It’s been a busy few weeks for American McGee and Spicy Horse in the lead up to the release of their free-to-play title, Akaneiro: Demon Hunters.
For those yet to hear the name Akaneiro, here’s a quick catch up: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters is a visceral action role-play-game steeped deep in the mythology of Little Red Riding Hood, Japanese folklore, married to the one of a kind art style that only Spicy Horse can produce.
The first piece of news comes via the announcement of an open beta. Don’t worry about checking if your PC can run the game – it probably can. Incredibly, Akaneiro is playable through your internet browser.
I’ve had a play session in the world of Akaneiro and I like what I’m seeing. Stylistically speaking, Spicy Horse has nailed it: the combat and class system feels right and to top it off, it’s free. What more could you want from a game?
The next piece of news is that Spicy Horse has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the final push to bring in new features before launch.
The first question any of us wonder when it comes to Kickstarter projects is why? According to Spicy Horse, it’s because they want Akaneiro to be the very best it can be. Even though some might say it’s superb as it is, it’s still lacking the extra level of polish that Spicy Horse are renowned for.
Should the project reach its funding goal, Spicy Horse will go on to create an Android and iOS version, co-op multiplayer, an equipment crafting system (a must for any ARPG), and improved community support to help lay the groundwork for a budding community.
There’s also a host of minor improvements planned:
· “Karma Void” Dungeons – use the crystallized hearts of fallen Yokai to access multi-level dungeons where extra-difficult challenges (and greater rewards) await.
· Expanded Narrative elements – more in game dialogue, and special ally characters added to certain missions. Lore items scattered throughout the world that provide further story for each mission and the game overall.
· Lockbox Items & Additional Consumables
· Hand/Fist Weapon Class and Mastery
· Expanded Weapon and Armor varieties.
· Additional Spirit Helper Pet varieties.
· Further training levels for all Abilities and Masteries.
· Mark of Sacrifice – Recover a portion of lost experience by returning to the site of your death. Earn bonuses by finding Marks left by your friends.
· Ghosts of Yomi – New “lost spirit” NPCs added to Yomi Village, providing repeatable quests for special item rewards.
· Leaderboards – track and compare a large array of progression stats.
· Hunting Squads – organize and brand your characters into a single squad unit, sharing profit, items and other benefits.
· Akane Trials – Rank-based achievement system with rewards.
· Improved Chat System with friends list management, room creation and other social features.
The final piece of news, which is sure to excite any comic book fan, is that Spicy Horse has partnered with Dark Horse (Spicy Dark Horse?) to bring forth a trio of comics set in the Akaneiro universe.
Dark Horse has a rich history when it comes to comic book adaptations; be it Star Wars, Buffy, Hellboy, or even Dragon Age. The comics in question are to be penned by Justin Aclin (of Star Wars: The Clone Wars fame), and illustrated by Vasilis Lolos (of Conan the Barbarian). The series will follow the story of Kani – a youngster torn between two cultures, as she battles the oblique Yorkai, while also fulfilling her role as a member of the legendary Order of Akane.
“Though I hate being categorized as some sort of auteur, I’m thrilled to be working again with the rocket-scientist sex machines at Dark Horse. Our previous collaborations with Dark Horse have produced stunning results, like the art book for Alice: Madness Returns. It’s a perfect marriage of art and execution,” says Spicy Horse Studio head American McGee.
The Spicy Horse and Dark Horse collaboration is due for release May 22.
For more on Akaneiro, head on over the official website at http://www.angry-red.com/ or if you want to see what all the fuss is about and why Akaneiro is one of the Top 100 Steam Greenlight games, try out the open beta for yourself at http://spicyworld.spicyhorse.com/world/game-akaneiro.html and if you like what you see (or if you just want an Android version for your shiny new tablet or phone), head on over to the Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spicyhorse/akaneiro-demon-hunters.