One genre that has always been popular for gaming is the ninja genre, and for good reasons too. Ninja titles can usually provide you with a good storyline with plenty of action to go along with it. Now Namco has taken that popular genre and made it into something a bit different. We have I-Ninja, a wacky little Ninja title that instead of being a serious straightforward ninja title goes more toward a comedic light-hearted ninja title, and it’s not half bad.
Like I mentioned Ninja titles are usually games that have a pretty solid storyline to them, but I-Ninja doesn’t follow this path at all, and in fact the storyline behind I-Ninja is quite odd. You play as Ninja (how original) who discovers an evil "rage stone". This rage stone ends up making Ninja go crazy and in the process kills his own sensei. This is where it gets even more bizarre the ghost of the sensei comes back and gives the Ninja a mission which is to destroy these so called synthetic ninjas. Now I don’t know really what the point behind the whole storyline is but there was one positive for Namco including a story in the game and that is the humor that comes along with the cut scenes. Ninja isn’t the typical quiet dark ninja, but more the ninja who had a few two many drinks.
This is one of those games that if your looking for something more serious or something that doesn’t lie along the lines of humor you might want to look elsewhere because this is a title that goes for being funny. If you understood the storyline I described you will probably see what I am talking about, and quite frankly I must give some serious kudos to Argonaut because they did a nice job of keeping the game very light hearted throughout the game.
I-Ninja is a pretty straightforward adventure action title, with a pretty standard set of maneuvers. He can do the basic jump and double jump, he can grind rails, run up and alongside walls, and he can fight. Unfortunately some of these abilities (running up and on the side of walls) are used so frequently that you really lose the shock-type factor that you would get if you only got to use it occasionally.
The one thing that I-Ninja did implement into the game that separates it from other titles like it, is the reward system by getting cash and new belts by completing levels. There are a total of five worlds to go through and each of these have about four to five levels in them with a boss fight. After completing a world you are given a new belt, I am not really sure what their basis on the belts were but it is a nice little reward system to help you progress throughout the game.
I-Ninja is one of those titles that really isn’t all that different from other action adventure titles, but the humor of the game does a great deal. The combat in the game is simple yet effective, and can be a lot of fun. As you progress through the game there will be more and more enemies and they will be harder and harder to defeat. The difficulty of the game starts off to be almost too easy but as you progress through the world the game does gain in the difficulty category, which is a definite plus for the game.
The one thing that saves I-Ninja are the mini-games because without those this would be way too redundant of a title. The mini-games remind me a lot of the Zelda type mini-games, which is a big compliment towards this title. They are all very engaging and they mix them up in a way so that they don’t become boring or repetitive.
Overall I-Ninja’s gameplay is actually pretty solid all the way around, the camera is not bad at all, and the gameplay definitly has its moments. The biggest downside though is it is quite a short title and will take you at most ten hours to complete.
The one thing about I-Ninja that everyone will realize right from the get go is that it is a very simple title that doesn’t try to go above and beyond a good looking title. With that being said the game’s graphics don’t have all that much to complain about.
I-Ninja is a solid looking title all the way around, and it starts with the character models which are well done. Ninja him self has a lot of energy surrounding him and it shows with the bright colors and textures that were used to create him. Ninja has plenty of detail and is just fun to look at because he is such an odd looking character. The environments throughout the title also look pretty good, and luckily for us they don’t use the same ones over and over again. Each world looks quite different from the other which helps keep things fresh throughout the game.
Overall the graphics of I-Ninja are quite impressive and do a great job of doing everything nicely in the game. I-Ninja is one of those games that does everything nicely which means I have nothing to complain about.
I-Ninja is all about being fun, and that is exactly what it does. Although the game does lack in the length category it does stay fun throughout the ten-hour lifespan. The combat in the game is pretty engaging and is quite fun to take part in, and the mini-games like mentioned earlier are definitely a huge plus for the game.
Overall I-Ninja is one of those titles that doesn’t go all out but does pretty well doing everything very nicely throughout the game. If you are looking for a ninja title for your Xbox I would definitely recommend this as a good rental.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.