Mar 27, 2017
Dastardly Orochi has escaped prison and has the gall to kidnap your son. Of course, that won’t stand. It’s time to don the black regalia again…
And this, in a nutshell, is the premise behind Ninja Arashi.
Did you say “ninjas?” Color us sold.
In gameplay terms, the rescue effort boils down to a leveled running platform adventure. It is an eerie visual experience, with plenty of dark tones; the artwork is mostly zany without teetering into the unserious… ethereal and foreboding at the same time.
The general direction is from left to right, and the running area is fraught with danger.
The first level doubles as a hands on tutorial. The main idea is to navigate the leveled action, and get our stealthy hero from Point A to Point B. As noted, there are a lot of things to avoid — gaps, glowing red punji sticks, human sentries, and even otherworldy matter. To get by, the jump/double jump button is key. There’s also other tools, like the rechargeable shiruken and conceal buttons, which are great against physical barriers and beings.
There are also collectibles, and the game also incorporates RPG elements, like the ability to upgrade attributes. Levels can be repeated, and completing the one opens up subsequent levels. Death leads to respawning.
There is an energy requirement of sorts, though; there are only so many times one can be respawned.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen a platformer with this time of aesthetic; yes, the dark motif with splashes of glowing color lends itself especially well to this particular game genre. The bank of virtual controls are a bit cramped, which makes mishits something to be aware of.
Still, Ninja Arashi comes across as a competent platform game that is a cut above your everyday time waster.
Plus, ninjas are cool. Always.