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About the product
- First E-rated game by renowned storyline and character-driven developer, IO Interactive, makers of Hitman and Kane & Lynch.
- Epic adventure appealing to all ages. No killing. When an enemy is defeated it is transformed into its original innocent animal form, restoring balance.
- Beautiful, distinct, highly appealing and original art style.
- A motley crew of 6 playable characters: Hiro, Futo, Suzume, Tora, Shun & Kunoichi.
- Play as Mini Ninjas with cool ninja weapons, moves and powerful spells.
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You are the last Ninja that anyone would expect to save the world. Yet that is exactly what you’re called to do when an Evil Samurai Warlord hatches a plan bent on total domination. Use your special Ninja training to battle a magical army of twisted Samurai, ride the rapids of the Great Central River, walk into the very heart of the Lost Volcano, and finally confront the Samurai Warlord in his Evil Fortress of Doom. Play as Hiro and other Mini Ninjas, combining your ninja skills, weapons & kuji magic powers in an epic & challenging adventure to restore harmony to the world.
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HOWEVER there are four flaws to the game.
#1- one of the last levels consists of sliding down the mountain.. which is more of a free-fall race against an avalanche. I found this level impossible to beat... it even took my husband months to beat it for me. It was frustrating, annoying, and frankly should never have been included in the game. I really do not like games that are inconsistent in game play.
#2- the way to beat the bosses was WAY too prescribed. We should have had to use our brains to determine which of our collected powers to use on a boss and in what order... instead of just performing prescribed tapping of keys on the controller.
#3- most of the enemies are silly in one way or another and turn back into animals, so they are hardly scary which is a really good thing - BUT the skeletal ghosts that sucked out your life in the cemetery was NOT in the playful spirit of the rest of the game. They made me jump out of my skin every time even if i knew they were there.
#4- I wish the game was longer or had more secret puzzles to discover etc... I mean this game was pretty short compared to most of the games I play. I know its meant to be a kids game... but I mostly only play kids games... so this game could have been MUCH longer in my opinion.
Overall, I loved playing the game and all I want is a sequel to buy... but I want my complaints known so they don't include those in the sequel.
It has a perfect control scheme, which I don't really see anyone else talk about, but which I consider very important, so let me describe it briefly:
Left stick controls your character, as in many other games
Right stick controls the camera, which I really like, and has option to invert, which is even better
Square is normal attack
Triangle is special attack
X is jump
Circle is sprint which consumes energy to run fast
L1 brings up a quick character selection menu
Holding L2 makes the character sneak
R1 brings up a quick item/spell menu, that selects which item/spell is activated by pressing...
R2 activates selected item/spell (can include shuriken, spells, potions, bombs)
R3 toggles the hat-boat item
I've been playing games since 1980 on the Commodore Vic-20, and my favorite games of the past have been Mario and Maximo games, but this game is easily as good as those games, in my opinion. It has a perfectly balanced play control scheme, well balanced difficulty that is fun, but not too hard to frustrate the player, with the default game difficulty being perfect for non-gamers, and the Hard mode preferred for players with more experience under their belts (though even that mode isn't too hard).
The most similar game this should be compared to is the Ninja Gaiden games, but this game has two significant differences with those games:
1) This game is much easier, so no experienced gamers banging their heads against the wall trying to kill frustratingly hard bosses.
2) This game is far more innocent in presentation, with no real killing involved, and defeating opponents merely "frees" animals, with no blood or guts or brutality or anything normally considered offensive to some. This makes the game much more enjoyable to children and those with an appreciation for good, clean fun.
One other game I'd like to compare this to is God of War, which has some very noticeable contrasts as well:
1) As with Ninja Gaiden, God of War games are a whole lot more violent and potentially offensive (with nudity and lots of brutality) content than Mini Ninjas.
2) God of War has a large number of complex moves available that make it hard to master, but you can't do some very basic things, like move your camera! Mini Ninjas has a very good control scheme (as described above) and most importantly, does not define itself by a near-endless supply of the same many-hits-to-kill enemies separated by a few head-bangingly hard hand-eye-coordination test puzzles, but rather distinguishes itself by brilliant level design and player experience [one mild exception to this is a rather annoying single level where you control a snowball going down a mountain, but it's not enough of a problem to take much away from the rest of the game]. I just enjoyed playing this game about 1000x more than playing God of War.
No game is truly perfect, so, yes, there are a few minor gripes I have with this game, which I would change if I could:
1) I really dislike Quick-Time events (time-limited button-press prompts), and I wish the designers had stayed clear of them.
2) This game is so perfect for being family-friendly, that it would have been really, really nice to allow for a two-player co-op option like the Lego series of games are making popular now, which would let older gamers play with their own kids.
3) This game could have done just fine without the downhill snowball level...
I have been waiting for a game like this to come out on the PS3 for years, and it is a delightful departure from the Assassin's Creed, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War type of game that is currently filling the landscape of A+ titles. Finally a perfectly balanced action game for players that don't necessarily want to be frustrated endlessly or to push the envelope of what is socially acceptable behavior.
But don't take my word for it, by any means, just download the demo and judge for yourself. But definitely don't pass by at least playing the demo on this game, it is a masterpiece and should not be missed!