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抗日：血战上海滩 (Kàngrì: Xuèzhàn shànghǎi tān, loosely translating to Anti-Japanese: Shanghai Blood of War) was made by Beijing Joy Yipai Technology Co., Ltd. in 2003 for PC. The game was made freely available to the public by the rights owners in 2005. It is an on rails shooter which is currently distributed with the Chinese mouse mimicking light guns made by XmarTV. The game uses relative mouse positions rather than absolute ones, which means that my usual go to PC light guns sadly won't work well for this game. Because of that the footage you are going to see is recorded using a mouse. Furthermore I couldn't find the specific font the game is using for certain in game text boxes, which causes the game to use Latin letters instead but out of place.
The game takes place in 1937 at the so called Battle of Shanghai. The player takes the role of Hua Chenglong who fights the invading Japanese. Besides the normal Japanese soldiers some of them have magical powers. Likewise Hua seems to have special powers too. Within the Japanese rows fights Zombies, Ninjas and Samurai.
The standard weapon is a Mauser C96 pistol which has a ten shot capacity but unlimited stock of ammunition. Besides this are five other weapons which can be picked up during the game, all with unique characteristics and limited stock of ammunition. Amongst these weapons are famous fire arms such as the Mauser M98 rifle and the Thompson submachine gun. From time to time the player mounts a heavy machine gun turret.
The game has 16 levels, which are grouped as four parts of four chapters. The first chapter plays at a city at night. The second chapter takes place during the day. The third chapter starts at a coast and concludes in a fight against zombies. The last chapter is heavily ninja themed.
Besides the enemies from time to time civilians appear, which may provide bonus items, if they are saved. Enemies take more damage if they are shot into the head. Special enemies are commanders which must be shot quickly, as the game keeps spawning enemies otherwise. The game is kept fresh with boss fights and combat against vehicles. Furthermore one level has a driving portion.
Personally I really like Kàngrì: Xuèzhàn shànghǎi tān. In my opinion the level design is gorgeous, the enemy placement is well done, the difficulty is perfectly balanced and the music is lovely. The game is very cinematic and has a certain Matix vibe to it. Some of the cut scenes will stutter even on powerful retro gaming rigs, but I think this is very expectable for a free game. In the near future I will try relative position light guns such as the PC Automag with the game or I might end up buying an XmarTV gun. Furthermore a patch software called Troubleshooter exists, which takes relative mouse position games and enables usage of absolute mouse position light guns. I would love to see such a patch for lesser known games and also for modern titles.
The hand drawn artwork shows Hua with the Mauser M98 and a Japanease Zombie Soldier. I think the box looks lovely.