Developer: Stas Shostak
Publisher: Samustai Limited
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
In Katana Kata you are the last apprentice of your current master. Your master tasks you with stopping his previous apprentices who have turned evil. That there is the entire story.
Katana – means a Japanese curved sword
Kata – means ‘form’ an exercise comprising several of the specific movements of a martial art.
Katana Kata wears its inspiration on its Kimono, however, it is just very stripped back and feels very basic. This is not a bad thing. The difference from normal style souls-likes is here the direction of the strike is more important than just hitting. We have high and low strikes it is a case of watching the direction the opponent is striking and doing the opposite. If you do the same strike, a parry will occur, this is a double edge tactic as it will leave the opponent vulnerable but also the durability of the weapon will decrease dramatically. Use wisely!
If the player needs a new weapon, each of the enemies that wield a weapon, once killed their weapon picked up and used. Doing so will mean there are always an abundance of weapons to use, as whetstones or scarce and a whetstone repairs the Katana’s durability.
As Katana Kata is a souls-like we have a level up system that will improve our overall performance little by little. These will not make a massive difference in fights they help to keep the player close to the level of the enemies. It’s the Kata the game wants you to develop and learn the moves and practice timings over and over until you have them down and can dispatch the enemies like you are Miyamoto Musashi (possibly the best swordsman in Japan’s history).
One minor aspect of the game I fell that will be over looked is the lock on system. It is a 360-degree circle that can be expanded an retracted. This lock on system gives a full lock on, of the closest enemies with in the circle making attacks in all directions possible. It is so simple, if not very fiddly at times, but I found it to be very useful over the course of the game and something I have not really seen before.
The game does have a few bugs the main ones I came across are; the enemies AI sucks, it is to rudimentary its just run at player. So if there is a big mob and they are in a room it is easy to pull out the closest enemy one at a time as the rest run at a wall. The enemies can attack through walls. Lastly, the camera will position its self where it is impossible to see what is happening, making a lot of deaths feel cheap.
Katana Kata surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. I was not expecting much from the game, with its simple looks and gameplay elements. However, it was a fun blood filled romp of death and my death. IF the dev can fix the major problems, then Katana Kata is a special wee indie game.
Even if I liked the game I would wait for a sale for this as it will not before all souls fans as it is very stripped back.