Review: Ninja Senki DX
Within the first 30 seconds of playing Ninja Senki DX, you’ll know that this is for lovers of old-school, 8-bit platforming. The most comparable game I can think of is Mega Man. Traps, enemy placement and platforms are placed in specific places to challenge the player and test their 2D platforming ability. It captures the feel of an 8-bit platformer without feeling too frustrating, and doesn’t overstay its welcome with its manageable 16 levels.
Hayate is a blue ninja that is after a band of evil ninjas and creatures who murdered his beloved Kinuhime. That’s about all there is for story, but the game does offer multiple endings. Through the 16 levels (scenes), you’ll go through 8 different environments with new enemies to fight. Each enemy has a specific pattern, so recognizing certain enemies will help in your knowledge of how to handle each situation. On the even numbered levels, you’ll face a boss encounter. Some bosses offer little to no challenge, while others, especially the final boss, involves a hefty challenge. One of my complaints with the boss structure is that one boss in particular is repeated multiple times. I couldn’t help but think that with the other unique bosses the game offers, there could have been new and unique encounters, but was disappointed when the same boss occurred several times.
From start to finish, levels only take about 2-3 minutes to complete. However, you’ll most likely be replaying levels a few times to learn how each intricate part of the level works. You’ll need to take your time, and rushing in blindly will lead to frustration. The more you learn the level, the easier you’ll be able to blaze through levels right and left. When starting up a level, it can appear very daunting, but after a few tries, you’ll know what to expect, and after that, the levels are manageable. As long as you take 5-10 minutes on each level to learn how the enemies and traps work, you shouldn’t have a problem getting through the game. Three lives are given to you each time you start a level. Each level has a checkpoint somewhere in the middle and a checkpoint right before the boss. Lose all the lives and you’ll need to start the level over; but if you’re paying attention, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting right back to where you were. There aren’t abilities or complex moves that you’ll need to pull off. Just moving Hayate, double jumping and throwing shurikens is all the game has in terms of player control, and it’s for the best. I wasn’t wishing there was another mechanic in the game at all during my play sessions.
Ninja Senki DX resembles a classic Game Boy game, and it captures that feel effectively. On the sides of the screen there is information about the level, such as target time for speed runners, coins in the level, and how many enemies you’ve eliminated. Various challenges are tied to these elements of gameplay as well. If you’re looking to achieve everything, you’ll need to know the game inside and out. Hardcore mode is for players looking for an even more daunting task, as saving is not allowed. A remixed soundtrack of the game is available at default, and there is an option to switch to the classic soundtrack. Finally a boss rush mode is selectable after completing the game, tasking you to beat all the bosses in the fastest time.
With manageable levels that feels like a puzzle themselves, simplistic gameplay, and challenges that will attract dedicated players, Ninja Senki DX is a pretty well rounded package for such a small price tag. At the end of the 16 levels I wasn’t yearning for more, and for players looking to complete everything can do so without being overwhelmed by the amount of content. Other than some repeating bosses, I’d recommend the game to anyone who is looking for a slight challenge in their 2D platformers.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Level design
- Simple gameplay
- Manageable levels
What I Dislike:
- Recycled boss