Akai Katana

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Akai Katana Shin
Akai Katana 360 cover.png
American Xbox 360 cover art
Developer(s) CAVE
Publisher(s) CAVE
Rising Star Games
Director(s) Shinobu Yagawa
Composer(s) Ryu Umemoto
Platform(s) Arcade, Xbox 360
Release Arcade
  • JP: August 20, 2010 (2010-08-20)
Xbox 360
  • JP: May 26, 2011 (2011-05-26)
  • EU: May 15, 2012 (2012-05-15)
  • NA: May 15, 2012 (2012-05-15)
Genre(s) Bullet hell
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system CAVE CV1000D
CPU Hitachi SH3 @ 133 MHz
Display Raster, horizontal

Akai Katana (赤い刀, Red Samurai Sword) is a bullet hell shooter video game developed by CAVE Interactive CO. that was released on August 20, 2010 in arcades. A video game console port, Akai Katana Shin (赤い刀 真), was released on the Xbox 360 on May 26, 2011 in Japan. Rising Star Games released the game in North America and Europe on May 15, 2012.

It is the fourth horizontal shoot 'em up game from the company, the prior three being Progear, Deathsmiles, and Deathsmiles II. The game's soundtrack was composed by Ryu Umemoto, who died shortly after the Xbox 360 version's release at the age of 37 years.



Set in a parallel world resembling Japan's Taishō period, the people have discovered the powerful Blood Swords, the titular Akai Katana. Requiring human sacrifices to unleash their immense destructive power, these swords have been used by the empire to crush neighbouring countries. However, all the bloodshed and power gained through sacrificing close family members has made some of the swordsmen reconsider. With new fighter planes and the powered up swords at their disposal, this small band of rebels now fight back against the tyrannical empire.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 76.25%[1]
Metacritic 75/100[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 9/10[3]
EGM 8/10[4]
Eurogamer 8/10[5]
Famitsu 33/40[6]
GameSpot 8/10[7]
IGN 7/10[8]
OXM (UK) 3.5/5[9]

Famitsu gave the game scores of 8, 8, 8 and 9 from four reviewers, adding up to a total score of 33 out of 40.[6] As Rising Star's inaugural U.S. title, Tech-Gaming found the game a "promising offering, offering stateside shoot ‘em up fans an exceptional entry into an increasingly niche genre.", and praised the title's depth of play mechanics.[10] GameSpot gave the game a score of 8 out of 10, describing it as "a well-crafted dose of over-the-top bullet-hell action."[7] Destructoid gave the game a score of 9 out of 10, concluding that "you may just find yourself ascending to bullet hell heaven if you dedicate some time to learning the game’s obscure but absolutely thrilling mechanics."[3]

Mean Machines described it as a "must-have blaster" for the Xbox 360, praising the gameplay, the "masterpiece" 2D graphics, and the "fantastic" hard rock soundtrack.[11] Crunchyroll praised the challenging gameplay as well as Umemoto's "insane guitar" music as possibly "soundtrack of the year," concluding that "anyone interested in the genre should pick this one up and reward said risk with a small swirling bundle of gold."[12]


  1. ^ "Akai Katana for Xbox 360". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Akai Katana for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Pinsof, Allistair (May 17, 2012). "Review: Akai Katana". Destructoid. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ Patterson, Eric L. (May 15, 2012). "EGM Review: Akai Katana". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ Woger, Martin (June 26, 2012). "Akai Katana - Test". Eurogamer (in German). Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Famitsu review scores - Pandora's Tower score". N4G. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Walton, Mark (May 17, 2012). "Akai Katana Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (May 16, 2012). "Akai Katana Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ July 2012, p.107
  10. ^ Allen, R., Tech-Gaming, Akai Katana Review, Retrieved June 2nd, 2012
  11. ^ McFerran, Damien (19 May 2012). "Akai Katana review". Mean Machines. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Luster, Joseph (May 15, 2012). "Review: Cave's "Akai Katana" Shoot 'em Up Scores Big". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 

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