game achievements. Some look like ninja star embalms. Others had names like Speedster, Ranger and Lightning. Button layout for Xbox 360 gamepad: LS-move/climb, LB-compass, Start-pause, RB-projectile(throw), Y-interact, X-attack/charge attack/ air attack(with A), B-block and A-jump. Katana Land has too many buttons that do too many functions for a game like this.

This is a 2D action game. You really shouldn't have to block and perform air attacks to defeat the ninjas in the demo. Maybe later you will need all of those moves. But judging from the demo it just seems like too much work and takes some of the fun away (which should be mindless fun in this case). Its not, you really have to think when you do air attacks on ninjas. The full game of Katana Land has three playable characters but only Katana Kid "Hero of Katana Land" is available for the demo.

When you start the demo you can see a overview map. It sorta looks like a world map you can see the path you have to take in the game and all of the levels. You immediately start out playing the tutorial (which you can't skip). The old man at the start of it guides you and tells you how to perform attacks, sneak and use your compass. Th tutorial was tedious.You can't get hit many times in Katana Land or your heart containers will empty fast. Asides from the tutorial the gameplay is pretty good. Hacking/slashing and throwing shurikens never gets old. Back in the day i mean like back in the late "80's" i played games like Kid Niki and The Legend of Kage.
Image from Katana Land
Those games above were 2D action platformer games similar to what Katana Land is. So in a sense this game  reminded me of some of those old school games i played as a kid. Visually this game is really good looking. The imaginative art design of the world and characters was impressive. At times the sound design seems lifeless. I just expected more sound effects while i played the game. It just seemed quite and lifeless at times. The atmosphere is there and its pretty good for most of the demo. Its an indie game and it does what it has to do which is keep the player entertained.

Katana Land is a decent 2D action platformer game featuring ninjas, heroes, demons and monsters. It has a really nice visual flavor and fun combat gameplay. Try it out on XBLIGM. Thanks for reading. Click here

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