Genre: Platformer | Players: 1 | Developers: Grasshopper Manufacture, Crispy's Inc.
RTLD is a side-scrolling platformer written by Suda 51 and directed by Yohei Kataoka. It’s available on the Short Peace bluray (see above box art), a disc that contains four short anime films and one PS3 game. It’s a hybrid disc that’ll play the anime portion in any bluray player and the game in a PS3. You can view the anime section in your PS3, too, if you scroll to the video section on the XMB.
Each portion takes ‘Japan’ as its inspiration. The animes took a refined approach to the subject matter, but the game went tits-out and packed in a plethora of references from past and present; it’s a smörgåsbord of Japanese culture that'll have weaboos pissing themselves in excitement. There’s panties, guns, schoolgirls, costumes, a flying dragon, wrestlers, swords and Akira references presented as either pixels, anime, manga or visual novel-esque cut scenes.
It looks beautiful, filled with colour and oozing visual creativity, but you’ll be too busy hurrying though each short level to be able to appreciate it fully. You can’t stop and explore the environment because you’re being pursued from the left of the screen by something. Yes, something. I've no clue what it actually was, except for the time it was a giant, hungry Pomeranian. The only levels you'll have time to enjoy are the boss levels, but they’re even less fun to play. They can be frustrating until you figure out what the hell you're supposed to be doing.
Another aspect of Japanese media carried through into the game is that it makes very little sense. It's like a late 80s OVA. It's tongue-in-cheek about it, though.
As one-fifth of the Short Peace experience it’s a welcome addition, but as a game it’s more of a visual treat than a gamer-treat. Even factoring in the time taken to fail and repeat stages (from the beginning of each one, every time!) it'll take approximately one hour to get from beginning to end. A Let’s Play might be more fun than an actual play; you’d at least be able to appreciate how pretty it all is.
2 unmaskings out of 5
NOTE: A short review of the films can be read on our sister site, In a Nutshell. I found it more rewarding (and less confusing) than the game portion. See HERE.