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Akane review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: QubicGames
Developer: Ludic Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

There’s no denying that Akane looks very, very cool. Take your pick of cultural touchstone — Blade Runner, Kill Bill, Hotline Miami, Ghost in the Shell — drench it in neon (or even more neon, depending on what you pick), give it a bit of a shaky camera, and you’ve got a good sense of what you’re in for here, at least as far as visuals go.

It’d be a stretch, however, to say the gameplay is anywhere near as fun as the aesthetics. Akane is a twin-stick, arena-based hack & slasher/shooter, where you run around a decent-sized area avoiding the Yakuza, alternating between your katana and your gun to take out as many enemies as you can before you get hit once and you die.

To be fair, I’ve left out some important details. Chain together enough kills, for example, and you get a cool-looking special attack. The enemies also vary, ranging from an abundance of easy-to-kill henchman, to “tanks,”snipers, and robot ninjas that require a little more finesse. Akane also forces you to switch up your attacks regularly by imposing a stamina bar on your, so that you can’t just spam your slash button all the way through.

Even acknowledging that complexity, however, there’s no denying that Akane gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly. Sure, you get better at all the killing as you play more, but you’re still stuck in the same arena for all of it. There’s not much story to speak of, beyond the fact that a boss shows up after every 100 kills who gets harder to take out every time.

If you just want some stylized kills, of course, then you probably won’t mind the repetitiveness or the lack of story. And make no mistake, there are few games that are more stylized than Akane. But if you want anything more than style, then keep looking, because this isn’t a game with a whole lot of substance.

QubicGames provided us with an Akane Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-