I bought this game because another reviewer mentioned it was a bit like Zelda. I'm not entirely sure I'd agree with that assessment, but I'm very pleased I bought this as it's heaps of fun!
You play as a ninja (as the title suggests), and play through levels beating baddies and solving puzzles. There's a good mixture of action and fighting, and the controls work well (although, my constant complaint with the Wii is that the nunchuk is NOT responsive enough - this game is no exception).
Things I really like about this game:
- The graphics are simple but well done. The shiny cartoony style really works for the atmosphere of the game. The music, similarly, is not a complex masterpiece, but does add to atmosphere in various areas and never seems out of place.
- The variety of items and spells. I haven't finished the game yet, but using spells and various items is easy and fun, and there seem to be plenty of different things you can collect. I particularly enjoy possessing an animal as Hiro and running around digging up ingredients for potions etc.
- The cuteness. There is a fair amount of violence in the game - you do have to attack Samurai - but instead of blood spurts and dead bodies, when the Samurai are defeated they turn back into the little forest animals that they used to be (apparently they were cursed into being evil Samurai). This is mainly bunnies, foxes, raccoons, etc, but the bigger baddies turn into bears or boars, which is a nice touch.
- The voice acting. I'm not usually a big fan of voice acting, but it's really well-done in this game. Most of the dialogue is exceptionally witty and entertaining to listen to.
- The difficulty. Okay, it's not a huge challenge, all things considered. But it isn't boring by any stretch of the imagination - I constantly felt engaged and interested.
Things I liked less:
- Although you pick up a few ninja friends along the way, there's no real incentive to use any of them, with the exception of the biggest one, who is useful for taking down more formidable monsters. Particularly as only Hiro can use magic, and there is OFTEN cause to use magic, playing for any length of time as a different ninja is impossible.
- The levels. Well, not the levels themselves, I think they're well done and, considering that they're fairly linear, allow plenty of opportunities for exploration. But the way they link together infuriates me just a bit. At the end of each level you get graded on how many spells you found, how many animals you freed, etc, and then you get taken to the next level. The levels do seem to connect together, but instead of being able to travel from one to the other seamlessly, and thus go BACK, the only way to go back to a previous level is through the main menu. This really disappointed me, because it took away from an otherwise fairly immersive experience.
Overall, though, this game has a lot of good things going for it. If you like 3D action-adventures, and if you like ninjas, then I think this would be a good bet. The emphasis on nature and lack of blood and guts makes it a good title for children, I think, although they may occasionally need some help.
Above all, this game is just sooo playable. You think to yourself, 'I'll just have a quick half-hour', and the next thing you know, 'Oops, there went an afternoon'!
To start with, it must be said that it was most definitely designed for kids, however I'm the very wrong side of 21 and have had many enjoyable hours of time well wasted. I'm not into martial arts movies or the like, or indeed any fighting games, so it's not one that I would've naturally chosen, it was brought to my attention by one of Amazon's 'stuff you might be interested' emails, and I'm very glad it was. I think it was the cover, not to mention the name, that first attracted me so I went straight to YouTube and watched some trailers and game footage and the rest, as they say...
The whole thing is well put together. It's very sweet (ahh, bless) and with a quite simple story line. Graphically, it's quite pleasing to the eye and has a gentle Oriental feel to it and all of the characters are very well done, however it's quite basic from the point of view that it only lets you go where you're meant to, unlike (say) Assassin's Creed where you can go almost anywhere, and this helps with the 'puzzle solving'. Everything's achievable and it doesn't get too frustrating. This doesn't detract from its charm because unlike all of those other elaborate RPG's, it's not at all 'up itself'; it's just fun!
It's only a single player game so it's not an 'after the pub' affair, like other Wii games (i.e... Sports, Mario Kart etc.) but I dare say could be an 'audience participation' number in as far as remembering where stuff is (always a problem when full of ale).
Although definitely designed for kids, I dare say the developers had a ball making it. The underlying humor is too subtle for young'nes to spot, and there is a fair bit of it. It's full of fun stuff i.e. the chatter and battle cries from your opponents - I howl with laughter every time!
So, to sum up; it's very sweet and not at all pretentious. It's pleasing to the eye, full of fun and humour, the puzzles aren't cripplers but the levels are big enough to keep you interested. I never really like recommending things to other people just in case it turns out not to be their cup of tea, however this (in my opinion) is a cracker! I love it!
I have to admit that when I got this home and realised that it was a game produced by Eidos I was a bit skeptical as they have a poor track record of releasing games for the Wii (Tomb Raider:Underworld) but I'm pleased to say that this game is tonnes of fun. The developers have finally understood how to use the wiimote to enhance the game to the point where I feel sorry for those who are stuck using traditional controllers or a PC keyboard. The game takes the well-worn Zelda-like options of allowing you to buy equipment and spells from the various shopkeepers along the way but adds some fun twists where you have to gather ingredients for some of the potions. The graphics are very well thought out with an hyper-enhanced cartoon feel. Its clear all of the landscapes and castles have been given care and attention and I found myself really enjoying some of the spooky atmospheres as my character crouched high up on a rooftop hearing the monster soldiers bellowing far below. Having said that it is a kids game so it doesn't get too spooky. Dead samurai turn into the animals they actually were so after a battle you find yourself surrounded by hopping bunnies, foxes and the occasional heron. I think that it will go down well with kids of all ages as it bags of fun. If you enjoyed the Zelda games then I think you'll enjoy this. I was going to say its a good stop-gap until the next Zelda installment but that would be unfair as its a great game in its own right and I can't wait until they release Mini Ninjas 2.
We bought this game for my young son for his birthday and it has certainly been a hit. Even though he is young he has managed to understand the game and when he has got stuck has worked out what he needs to do. The graphics on the game are quite good and the adventure is told in a way that young children can understand. While I would not say this is the best Wii game we have purchased, it has certainly given hours of fun.
This is a brilliant game, it is so beautiful and sweet. Im 27 and I still love it, you can swap to different players any time you want depending on who you are fighting, and you can turn into any animal you come across so that you can find (sniff out) all the hidden stuff like plants for spells and different weapons. It's VERY addictive!!! Its essentially a run around game with the aim of finding objects to aid in your quest with some fighting thrown in, the fights are very easy and you have infinite lives. I can't say enough good things about it really, it's brilliantly fun.
My kids (girl 8, boy 6) say: "It's great". My daughter says she loves the way the ninja's hat can be used as a boat. The graphics are good, the ninjas look cute and it's nice that the 'baddies' turn into animals after they get killed.
We've bought a few expensive Wii games including those in the Mario series but this is their favourite Wii game so far - and it was great value too.
I brought this game a couple years ago when my son was 7 and he said it is a bit hard, not great but OK at the time, so he did not play it much. He has played it since and I have also tried it and he prefers it now. It is a bit tricky in parts still, but I personally think once you get into it, it is a good little game .
Love Love Love this game beautiful graphics and music loved the plots and over all very enjoyable not at all frustrating as some games can be Really couldn't stop playing until of course I finished it hope there is a 2nd in the making I'd buy it in a shot