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Super Ninja Warrior Extreme

Summon your power and put your strength on the test in this, ninja game!

Ho-Hum Games needs to develop more self-confidence, because its latest Xbox Live Indie Game is actually quite good. Super Ninja Warrior Extreme is a tight 2-D fast action platformer featuring an unnamed ninja slicing up foes on his way to a boss. While there's nothing new here and 2-D indie platformers are a dime a dozen, there's much to be said for a good controlling, well designed, and fun game.

The simple premise here is that you must safely navigate through a level to reach the end where a yellow colored enemy awaits. This particular enemy acts as the boss of each level, and throughout all of the game's 30 stages, he never deviates in style or attack. The boss can slice with an exaggerated sword the same as your ninja and is ultimately no different than the standard ninja enemies which populate the levels and share the same attack. There are a couple of other enemy types, however; one other ninja throws out kunai while there are these ninja bird things to contend with as well. Some levels have other obstacles, too, basically platforming staples such as spikes, saws, and pits to avoid.

The graphics are as basic as can be expected, but the pace of the game and clarity of the visuals are appreciated. The "camera" tracks your ninja well, and the levels are short but well conceived. At no point in the game will you fault the game for your deaths. While the animation quality is on par with Super Meat Boy, the extra height and detail on the player ninja does make the simplistic feet shuffling run cycle look a bit cheap. I do love the smooth giant swaths from the invisible sword attacks, and deaths are met with bloody explosions which must have ate the other half of the animation budget. Depending upon the stage, sometimes the ninja will be viewed at a distance, but other times he'll be shot closer in, and I found these slight viewing adjustments a nice way to break up some of the repetition in environments. While there's not a ton of variety to be seen here, Ho-Hum makes the most of what limited resources the game offers.

The main problem with Super Ninja Warrior Extreme is its length. The game can be blown through in under half an hour, and while it satisfies every step of the way, you'll still be aching for more. The developer makes a fairly easy game even easier by endowing players with unlimited lives as well as passwords to resume the game at any stage. It's good enough to justify its low price and worth recommending, but with games such as Applejack and Ninja360 spoiling us with far deeper games at that price point, Super Ninja Warrior Extreme gets regulated to that 2nd tier of quality Xbox Indie platformers along with the likes of Mute Crimson and The Deep Cave, simplistic looking yet well made titles which are solid but short on depth to compete for the average, value conscious player today.

Is $1US worth 20-30 minutes of fun? To me, it is. Super Ninja Warrior Extreme is a blast, and I'd love to see more. The graphics are fine, the music is good, and the action captivates through the end. The developer has a formula which works and holds much appeal, and all Ho-Hum really needs to to give its ninja a more expansive world where its gameplay can shine.

★★★★☆
April 19, 2012
March 18, 2012 | 80 points
Developer | Video | Download

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