Tucked away in the corner, I didn’t realize when I picked up the controller that I would be experiencing a game written by Suda 51. Short Peace follows the heroine and schoolgirl-assassin Ranko Tsukigime as she races through a side-scrolling world in an attempt to assassinate her own father. Set as a platformer, Short Peace’s gameplay feels more in line with an endless runner title, as you have to keep moving forward due to the threat of monster spirits (giant green arms with masks) constantly chasing you. If you begin to slow down, you’ll have to try and shoot the spirits back to gain a few seconds to regain your momentum.
Besides running, Ranko is capable of leaping across great spans, slide under obstacles, and wall jump. You’ll also have to contend with enemies, but they can be destroyed through chain reactions. Killing the first enemy (the leftmost) will start a chain reaction that will kill all nearby enemies in a blaze of blinding colors and shapes. Missing the lead enemy, stopped me right in my tracks as I always get hit by proceeding enemies, causing the spirits to catch up to me.
Already released in Japan, Short Peace isn’t an overly long game, and all of the stages were available to play through at the event. The length of the stage varies, lasting under a minute to over a couple of minutes. The game thrives on replayability, with branching paths and hidden collectibles. Challenging others on the leaderboards will keep you trying to shave precious seconds off your time.
During the fast paced action, you’ll barely have a second to appreciate the highly stylized visual style. The action is twitch-based, requiring you to focus on attacking and making the next jump. I felt in the zone while playing, training my eyes to focus on what is coming up next and not on Ranko. The wall-jumping was a bit awkward to pull off, slowing the pace of the game.
Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day was released back in January 2014 in Japan, but does not have a firm release date in North America. At this point I would like to see the game ported over to the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita instead of releasing it on PS3. By the time the game is released, the PS4 would have been out for an entire year.