Finally an arcade game that provides good old
fashioned fun, without it trying to be too clever for its own good
and this my friends is where Mini Ninjas begins. Set in the era of
Feudal Japan, gamers are transformed into Hiro, a young Ninja who
has been given the task of saving the world.
With this task, he must also defeat the minions of
the nefarious Samurai Warlord, using whatever means
necessary to complete his task and it doesn’t help that this Warlord
has transformed cute little animals into deadly warriors. You heard
correctly, Mini Ninjas and cute furry animals play a big part in this
game and the humour is oozing from everywhere.
The heart of Mini Ninjas is an arcade game in a
diverse and colourful 3D gaming environment. Through jumping,
attacking and exploring, Hiro must explore this large world in order
to save the world.
Although the premise behind the title is simple,
it actually works, thanks to the decent control system of the game
which makes it fun from start to finish. Whether your jumping in the
air, attacking with a sword, sneaking through the woods or using
secondary attacks such as shurikens, the controls are well mapped
without any unnecessary fiddling.
There is even an RPG like element
to the game as you learn new skills as you progress and it gives you
some more incentives to finish the game. Basically, it's good old
fashioned fun without the convoluted rubbish of many modern games.
Apart from Hiro, gamers must also rely on friends to
assist you through the game and these are also quite varied and
diverse as the gaming environment. Thankfully each of the friends
you encounter have their pros and cons which assists to the
storytelling aspect of Mini ninjas. That and of course, they provide
some valuable assistance when you’re getting your butt whipped.
Another nifty feature in Mini Ninjas is the ability to possess
animals in the game which is a great strategy for sneaking up on
enemies and who would suspect an innocent little bunny rabbit is
actually a Ninja?
In terms of replay value, Mini Ninjas is pretty much
a once played, once finished game due to the repetitive nature of
the gameplay and linear storyline. The game even prompts you before
finishing a level that there are other items you have missed. In
terms of this repetition, the storyline is fairly strong enough to keep
you motivated in finishing the title that caters for both casual and
hardcore gamers alike, even kids of all ages.
Graphically, Mini Ninjas has an almost Nintendo Wii
feel to its simplicity, however with the high definition resolution
on the PS3, it actually suits the premise quite well with some great
attention to detail.
It’s quite reminiscent of those Saturday
morning cartoons with its vibrant colour palette and almost
cartoon-like characters that is matched well with the diverse
background environments. The only issue with the graphics is a
gameplay issue which is the camera. Thankfully it doesn’t become a
problem too often.
The soundtrack of Mini Ninjas has quite a soothing
feel to it that does change with the levels and action. However
where the Mini Ninjas shines in this department is through the
entertaining voice acting with all there stereotypes and clichés.
Add in a variety of martial arts sounding sound effects and the game
comes together quite nicely with the gameplay and the graphics.
At the end of the day, Mini Ninjas may not be the
most innovative arcade game in terms of play, however it’s a sturdy
game that although doesn’t try to be clever, it manages to get the
job done. If you’re after a fun arcade game, than we would more than
happily recommend this title and given that the last few months of
arcade games have been rather generic, Mini Ninjas successfully
raises the bar, making this a fun title.