Reviews// Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day

Posted 23 Apr 2014 16:55 by
Iím honestly not sure where to start describing Ranko Tsukigimeís Longest Day. Hell, I can hardly define it as a game seeing as how it clocks in at about an hour long.

Thatís including the lengthy cut scenes Ė and ostensibly serves as little more than an accompanying piece to the award-winning Short Peace anime movie series Ė of which I am admitting straight-up to knowing nothing whatsoever about.

I imagine more people will be picking this up for said movies than the game itself. And yet despite this, Longest Day manages to offer a highly entertaining and memorable if brief experience. Yes, I could easily make a sex joke out of that. No, Iím not going to. Too easy.

Unfortunately my soft human brain is completely incapable of making any sense of Longest Dayís story, if such a term is applicable here.

The central character is the eponymous Ranko Tsukigime, a schoolgirl/lingerie-clad assassin/super-heroine who has to fight of an invasion of evil spirits/alien invaders while hunting down a masked luchador who is possibly her father. And/or an intergalactic conqueror.

Confused? I think youíre supposed to be. I hope youíre supposed to be. I still canít make sense of any of it.

As mentioned, Longest Day isnít really that long at all. Even a novice gamer will probably be able to beat it in one or two sittings. But while it lasts, at least, you wonít be bored for a second, the game really throws everything it can at you in rapid succession.

Itís hard to even pin down Longest Dayís gameplay enough to describe it. The meat of the game Ė what little there is Ė is found in the side-scrolling levels, in which the gameplay is a mad combination of platforming, shooting and hack-and-slash.

Essentially youíre forced to race through each level to escape from a giant pursuer, a wave of angry spirits Ė I think Ė at first, which is replaced in a later level by a giant puppy.

The only things which stand in your way are the waves of enemy demons/robots/aliens Ė which are easy enough to destroy Ė and the terrain itself Ė which you must navigate as fast as you can.

Each level has multiple branching routes you can take depending on your timing and reflexes, and thereís plenty of unlockable concept art hidden in the hardest to reach places.

Getting there can sometimes cost you time however, and if the spirit wave/giant puppy catches up with you it's game over pal. Luckily you can keep the spirit/puppy at bay by firing your cannon at it, though your ammo is limited and only refilled by killing more enemies so itís best saved for emergencies.

The Boss Battles are where the gameís variety really goes up a notch. One sticks to the platforming gameplay but mixes it up by having you work your way up through a tower to escape an instant death meat grinder while fighting off a pair of gun-toting villains.

The other pits you against a giant flying dragon while riding a flying motorbike. And Iím not even going to go into the final battle with the sinister luchador.

Unfortunately while the boss fights are a lot of fun they have a very old-school sensibility about them, which means once youíve learned their attack pattern they become pathetically easy to beat. Which ties into the replayability issues brought on by the gameís short length. Yes, itís definitely fun enough to go through more than once, but that still wonít take very long.

Ultimately Ranko Tsukigimeís Longest Day is way too short to really recommend on its own merits, so if youíre picking this up I hope itís as much for the Short Peace movies as it is for the game. That said, while it may only be an hour and a half long it is undoubtedly a mad and brilliant hour and a half that you will thoroughly enjoy. And that works much better as a sex joke.

+ Fun, intense gameplay.
+ Varied levels.
+ Completely mental.

- Really short.
- Seriously I have no idea whatís going on.

SPOnG Score: 3/5

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