Review by nabuch

"The Ninja that plays like a bandicoot"

I-Ninja is a ninja game in name only, at least for the most part. It's a pure platformer, more closely along the lines of a Crash Bandicoot game. It pretty much got lost in the shuffle of holiday games, but it is a pretty pleasant surprise.

GRAPHICS: 7/10 Think Crash Bandicoot lite. The environments don't have near as much detail, but they are very richly colored. It is a bright and cheerful little game, with rather decent animation.

MUSIC/SOUND: 9/10 I love the music, it is almost the best part of the game, and coincidentally, very similar to a Crash Bandicoot game in tone. I believe the crash games to have some of the best music in games. It is very up tempo, so if you don't like dance music, you are in trouble.

CAMERA/CONTROL: 7/10 The camera is hardly ever a problem. The controls are spot on accurate, and for the most part pretty intuitive, but there is one problem. Being able to run along walls is one move I wish they had left out, it is very hard to do and get right. Other than that, it would be perfect.

GAME PLAY: 6/10 There are a rather large amount of levels, and quite a bit of variety in what you have to do, spread over 5 worlds. Unfortunately, there are way to many monkey ball type levels. Another problem is the way the makers tried to increase the length of a very short game. To get 100% you will need to do most levels three times. The second and third times through you either will be looking for 10 red coins, killing a certain amount of enemies( which is always every one), and beating a very difficult time constraint; but the levels themselves do not change at all. There are also some extra levels you can buy, which are moderately challenging the first time through, and impossibly hard the second ( these only require two times through). Coins are used to buy the extra levels and are ridiculously easy to get. You can easily skip levels you have a problem with since not all levels are required to be passed to get the ending, that is if you are going through some of them a second and third time. As you progress through the game your weapon gets better, but it usually doesn't seem to help beat enemies very much. In total there are 64 medals to get and about 20 or so levels.

VALUE: 6/10 The value of this now $30 game depends on you. The game can easily be beaten by anyone in under 10 hours, but going for 100% is ridiculously hard and could take a good 30-40 hours or more. If you know you don't mind redoing each level till its perfect, and won't quit till you get 100%, then rate this a 9.

FINAL COMMENTS: This is a bizarrely addictive and fun game to play, except for the wall running and timed levels. Depending on the type of gamer you are, you would probably do well to just rent it, and see how far you can get.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/09/04

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