Mini Ninjas Adventures is the Kinect sequel to the original Mini Ninjas. This new game is available on XBLA and is developed Side Kick and published by Square Enix.
Mini Ninjas follows on from the previous game focusing around the same main character Hiro. Hiro after reuniting his ninja buddies from the previous game, he just ends up losing it all again by releasing an evil force from an amulet transforming the critters of the land to dark warriors . His friends captured he quests to save them all again with his diverse range of skills and Ninja Magic.
The game play is based around a wave based attack system, allowing the players to side step left and right while enemies charge and attack. Hiro is able to; kick, slash, shoot and ninja star his foes each being designed for defeating certain opponents. The combat works well and proves to be a fluid and enjoyable experience, and the Kinect accuracy is reasonably quick and simple to use, my issue however comes from hitting targets work: each attack happens in a lane meaning if you are not fully inside a lane the attack will miss, this makes the combat feel a bit jerky at point.
Enemies in the game will charge down their lanes separated into three rows and five columns, and then depending on their weapons they will either attack you from afar or charge in to the fight. Shield and walls are also added to the mixture, needing to be destroyed or a swift kick to leave their block open for assault. On their own they pose not much of a threat, the game meanwhile will add multiple targets in tandem to work against you, calling you to blend different weapons and attacks to survive. For the most part it works fairly well adding a sense of timing to the experience and adding to the game challenge.
Each of the levels is designed so that certain combinations of attacks will pay out with the highest score: bombs planted in certain places for instant kills and attacks patterns which leave enemies open. Most levels you will need to replay to get a good score by learning the quickest way to win and perfect time to use your Ninja Call move. The Ninja call move adds well to the score system, the move itself is a heavy damage attack caused when a rage bar fills: it plays well causing the player to look out for the best places to use this ability, and letting them score high amounts of points.
During the fights money, potions and power ups drop: power ups improving your overall damage or making Hiro invulnerable, potions allowing Hiro to casts spells, and money allowing Hiro to upgrade his abilities, damage and health or even how easy it is to deflect moves. The spell that Hiro has at his disposal work in the same way the Ninja Call work, with magic Hiro is able to use a selection of spells each targeting a larger amount of area, and with each requiring a larger amount of potions collected.
The game features challenge modes for those that really enjoy the game, focused around killing the most enemies possible in an allotted time. They’re reasonably well done but unless you enjoy the main game and want more of it they’ll only be a brief distraction.
The graphics resemble the previous game with detailed characters made in a cartoon bobble head fashion. It’s a nice style that will age well but doesn’t go any lengths to amaze or astound. The sound work is also fairly reasonable though nothing to draw much attention to.
The gameplay is enjoyable and works surprisingly well leaving players kicking and punching the air to their hearts content, but while enjoyable it doesn’t do much to elevate itself any higher other than the Kinect controls.
It would be a pleasant experience for a short while but I doubt it will keep players coming back for more and more every time.
The graphics are reasonable with a nice art style and decent audio to accompany it. The story is not really much more than a reason to go on an adventure and a pacing device.
The core campaign should last a couple of hours and the challenge mode may draw some in for a short while longer leaving the game to not out stay it’s welcome.
A fairly good game overall and an interesting experience thanks to the Kinect controls, sadly however it doesn’t do much to excite apart from the Kinect. It’s fun to play but felt like it could have need different gameplay to spice up the game a bit more as the experience feels more like something found on mobile gaming platforms.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.