Atari oldie Raze's Hell has joined the ranks of Xbox 1 games available to download for Xbox 360.
A few years ago I was stopped in the street by one of those pretty but menacingly indiscriminate charity collectors. You know the ones: wide, innocent eyes hiding their SAS training in accosting, guilt-tripping and relieving passers-by of their direct debit details with one deft flick of a blonde curl and a practised flirt. Except she wasn't a charity collector; rather a market researcher offering me a ten pounds to come and answer questions about whether Japan was cool or not. Being a destitute videogames journalist I answered yes to the money and, being a destitute videogame geek, yes to all the others too. Since then Japan's kawaii chic has flooded western consciousness; everything from 3G's leftfield advertising to Powerpuff Girl's ADHD kung-fuing has been given the Nipponese cute-but-slightly-scary treatment. Raze's Hell turns the tables on this phenomenon by demonstrating that Japanese super cute is actually kind of super creepy and, in doing so, makes the saccharine the subject of your ugly protagonist's subjugation.
The game opens storybook-style with the Princess of Kewtopia decreeing her Kewlett subjects are to bring joy, happiness, and freedom to the sad creatures that live outside their idyllic kingdom. That freedom quickly transpires to be a kind of sweetness-cloaked genocide meted out as the Kewlett disciples look to extend the grasp of their cheery dominion across the world by killing anyone that doesn't look like them. So far so Rumsfeld.
Your character, Raze, and his people, designed in the style of Oddworld's Abe, don't look like Kewletts and as such are under attack. As you return home to find your village torn asunder by the diminutive adorables, you have the motive and, following a chance encounter with a power-augmenting demon, the means to fight back against the syrupy onslaught. You could infer all sorts of political commentary/satire from this scenario, especially as the Kewletts throw in a fair few phrases bandied about of late by the American military, but really, it's all just an excuse for you to tear some cute little pieces of Japanimation limb from furry limb. Ever wanted to tear Princess Peach's silky smooth throat out for getting herself kidnapped a-bloody-gain by King Bowser? Now's your chance... er... well... kind of...