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Katana Zero, which is a bit like a sidescrolling Hotline Miami, releases in March

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I played a brief demo of Katana Zero back in 2015, when it was still being published by Adult Swim Games (these days, Devolver Digital is handling publishing duties for Askiisoft). I enjoyed what I played, though there's likely been a lot of iteration on the 2D action platformer since then, and I look forward to seeing how it's developed.

The main thrust of it is that, as in Hotline Miami—which surely provided a bit of neon inspiration—one hit takes you out, so you've got to flawlessly execute each level. To do that, you're given some magical martial arts tools: properly-timed swings of your katana can deflect bullets back to their source, and there's a bit of time manipulation involved to slow things down or return to the past, before you screwed up and got whacked.

This week, Devolver and Askiisoft announced that Katana Zero will finally release in March, and dropped the new trailer above. It's on Steam if you want a closer look.

The most important thing to note, in my opinion, is that the new trailer features a glimpse of a mine cart level. We haven't had nearly enough of those since the Donkey Kong Country series, so I salute Askiisoft for respecting the gift to game design that is metal bins with wheels.

Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.