Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Review: Comic-Turned-Game

akaneiro demon hunters

After reading and reviewing the Akaneiro comics that were out of the mind of the acclaimed American McGee, I was very excited to find out that there was an Akaneiro: Demon Hunters game. I was so into the comics that I think I got my hopes up too high for the game, because I was a bit let down. Akaneiro could be a good game, but Spicy Horse has some more work to do first. And why does a game that isn’t in full release yet cost $10?

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in February this year. It is to my understanding that Spicy Horse wanted to release the game early in an “alpha” phase, so they could get feedback from players, and improve the game from there. Since then, improvements have been made, but not by much. I know it is an indie game, and I give it credit for that, but I want to see more.

Akaneiro is very much an action-RPG. It’s got pretty simple hack-and-slash controls; left-click-attack and right-click-special, with kill-streak status alerts, and lots of loot crates along the way. The game chugs along sometimes, but I wasn’t too off-put by it considering all the kinks are still being worked out. It’s got three character classes to choose from, each with an emphasis on damage, defense, or skill. Overall, it’s a nice setup in those areas. Akaneiro is pretty easy, but that’s only because it forces you to play everything through on easy before you can do anything that is really a challenge. Hopefully that will be an option in the future, so we don’t all have to play at a beginner’s level.

I desperately want this to be a good game. The story is a great one. I’ve read the comics, and the game is the same. It’s classic Little Red Riding Hood mixed with a ton of Japanese folklore. It’s a wonderful combination. The art is beautiful for it as well. It’s got a great mix of American comic art and Japanese ink and watercolor art. The only problem with that is the resolution. The game runs at way too low of a res that you can’t do anything to improve. Hopefully we will see some improvement there.

When you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I mentioned the lag, but that’s not all. The game itself isn’t very well-organized. For starters, the game just kind of drops you into town without telling you anything at all, and you have to go around to each one of the shop owners, and open up the shop, just to see what that particular shop owner has/does for you. The items aren’t put together nicely either. They are scattered across colored blocks with no semblance of order, and the item comparison is confusing at first, because the comparison boxes are just floating willy-nilly. It takes a minute to figure all that out. Another hit Akaneiro takes is that instead of using experience or some other form of earned “points,” you have to use the in-game currency to purchase new skills. Did I mention that the game also sends you in the direction of its micro-transactions? Which is expected of an actual free-to-play, but wait! It costs $10 on Steam.

The whole issue of the $10 is a bit confusing. The game is free-to-play on the actual website, and is still claiming “early access” mode, as to make more improvements. However, on Steam, Akaneiro is $10, and you are gifted with $30 of in-game content. Which is all fine and dandy, but why the $10? Spicy Horse doesn’t have any information on why it costs money to play the in-progress game on Steam. They simply reinforce the fact that they want player feedback during the game’s further development. I would have no problem with it costing that much if the game was in a better state than it is now.

Overall, I like the game. I do have to say that. I just won’t be able to get around all of the things that need improvement forever. Hopefully, Spicy Horse will give us Akaneiro in a much more improved state in the future. Until then, I recommend just saving the $10 and playing the free-to-play version. You can have fun with it for what it is right now, because I still did.

You can get it on their website here:http://www.angry-red.com/main/

Score: C

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