10 second Ninja X, if you have read the preview that I had previously written then not much has changed in terms of its platform and availability. A frustratingly fast paced platformer for the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playsation Vita and Windows PC. As this is an addition to the preview already written to avoid re-hashing content I will just stick to discussing the gameplay mechanics and other items that were not present or fully fleshed out in the preview. This will of course have a small nod so you do not have to read the preview to have an understanding. Not that this is a complicated game to understand, just play.
10 second ninja X’s narrative is not the games focus (which was clear in the preview) however there are a surprising amount of characters for what is pretty much just a platformer, and although none of these get fleshed out properly they do add a certain something to the game. I mean after talking to the ninja loving engineer which then triggered some kind of event where he was constantly with me flying by my side gave a lovely happy vibe. Which was instantly turned into a horrific “what have I done” as I accidentally hit him with a shurieken however I have a feeling you were meant to do that. He was in the engine room again so I guess all that ends well right? From the outset the narrative is not serious and it is reflected with the somewhat caricature all be it, interesting characters which do not get, as I said, much development. Which now that I think about it I guess it plays into the silent ninja stereotype. That would be the ninja who is the main protagonist in this crazy platforming adventure.
The mechanics are simple but the puzzle elements introduced during the game is really what gives the game its hard-core styled gameplay. With very little tools at your disposal and only ten seconds on the clock you have to think very tactically. However you can cheat and get tip coins from the mini game in the game and have what you need to do shown to you with a mini ghost ninja. But, true to the game you have to complete and win this mini game to allow you to get help with a “which cup has the ping-pong ball in” styled mini game. However this may be completely necessary unless you want to end up buying new monitors. Even more so if you are completely crazy and want to shave those mille seconds of your time to get three stars. When calling this game a “hard-core platformer” I mean to the extent that even a tiny muscle movement misplace in your finger can cause you to miss that third star. But, when you get that third star you feel like you have climbed mount Olympus itself. The game can feel sadistically hard however it feels completely fair. This is helped by the fact that the controls are very minimum and laid out in the best possible way to give you the best chance to succeed. This is no more present in the reset button being so close to the movement controls and the fact that the timer does not start counting down until it receives its first keyboard input. This gives you a brief moment to calm yourself, take a good look at your surroundings and plan a way to proceed. Like a true ninja. The stages also do a good job of introducing new things into the game such as enemies that cannot be touched or platforms controlled by switches making the game that much-more interesting
The game looks nice enough and the change of environments for each stage is great. Also the slight variation in the robots being disassembled gives all the encountered levels variation so that the game does not become such a banal experience. This and with each stage receiving a different soundtrack it still gives a sense of newness when you jump into that world gearing up to race across those platforms.
Overall the game is a great game. Not a game I personally am very fond of but can definitely see the attraction – with its keyboard smashing difficulty and short restart time it makes the game more on the palatable side of frustratingly hard gameplay. This and its visual look and characters give it its own noticeable style. Even if, as I said in the preview, it has slight vibes from another blue fast hero who likes to smash robots to free critters and has an antagonist who likes to use a floaty ball chair. However my main issue with the game is still the difference between a two star and three star rank, less than a second is really not enough of a gap and really does not feel like the gratifying achievement that it should be for getting three stars on the level. Also, the expert level design that gives the game its difficulty does start to lose its lustre which can probably be attributed by the fact that you have very limited options with destroying enemies. These being hit them close or hit them far away. But then again this game is what it is. So if you like challenging platformers then this is a definite must play.