Katana Soul – Review
Follow Genre: Side-Scrolling Platformer
Developer: SEEP
Publisher: SEEP
Platforms: PC, Android
Tested on: PC

Katana Soul – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great Gameplay, Amazing Soundtrack, Beautiful Pixel art
Bad: Gets Quite repetitive, No Online Leaderboard
User Score
9.2
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (6 votes cast)

Katana Soul is a retro looking action-slasher for Android and PC, both developed and published by the people over at Seep. We’ve all been at the arcade at one point in time, putting in coins to replay the game you love the most and try to beat your personal best. Oddly it feels like Katana Soul has always been around and yet, it is a new game for you to experience and add to your collection.

Story

It is said that in ancient Japan, there was a legend passed down from generation to generation, talking about a great Tengu mask capable of repelling the demonic forces who have become a menace to the entire country. This mask used to be kept in the Magome village but one day a mysterious man took it…

With the mask being gone, the demonic corruption started spreading throughout the village and the land surrounding it, the men and woman, the children and even the animals, all were affected by this. Many Samurai attempted to stop this evil from subjugating the land but all failed, except one. Our hero, the young Samurai Kan, who seemed to be immune to this corruption thanks to his pure heart and soul. Kan sets out on a quest to retrieve the mask and restore balance to his lands. The story is told with the usage of a few slides and a few hints from NPCs along the way.

Graphics

This game really gives you the old-school feeling the moment you boot it up, from the very retro-looking start-up screen, the amazing pixel art which fits this game immensely and the way the story is presented to you in the slides with the text on it. All of this really makes us reminiscent of the older games we all know and love. It is also based on the 16-color palette that the Commodore 64 had back in the day.

Everything looks amazing and really sharp too, from the regular enemies to the bosses you encounter, they all look very unique and bring their own set of challenges. Running around like a Samurai is always a plus as well.

Sound

The soundtrack that is present here is simply magnificent as it is, an amazing composition of a chiptune soundtrack that goes hand in hand with the pixel art.

The sound of your katana swinging everywhere is a joy to hear as you make your way through all the enemies the game has to offer, each with their own sounds they make when you slay them. Activating levers and jumping over obstacles amplifies the old-school feeling even more since levers have to be attacked in order to trigger, giving you that clicking noise that is so familiar. When jumping, Kan makes a small shout, and that’s pretty much it when talking about the sound effects.

Gameplay

Katana soul really plays into that sweet nostalgic feeling we all have for those good old arcade games. Despite giving us that feeling, the controls are surprisingly crisp thanks to it being a modern game. It takes all the best things from old and new and creates an amazing game that will surely bring a smile to your face.

The controls are fairly straightforward you move left and right, jump and attack. This sounds very easy in theory but anyone who played arcade games knows this is far from the truth. The game really requires you to pay attention to your environment and movements the enemies make so you can get the highest score possible. The attacks you do all need good timing so you have enough time to jump away as well. Luckily the game supports a controller being hooked up, which makes it much easier to get around. In the end, it’s a game that does require a bit of skill, so it’s best to opt for the control style you like the most.

To amplify the arcade feeling, even more, Katana Soul does not provide you with checkpoints, meaning if your lives hit 0 and you reach the despised “Game Over” screen, you have to restart everything. This has some novelty to it, but it honestly wears off pretty quickly if you just want to reach the end of the game. You can find extra lives during the levels but even then, it stays a real struggle to reach the later levels.

You can challenge yourself in different ways thanks to the three different difficulty settings you are provided with, which are, normal, C64 and survival mode.

There are 13 achievements for you to discover and unlock during your journey through feudal, demon-infested Japan.

What does actually add a lot of replay value, is that every enemy you defeat grants points and these add up towards your personal best. Sadly, there are no online rankings at the current time, which is a shame for a game such as this.

Conclusion

Katana soul grabs your attention from the first second you boot up the game. Not only does it look like it came straight out of the arcade, but it plays super smooth and tries to push you to improve upon your own score, really making you master its combat. However, it can get pretty tedious having to restart over and over at the beginning, especially since all you get is a score for yourself and not one that is shared with the world on a leaderboard. Overall this was a real breath of fresh air, and a good game to lose yourself in for a couple of hours.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Katana Soul - Review, 9.2 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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