Ninja Village Review

Ninja Village Review

Apr 12, 2013

I’m a sucker for retro games. There is just something charming about going into the past with today’s hardware. I get especially teary-eyed when 8-bit graphics appear.

Kairosoft’s Ninja Village is that type of tearjerker that I’m talking about. Set in ancient Japan, it it is a city simulation set during the period of feudalism. It’s craftily set as a unification adventure that involves ninja clans, so in one swoop, I was getting some awesome backstory angles to work with.

Yes, the game came with retro looks, down the pleasant (for me) shaky movements and blended color. I liked the detail the developer put into creating a fun-looking environment.

The gameplay was a potent mix of civilization simulation and domination principles. Frankly, I really enjoyed the intricate nature of this title. Its game engine was pretty cool, and a lot of thought seemed to have been put into the basic logic. I was responsible for training and upkeep of my ninja warriors. A key component of this was the ability to manage my non-infinite resources. First, I had to do stimulate basic commerce to increase my funds; villagers neededninja2 food, and food also brought valuable cash when sold to merchants. I was able to build industry like farms and also able to build infrastructure for my growing clan.

Eventually, I received info that adjoining lands were available to be raided. I selected the troops I needed for battle, and then we got down.

The battles were nicely animated, with victory and losses clearly denoted. I thought that attaching a visual piece to the battle simulations was a nice touch. Victories invariably swelled our numbers, and more funds had to be expended to develop captured lands and to house new villagers. I had to train and equip my villagers with better weapons, because the other clans started getting so much better.

Acquired land and villages were generally useful assets too. The in-game tutorial notes helped a great deal, and navigation made sense after a while. I though the control mechanism was a bit “heavy” and I could have probably done without the music, but it could be toggled and I still think everything fit well together.

All in all, it was a fascinating trip with plenty of play that can be enjoyed across generations.

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus Review

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus Review

Jun 21, 2011

If you had to describe modern videogames in one phrase, you wouldn’t be too far off if you said “big, burly men shooting each other”. Sure, there are sports games and puzzle games and a billion other types of games, but a lot of the so-called big games all revolve around weapons, muscles and corridors. Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is no exception. Make no mistake, it might be on your phone, but this is a game with triple-A written all over it. A first person shooter with multiplayer modes, startling graphics and a bombastic soundtrack, Black Pegasus wouldn’t feel out of place on a home console.

The game sees you trotting around the globe, shooting terrorists and assorted “bad men”, either on your own or as part of a group of other soldiers. There’s a vague plot going on somewhere behind the action, but to describe it as nonsensical would be a disservice to nonsense. Just shoot everything that moves, that’s really all it tells you to do anyway.

You move your soldier around with an on-screen d-pad, changing the direction you’re looking by swiping anywhere on the screen and firing your weapon with a tap of the “shoot” button. Unfortunately, the shoot button sits exactly where the thumb that does the looking around would naturally settle, meaning quite often when you’re trying to sneakily peak around a corner, you let out a hail of bullets, announcing your presence to all and sundry.

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is brash, loud, stupid and about as subtle as a stick of dynamite taped to a baseball bat. Still, if you don’t mind a bit of thumb-based discomfort, it’s an awful lot of fun as well. It may be a copy of a certain, hugely successful videogame series, but when there are things to explode, men to shoot and plots to thwart, who cares?