Mini Ninjas Review
Mini Ninjas is a highly charming third-person action adventure game that takes you across the beautiful landscapes of feudal Japan, as you fight to bring order to a world on the brink of chaos.
Even though the game has been designed with younger players in mind with its animated design and non-violent combat, the engaging story, great level design, thrilling combat sequences, puzzle solving and quirky sense of humour make this a must-play for any older players who enjoy action video games too.
Video Game Summary
What I Loved About This Game
| This Game is Perfect For:
|Children, Teenagers, Action Video Games Fans
| Number of Players:
| Age Rating:
| FUN Factor:
| Nintendo Wii Explained Score:
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| Game Summary:
| In feudal Japan, chaos threatens to take over the world as the Evil Samurai Warlord builds an army of Samurai warriors. When a group of ninjas sent to stop the Evil Warlord disappear without a trace, young Hiro sets out on a mission across Japan to defeat the Samurai Warlord and restore peace to the world.
With instantly lovable characters, satisfying but non-violent combat, fun side missions and a sense of humour too, Mini Ninjas should be on the shopping list of any action loving gamer.
Mini Ninjas is set in Japan at the time that the Evil Samurai Warlord is assembling an army of Samurai warriors to take over the world. This is no ordinary army though. The Samurai Warlord is kidnapping forest animals and turning them into his foot soldiers using Kuji magic.
The hero of our story is Hiro, a young boy who is training to become a ninja on Ninja Mountain. When the Grand Master sends his best ninjas to fight the evil Warlord and all of them disappear without word, Hiro is the last person left to save the world.
Before Hiro begins his adventure though, he'll need to complete his training that will prepare him for his quest. This final training cleverly plays out as the game's opening tutorial level where you'll learn how to fight enemies in combat, cast magic spells and find food to restore your health.
After completing the tutorial level, Hiro will be ready to leave Ninja Mountain and start his adventure...
As you play through the game, Hiro will travel through beautiful Japanese landscapes from villages to forests to castles and giant waterfalls. Each level takes place in a different location, with each location providing unique challenges and opportunities.
In forests you can sneak up on enemies by moving in the long grass, in castle courtyards you can sneak past enemies by walking across rooftops and balancing on lantern strings. In the early levels you'll receive tips and hints to help guide you through the action and side quests.
The main combat element in the game is close quarters melee combat against multiple Samurai enemies. The game is considered non-violent, as defeated enemies do not die. Instead, defeated Samurai soldiers turn back into forest creatures and scamper away. Freeing enough forest animals from the evil Samurai Warlord earns you power ups that boost your attack powers and health.
Fighting hordes of Samurai Warriors is where all the fun lies
As you play through the game, you'll find the other ninjas sent out by the Grand Master before you, and who, it turns out, have been captured by the Samurai Warriors. As you find and "unlock" these characters, you'll be able to switch between Hiro and his ninja friends in order to use their unique abilities.
Each of the ninjas that you unlock has a unique weapon and special attack move that you'll find useful depending on the situation. Having the option of switching between different characters and taking advantage of their unique abilities adds a great strategic layer to the game, as you'll need to plan how best to attack large groups of enemy Samurai to progress.
As the main character, Hiro has more powers than the other ninjas, and is the only ninja with the ability to use Kuji magic. Using Kuji magic also adds to Mini Ninja's strategic mix, as you'll have the option of attacking enemies with your sword, special attack move or magic spells. Whichever attack methods you favour though, all are highly satisfying to pull off, especially when you defeat a whole platoon of Samurai with a fire ball or a Tornado spell.
Suzume's Flute brings grown men to their knees
While defeating the evil Samurai army is the main way to progress through Mini Ninjas, there are also several side-missions to complete by exploring the game's expansive levels. With the ability to use Kuji magic, Hiro can cast spells and make special potions, but you'll need to "earn" these spells by finding hidden Kuji shrines, with a new spell to be found at each shrine. To make potions you'll need to collect different types of flowers spread throughout the levels.
The ability to use weapons, switch between characters, and cast spells on your enemies really does add a level of depth that you perhaps wouldn't expect in a game that's tailored for younger players. The multiple ways in which you can attack enemies also makes combat satisfying and stops it from becoming tedious.
While its gameplay is a real thrill, Mini Ninjas also has a subtle but quirky sense of humour. You'll laugh more than a few times at the cowardly Samurai commanders and other comedic moments in the game. Between the high action combat and comedy laughs, you'll be itching to see what's around the next corner.
What I Didn't Love About the Game
Take out whole groups of Samurai with a Tornado spell
Even though Mini Ninjas has all the great qualities of a classic action video game, combat is a little basic and experienced action video game and adventure video game fans may find it a little too easy to take out hordes of Samurai enemies.
Playing on the Standard difficulty setting, I can't say I was ever worried about taking on platoons full of Samurai, and never felt that I should try to sneak around them instead of tackling them head on.
Despite the ease with which you can beat up on your enemies though, the multiple ways in which you can do this, whether through melee combat, switching characters, casting a spell or brewing a potion, prevents the game from ever becoming boring.
Use Futo and his hammer to take out the Big Guy
Mini Ninjas is a fast paced action video game that's tailored for younger players but is a great adventure for adults too.
Despite being fairly easy to defeat enemies in combat, Mini Ninjas has all the elements you'd expect from a great action game. These include instantly lovable characters, great graphics, sets and locations, easy to use controls, fun side missions, and an engaging story that just makes you want to carry on playing.
The Bamboo Forests – a perfect setting for hand-to-hand combat!
Even though Mini Ninjas is intended for young players, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to both children and adults alike, and you may find yourselves fighting it out for the honour of playing as Hiro, everybody's new action hero.
Mini Ninjas is available in shops now and would make a great Christmas treat for you or a Wii-owning friend or family member. Best Buy, Amazon and
Newegg all stock the game at a great price.
I live in the UK and buy all my games from Play.com, Amazon UK and Game. Play and Amazon have the best prices and speedy customer service. Game isn't always the cheapest but they do have outstanding customer service and speedy delivery too.
I also know that buying all of these great Wii games can be an expensive business, so why not rent games instead. Renting is a great way to play all of the games you're dying to get hold of without having to hand over cold cash every time.
LoveFilm is my favourite service. Games arrive really quickly, you can keep your games for as long as you like, and their customer service is excellent. They've got a 2 week free trial, so it's worth trying them out with no risk at all.
Mini Ninjas and other great games can all be found in the Wii Game Reviews section.
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