I first found out about Akaneiro a few months ago because of Steam Greenlight and I registered to their beta test immediately. Why? because it looks like a proper Action RPG with a very interesting setting and a good looking art style. I love Action RPGs like Diablo, Torchlight and other similar titles, even though they represent something that I hate when put into an MMO, which is grinding. However when put into an Action RPG title, I don't really mind a bit of grinding. The fact that it is a browser game also intrigues me as I want to see if they can really make a great game with that limitation.
Akaneiro is set in 19th century Japan but with a fantasy and dark fairy-tale twist. We play as a member of the Order of Akane, a group of demon hunters started by the legendary Red or as we usually call her: The Red Riding Hood. And yes, we will fight a lot of wolves in this game(although there are also other kinds of enemies).
While story-wise it is certainly intriguing, how about gameplay-wise? is it any good? I'd have to say it is okay. From the beta I feel that controls and skills feels right but there are not enough innovation to get really excited on. The game uses the classic formula of Action RPGs just fine but doesn't really add anything new. However, even in the course of a few weeks the game has already received plenty of improvements and upgrades so it wouldn't be a surprise if they will add more interesting features later on.
One of the game's strength is its art style. If you've played Okami before, this game uses the same style of shading that makes everything looks like an ink painting. If you're like me and likes the style, this game definitely looks good. The amount of weapon and armor variety in the game is also a plus, featuring various combinations of armor pieces.
For now, Akaneiro isn't really a title I can recommend, even if it does have great aesthetics and concept. If they decided to improve the gameplay part with additional features and tweak the skill system I believe the game could be a good choice for those who likes Action RPG.
Note: According to what i read in the forums, they will not release Akaneiro as a Free to Play title but decided to sell the game at the low price. They have said that it will be cheaper than Torchlight. I don't know the exact pricing, but I suppose if it is cheap it could be worth buying.
Check out Akaneiro at: