Only a Ninja can defeat a Ninja-what’s a Ninja???
My favorite quote from my favorite movie. I have a big love for crappy movies, and this is as good as it gets. I obviously also have a thing for Ninjas, Ninjas are cool-end of story. The only people who fancy Ninjas more than I do are little kids. Forget policeman or fireman, what kids really want to be when they grow up are Ninjas. Remove the word Ninja from the once very popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and what do you have?…nothing. I love the The Turtles as much as the next guy, but looking back at it now it sure is quite obvious what it was all about. Teenage – Mutant – Ninja – Turtles: to me that looks more like meta tag keywords than a good name for a comic, and I don’t think I have to mention that they also eat a lot of pizza. So The Turtles wasn’t made out of love after all, if you don’t count the love for hard cold cash. But if they had known a thing or two about kids they would have settled with Ninja Turtles, and dropped the whole part about the mutant teenagers eating pizza.
What’s up with all the talk about Ninjas you might ask? Well today’s story is in fact about a Ninja, a very small Ninja, but still very much a Ninja. As one could guess from my introduction it was maybe with a tad too much skepticism I loaded up Namco’s latest offering to the platform genre, I-Ninja. Was this a platformer gone bad, getting the word Ninja slapped on its cover in a last minute rescue operation? Only an evening of hardcore play would tell.
In I-Ninja you take on the role as small Ninja with a BIG attitude. The game starts with you accidentally killing your own master because you were under the influence of some rage stone that he clearly told you not to touch. He comes back as a ghost to guide you through your quest which is to recover four rage stones, as well as hunting down Master O-Dor who has imprisoned the world’s population. In other words not very original, but again you don’t play platformers for their great stories.
The gameplay also borrows a lot from other games in the genre like Sonic and Crash, even some POP and Metriod Prime in there as well. Though nothing ground breaking, I have to say that the gameplay is pretty solid and for most parts I-Ninja delivers an enjoyable experience. You start the game as a white belt, but you’ll advance in grades through out the game. You can do wall running, swing across gaps using a chain, fight enemies in various ways with multiple weapons, and the list goes on. There are also mini games that you must attend, like entering a giant robot to have a boxing fight with another giant robot. Though some of you older gamers might find the core gamplay of I-Ninja a bit repetitious, as a former kindergarten teacher I’m quite confident that your little brother is going to love it.
So basically what we have here is a pretty solid platform game, with lots of personality and action mixed together with colorful graphics. If you’re planning on getting your little brother a game this Christmas, then I-Ninja is the game. Just the fact that you play as a Ninja should be enough to get most kids excited about this game. After all, Ninjas do have real ultimate powers.