Always keeping himself busy, Suda 51 has tackled a rather large amount of projects over the years, whether it be at his studio Grasshopper Manufacture or doing somewhat random team-ups with friends such as Hideo Kojima. We may be on the verge of seeing the latest game from Grasshopper Manufacture next month with the release of Killer Is Dead, but Suda has already unveiled a new title in which he’s lending his services.
Serving as the writer, Suda 51 has teamed up with Tokyo Jungle developer Crispy to create Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day – a new 2D side-scrolling action game with all the nonsensical elements you would expect from a game that features the talents of Suda 51 and the folks who created a game about animals fighting one another.
With the debut trailer for Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day just having been released, I thought it would be cool to take a look at the title via The Breakdown.
DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
Does a Suda 51 game ever make sense? In a way to answer such a question may take quite a bit of time, but that’s part of the charm of games that Suda creates or puts his stamp of approval on; they’re all batshit crazy.
Now upon watching this trailer there may be a bit of confusion since not only is it entirely in Japanese, but there’s a hearty amount of anime footage at the beginning. It may seem as if Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day is going the Liberation Maiden route by having anime cutscenes, but sadly that isn’t the case. Instead, the game is actually the fifth entry of the Short Peace anime anthology that’s hitting Japanese cinemas on July 20th. It’s usually not normal for a film of any kind, full-length or short, to feature a video game release as a part of it, but my hat is off to the fine folks in Japan for moving forward with such a cool concept.
With that bit of info out of the way, the rest of the trailer may still be looked upon as a near psychedelic blur of images that can’t be deciphered in a way that won’t make our heads suddenly hurt to the point of dizzying unconsciousness. Needless to say, Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day makes sense when looked upon as a Suda 51 game that’s not trying to play it safe or live up to the expectations consumers may have for it.
DOES IT LOOK COOL?
The context of the game may still be in a shell of enigmatic wonder and intrigue, but even then Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day looks pretty damn awesome. With the team at Crispy (Tokyo Jungle devs) handling the animation and art design, there’s a very distinct look within the game via the 2D effects and how a near constant amount of images are bursting on the screen.
Almost entirely abstract in how it’s presented, the overall look of Ranko is immediately memorable and wholly unique. Personally, I’m rather fond of the game since a few of the images that pop up on screen are slightly reminiscent of the ingenious work done by The Designers Republic. So any game that somewhat inspires the brilliance of TDR is certainly fine in my book.
There is a “reason” for all the madness transpiring in the game as the tale concocted by Suda 51 is classic in how downright ludicrous it is. Following young underground parking lot heiress Ranko Tsukigime as she lives her double life as an assassin, things quickly escalate for Ranko as she’s pursued by evil forces (likely those demonic blokes in the trailer).
Yup, that’s the general log-line of the plot as there aren’t any deep narrative strands or known metaphors about key social issues. It’s just about an assassin that needs to get out of dodge in an elaborate underground parking facility. Good times indeed.
IS IT WORTH PLAYING?
Even with the grand visual approach the game is taking, one does have to wonder if at some point the constant array of images will become too much. Ranko may already have limiting appeal due to its nature and direction, though there’s the possibility that those who play it may find the overall direction of the game to be too much.
With the basic mechanic consisting of going from point A to point B while battling enemies in a way that has yet to be detailed from the development team, it’s kind of difficult to tell if Ranko will be anything more than a cool looking interactive abstract art experience.
The lingering questions about the gameplay along with the fact that the game may never be released in the Western market makes it hard to tell if Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day would actually be worth playing or purchasing via whatever means are possible. Fans of Suda 51 will obviously give it a go, but even then it’s hard to figure out if the game will be ranked high next to titles like No More Heroes and Killer 7, or if it’ll join the relatively low ranks that Liberation Maiden resides in.