By Michael Andronico
UK-based game publisher Rising Star Games went on a tour of the US last week, giving both press and public a taste of their 2012 lineup of games. Between the intense, arcade-style bullet-hell of shooter Akai Katana, and the simple addictiveness of puzzle game Cradle of Rome 2, Rising Star proved they’ve got something for all types of gamers this year.
Xbox 360 shooter Akai Katana was the primary game on display, with Rising Star’s enthusiastic PR specialist Tyrone Walcott on hand to walk everyone through its frenetic gameplay. Anyone who has played games like Ikaruga or Raiden in arcades should know exactly what to expect from Akai Katana. The premise is simple: You command a ship through massive waves of enemies before reaching a boss battle. Actually clearing levels isn’t so easy, however, as the majority of your screen is often filled with bullets and bombs meant for your destruction. For the uninformed, picture arcade classic Galaga on crack.
Akai Katana features three modes of play: The arcade-perfect “Origin” mode, as well as the console-exclusive “Slash” and “Climax” modes. The game is fully HD compatible, with entirely hand-drawn graphics that are sure to bring a smile to arcade purists. You can wade through Akai Katana with a friend on the same console, or attempt to beat their best scores through online leaderboards. The game is set for a May 15th release date at a price point of $39.99.
Also playable at the event was Nintendo 3DS puzzler Cradle of Rome 2. The game is instantly accessible, using a match-3 format not too different from classics like Bejeweled. Developers Cerasus Media throw a twist on the classic formula by having players rebuild famous Rome locations through the gameplay. Easy to pick up and hard to put down, Cradle of Rome 2 will definitely find a niche with both casual and hardcore gamers when it releases later this year. In addition to the 3D version, Rising Star will also release a standard Nintendo DS edition of the game.
Alongside the aforementioned titles, Rising Star Games showed off a few other portable titles, including Cradle of Persia, Super Blackbass 3D, and Tofu Collection. With a diverse lineup of games hitting the market this year and a big reveal promised for E3 in June, don’t be surprised if Rising Star Games becomes a major player in the American gaming world.