If there is one sure fire fact in the world its that Ninjas are the coolest thing since sliced bread, especially if its bread sliced by a ninja. Recently, we've seen many forms of the Ninja from the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ninja Gaidan, Dead or Alive and even the likes of Shinobi a few years ago; but now there is a new ninja contender and its available for the Xbox Live Arcade. The story of the game is simple, your a ninja and when your not busy flipping out and killing people your searching for gold and thus we bring you the premise for N+. N+ presents the gold for the ninja but the only problem is that the gold is being guarded by every possible element of death and you have a limited time to cash in and escape from tons of rooms of doom.
The game play is very easy to pick up and mashes together a variety of games for a cool result. Take the classic wall grabbing/jumping characteristic from the original Nintendo Ninja Gaidan, add a dash of speed from Sonic the Hedgehog; finish it off with a pinch of traps that could be taken out of Portal and your presented with a pretty cool atmosphere. Being placed in a stage your object is to grab the gold while trying to not get yourself killed and activate the gate switch that will allow you to take off with all your gold. The graphics in this game were not designed to blow your mind, but rather the play mechanics; Physics and momentum play a huge part in the excitement in the game. In terms of playtime you have almost 300 stages to complete and if that isn't enough, you can also design your own stages and share them with friends.
While the single player is very good, its the multiplayer modes I really enjoyed. Multiplayer is available in three flavors: Co-op, Race and Survival. Co-op is your standard co-op adventure, while Race and Survival pit you in a 2-4 war against other ninjas. For myself, I got the most enjoyment out of Race mode, constantly on the move and doing my best to get ahead of the other players and reach the exit first. It sounds simple but its truly a fun experience. Survival mode has no exits and the object of this mode is to be the last ninja standing. Getting taken out by enemy robots will reduce your lifeline but grabbing gold will restore it causing fast and frantic panic when all the gold is taken and it slowly respawns back.
The music and audio effects in the game are well done, especially when your blasted to pieces by enemies and the music has a nice electronic breakbeat vibe going to it, but the tracks are limited and can lead to them getting old quickly.That being said the audio environment gives you a good sense of the game's atmosphere when the graphics can not.
I have to admit, when I first saw the previews for N+ I was not impressed, the game seemed like it didn't have much going for it and lacked excitement to me. Simply put: I was wrong, this game is a lot of fun and contains enough modes to keep people interested for along time. Once you get into the quick learning curve of the game, you'll be running, jumping and wall climbing to victory. For those of you who are still not convinced, take 10 minutes and try out the demo, you might be impressed just like me.
Overall I give N+ four ninja sidekicks out of 5 ninja sidekicks
This review was made possible by 360style.net