Ninjas and Zombies are part of a healty diet but eating one after the other can prove to be a huge challenge to any digestive system. Mmm, what to review today then? Ok, let’s go with Ninjas first and take it from there and we’ll deal with the zombies later. What could go wrong?
In Ninjamurai, the player assumes the role of Takezou Nishimura (Also known as The Ninjamurai), a young warrior who is the offspring of a union between a Female Ninja and a male Samurai. Rejected by both sides and looked down on as a kind of a mongrel breed, Takezou can be impulsive due to his age and often has a cocky attitude. He does however have a good heart and a desire to help others. He is the most skilled warrior in his mountain shrine where he was raised by a man named Oro Sensei. After many years of training, Takezou is tasked with going into the nearby city and doing some recon. When he gets to the city he realizes something is amiss. It is overrun with Black Armor Militia and Takezou sets about destroying the Black Armor presence in the city. He meets a Black Armor commander named Bedros Majima, who informs him that the Black Armor was responsible for the murder of his parents.
Along the way, Takezou will interact with a varied cast of characters. Oro, the master of the mountain shrine, was once the master of the Ninja Clan, which Takezou’s mother was part of. When his young charges’ mother and father were slain, Oro took him in and raised him like his own. He is also the keeper of a sacred seal which keeps the dark dragon of the monastery in check. While once a powerful warrior, Oro’s fighting days are over.
Yukiko is Ninjamurai’s recon contact. She keeps him informed of enemy activity and notifies him of threats. Although she can be quite impatient and a bit strict, she is secretly quite soft and finds herself becoming quite fond of Nishimura.
The Black Armor is a dark evil being which absorbs the spirits from beings and incorporates them into digital data. He has been doing this for centuries and as such he has become one of the most powerful beings on the planet. He runs a conglomerate which is a front for illegal activities and he commands the largest ninja force in the world. The Black Armor Executioner is the right hand man to The Black Armor himself. He also has the ability to absorb the residual static (Souls) of warriors. He is obsessed with claiming Oro Sensei and Takezou, as he believes they are indomitable spirits that will give him an obscene amount of power. Perhaps enough to destroy Black Armor, and take over the clan himself…
There are three modes to choose from in Ninjamurai:
Regular mode: Plain old adventure/story mode without any changes to the formula. Start here to get the hang of things.
Survival: Already beat the game at least once? Ok, now go for it with just one life. Good luck!
Time Attack: Think you’re fast enough to reach the exit? Ok, GO!
Before you start the game you can choose between two difficulties: Normal and Hardcore. Normal is pretty much what you’d expect (especially with that name) and it will allow you to play without worrying too much about enemies or deadly hazards that like to take your health away bit by bit. Hardcore is something else and it is here were the game really puts you to the test.
You move around with with the D-Pad (remember, this is a minis so no analog support as the PSP doesn’t have one), jump with X (double jump with another hit of the X), Square is used to Attack, Circle to throw long range Kunai knifes (which are limited in use as you must pick up more along the way). When you press against a wall you’ll slowly slide down and you can eventually wall jump if you want to avoid falling down and endless pit. You can also use L and R to change between Stealth and Attack modes as your moves change between them as you cannot, for example, double jump while in Attack mode BUT you do more damage. Using the Triangle button while in stealth mode makes your ninja invisible (but not invincible). Attack mode and the Triangle button ? Kills all enemies on screen but uses up all of your Chakra (bar below your health). You regain Chakra by killing enemies or by collecting pickups so keep that in mind. No Chakra? No Attack mode for you!
There’s five unique areas available and each one of these is broken down into several acts you must complete before moving on to the next area. Aside from killing enemies and getting to the goal, what else is there to do in the game? You can look around for Hidden packages all over the game (they look like the faces that are part of the Open Emotion Studios logo). Collect all 13, if you dare!
The game allows you to see how good you did at the end of each act and you can check the total time taken to complete it, the hidden packages found and the enemies killed. You’re ranked as well so you can shoot for a better grade on your second try!
There are several Boss Battles here and there that change your approach from “mad dash to the finish line in one piece” to “mmm, now how can I get rid of him and still stand to live another day?” which is great as it adds more variety to the game and allows us to see a more fleshed out story.
Ninjamurai is a small but fun game is best played in small burst… which seems to be the case for most minis releases at the PSN Store. Price is low enough for you to try it and add it to your collection as it will provide you with a couple of hours of distraction from more complicated games.
|Fast game for those times when you want a fast paced game|
Low Price and enough content for it
|Not that many animation frames|
Published by Open Emotion Studios
Cost – $2.99
- Regular mode was completed and both Survival and Time Attack were played as well.
- Total amount of time played: 4 hours.
- This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Ninjamurai provided by Open Emotion Studios.
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Written by: EdEN
- PR / Contributing Editor