Standalone WiiWare Review: Shootanto: Kakohen (Past Chapter)

Shootanto is a game in it’s own genre. It’s very much like a couple of old arcade games: Cabal and Blood Bros. In both of these games you control a character on the bottom of the screen who shoots various enemies in the “background,” using multiple 2D planes and forced perspective to create the illusion of three dimensions. Your character moves slowly in relation to a cursor on screen which you use to target enemies. In Shootanto: Kakohen your opponents are polygons rather than sprites, but the idea is the same; improved by using the pointer on the wiimote to separate targeting from movement.

The theme is certainly novel: you control a primate which starts out as a small monkey and then becomes more human-like as you progress through the stages. Your opponents are a range of prehistoric-looking insects, reptiles, fish, and mammals. After destroying some pre-set amount of scenery and creatures you progress to the next stage. There appears to be 3 stages per level; the number of levels isn’t clear.

Controls are easy enough: the nunchuk control stick moves your monkey back-and-forth. Pressing a direction+C will make him do a rolling dive to avoid attack (enemies throw various things or charge at you). Pressing Z will zoom in on a small area around your cursor so you can hit far away enemies more easily. The A button throws your limitless supply of coconuts; B throws a more limited supply of bombs. You get various weapon enhancements like rapid fire and exploding coconuts, as well as more bombs by destroying various background items and certain enemies. In addition to the wiimote+nunchuk controls above, you can also play with the Zapper or the Classic Controller.

It’s quite a challenging game: I’ve not managed to make it past the first stage on Normal difficulty; only to the 2nd level 2nd stage on Easy. The number of enemies on screen increases quite rapidly; even with all of them throwing things at you the game maintains a good framerate. No online component at all, though there are local leaderboards and the game can be played by one or two players just like the classics it’s aping (see what I did there?).

For 600 points it’s a fair bit of entertainment, though I prefer more straightforward lightgun games like Wild West Guns or Ghost Squad.