Title: Mini Ninjas (PC)
The Gist: Mini Ninjas tells the story of a group of ninjas who find that an evil power is tainting the world, capturing innocent animals and turning them into evil-ninjas to do its bidding. It’s your job to find the source of this taint, determine what’s happened and put a stop to it. You start off as a sole ninja armed with a sword and some kick-ass moves…come to think of it this ninja looks a little like Kick-Ass…erm back to the story…so you set off on an adventure to save the land from this evil, pick up a few moves and weapons as well as some additional ninjas whom you can take control of one at a time. Each ninja has its own personality and weapon which will be effective against a certain type of enemy this also gives the game variety of play style, slow and heavy or small and agile.
Pros: This game was cute; all along the way you can’t help but adore the countless little animals roaming the land as they bob along. The game features a cell shaded aspect to it that adds to the comical aspect of the game but features a high level of backgrounds and character animations too. The game play itself takes place on a series of levels which are sort of open plan, but really just feature a few paths you can walk along, veering off from the path does allow you to find certain items such as herbs or flowers which can later on be turned into potions to heal or resist damage etc. If you do find yourself a little lost the game features a sat-nav looking arrow which will appear on screen for a few seconds giving you enough time to find your way but not intrude on the screen too much either. The paths in the game are home to save points in the form of little flower boxes that look like mailboxes, again quite cute!
The combat itself starts off quite simple and lets you hack and slash most of your enemies. Over time these enemies will grow in number and strength and require a few tactics such as stunning or using your special abilities such as putting a group of enemies to sleep or going all Zen and jumping into the air which freezes time and allows you to target a set number of enemies which when you’re ready feel your matrix style wrath! The enemies themselves are quite amusing, usually muttering something along the lines of ninja perhaps but come off more like the Jawa’s from Star Wars. Additional weapons such as throwing stars or pepper bombs can stun the enemy or make them sneeze…always fun because you can jump in during their sneezing fit and bitch-slap the lot before they can reach a tissue.
Cons: The only con I found during my hour was that initially my game bugged and forced me to play in some sort of sepia tone graphic which I figured was going to be used for the starting area…a quick Google revealed that it might not like current graphics cards or perhaps windows 7 64-bit but simply running the game in XP SP3 mode had me jumping about like a mini ninja in no time. The difficulty setting didn’t seem to change much, hard mode doesn’t feel very challenging just yet and I’d have preferred the enemies to either hit harder or make me work harder to kill them.
Musical Note: I didn’t really notice too much music other than the occasional Japanese style theme which was quite generic and merely blended with the game. Whilst I can appreciate that the intention of this is to give the game its Japanese theme I’d have liked to have heard something a little more unique that would let me know I’m playing this game and not any game featuring a Samurai.
Hunger Level: Really want to keep playing this, when done with my current game obsessions such as Duke Nukem…and soon Zelda: Ocarina of Time I’ll no doubt load it up as I get the feeling the game won’t last too long. Will fit in nicely after playing Zelda as its quite adventure based and even features similar combat.
Conclusion: The initial prices have dropped now on digital platforms such as Steam so there isn’t much reason to hold off getting it, no doubt on offer at Christmas or another sale so pick it up and give it a try, something fun and energetic to take you away from your usual gaming experiences. Enjoy!
“One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum”