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A short experience in 'Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day' leaves us wanting more

'Longest Day' Screenshots - GGD 2014-slide0
Photo courtesy of Bandai Namco, used with permission.

With a preface like Ranko Tsukigime chances are you're either turned off by this or it simply piques your interest. No matter which camp you fall into Longest Day is at the very least worth investigating. Such was the situation when we got a hands-on preview of the title.

'Longest Day' is a colorful experience to put it lightly.
Photo courtesy of Bandai Namco, used with permission.

The side-scrolling action game exists because of manga artist and Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo and his four-part animated film Short Peace. While it is available already in Europe and Australia us North American counterparts have yet to receive the proper release on the PlayStation 3. This is most unfortunate for those who are a fan of the series as Longest Day serves as the fifth part of the Short Peace omnibus.

While light on story and high on action you play as Ranko Tsukigime, the only child of the underground “Tsukigime Enterprise” and are an average high school girl by day and a deadly assassin by night. It's quite a strange combination for those unfamiliar with the series but if you can get through the prolonged intro cinematic which drags on for far too long and you'll be greeted with a unique, quirky take on the platforming genre.

The fast-paced platforming is driven by an ominous enemy looming directly behind you, growing closer every second that you don't progress. Jumping, crouching, shooting, and slashing your way through the level grows increasingly challenging as the game progresses. Luckily for you, a single propelled bullet backwards delays the inevitable onslaught long enough for you to dig yourself out of the rut you've fallen in.

Players need to balance rushing past enemies in an effort to save time, killing enemies, build your score, and be precise enough to combo all of the foes on the screen at once. Directed by Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture Longest Day is a beautiful high quality production that fans of the genre and series will certainly appreciate.

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