Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day Review (PS3)
- Updated: 25th Apr, 2014
Short Peace is a collection of subtitled anime from four famous Japanese directors, packaged alongside a game from Suda51 – Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day. Unless you’re already a fan of the directors, (Hajime Katoki, Katsuhiro Otomo, Shuhei Morita, Hiroaki Ando), there’s really no reason to purchase this compilation.
From the fan-service panty-flashes to the tediously unchallenging levels, there’s little to enjoy about the game. Starting out as a side-scroller, you’ll run schoolgirl-cum-assassin Ranko Tsukigime from left to right, occasionally pressing the square button to hit an enemy with her violin bow. Time it right and you’ll set off a chain reaction that obliterates all the other enemies nearby, spewing sprites all over the screen in a confetti shower of Art. There’s the occasional challenge to slide through a gap or jump over one to find a new pathway that might let you top your high score for the level but since there are no leaderboards, this seems rather a feeble undertaking.
You’ve little time to explore anyway as Ranko is constantly pursued by Bad Things. Dally more than a few seconds anywhere and it’s Game Over as the grasping hands overwhelm you. There is the option to shoot behind you to put them off temporarily – assuming you’ve earned enough ammo by dispatching enemies with your lethal bow – but for the most part, you just run, cutting down all enemies between you and the exit.
Generally the pursuing nastiness is explained through the anime cutscenes as, for example, assassins who’ve come to stop you. At one point, the anime story leaps forward in time by 50 years and Ranko is chased by a giant Pomeranian head, which later turns up as a giant Pomeranian head announcer hovering over a boxing ring. I don’t know why this happened. It may have all been a dream.
Every few levels, you’ll reach a boss level which doesn’t need you to run left to right. Each one seems to be designed around a classic 2D console game type, but implemented very poorly. There’s a vertical platformer, an R-Type-ish dragon and a Donkey-Kong sort of boxing arena with platforms. Mostly, you’ll fail a few times before learning the three attacks your opponent uses and then dispatch the boss in about 2 minutes.
I’d go into more detail but that’s all there is. The whole thing feels like a perfunctory checklist of a game that was really built to show off the art design. It lasts about 2 hours, the story makes very little sense and there’s really no reason to play it. Ever.
The music is good. I’d buy a soundtrack.
Katsuhiro Otomo hasn’t built the Short Peace collection around a theme. It’s simply a collection of four short movies, introduced by an opening cutscene in which a small girl finds a star that flies up her skirt and shines from her uterus.
Possessions – Shuhei Morita
A man takes shelter in a forest hut and faces strange creatures with nothing but his sewing kit.
[This one was actually quite enjoyable and nominated for an Academy Award. It lost out to Mr Hublot.]
Combustible – Katsuhiro Otomo
A woman’s love leaves to become a firefighter. She’s to marry someone else so obviously, she lets a fire rage out of control so she can see him again. It doesn’t go well.
Gambo – Hiroaki Ando
A village is besieged by a giant red demon that steals women to impregnate them with its demon babies. A tiny girl befriends a polar bear that just happens to have sworn its life to religious service and could save the village.
A Farewell to Weapons – Hajime Katoki
A modern military force of “Peacekeepers” are sent into a destroyed city to claim abandoned weapons for themselves. An autonomous tank still patrols the area. Tragic irony ensues.