Indie Showcase: Ninja Senki DX mini-review

Ninja Senki DX is a Side-scroller platformer released on 23 FEB 2016 for PS4, PS Vita and Steam and costs $4.99 or $7.29 on the Middle Eastern PS Store. Originally released as a freeware for PC on 2010. The Enhanced version include more scenes (levels), Remixed soundtrack, Speedrun challenge mode, Widescreen, and supports trophies. It is one of the games I was very excited to play on the PS Vita as soon as I saw the trailer.

Gameplay and Level Design:

Ninja Senki DX might look simple, but behind that look is a challenging game, the good type of challenge that could be overcome by learning the mechanics, studying the enemies and well timing your jumps. The game uses the D-Pad and two buttons only, the X for Jump and Square for throwing Shuriken.

The first level of the game will throw different types of enemies at you, each with a different style and hence a different way to attack or avoid. While also introducing you to jumping, a normal jump then a double jump. If you want to reach far in the game you will have to get use to acting quickly and getting used to how the jump works. It gets trickier with each level you advance, in some cases you will have to deal with enemies while jumping.

Scenes as they are called in the game. Each two scenes are in a similar area, with a boss battle at the end of the second scene. They are short, but challenging. I personally haven’t finished a scene in my first try during my first time playing the game. However, it is fun to replay the levels while learning something new rather than being frustrating and take you out of the enjoyment. Some might find the levels too short, but learning the level is something fun to do. Later levels include more verticality to them, and introduces new mechanics with moving platforms.

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The DX version changes the game to a wide-screen instead of 4:3, and the sides of the screen display the number of enemies, coins and the target time for each level. Speaking of which, each scene in the game has achievements at the end for collecting all the coins, killing all the enemies or finishing within the target time. Which provide an extra aspect of completing the levels, and make a replayable game.

Art Style and soundtrack:

8-bit pixel art is the perfect way of representing the gameplay. The game looks great, especially on the Vita. Each scene look different, the enemy designs are varied, the bosses look amazing. However, I’m not sure if it was intentional or not but they didn’t went for parallax scrolling backgrounds, which would have made the levels more interesting and lively.

The Soundtrack is on point, they are varied with similar styles which is not bad at all, sometimes audio ques for enemies don’t play while there are other audio playing. My Favorite is the title screen music!

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Challenges and extra modes:

I have gone through with how each scene has four different objectives, to kill all enemies, collect all Koban (coins) and finish on the target time and finish the level without getting hti, which makes for a very replayable game if you enjoy challenge (or trophies!). In addition to that, there is hardcore mode, which doesn’t all continues and to test your abilities to go through the game’s 16 scenes without dying. Speedrun mode (which is part of the level challenges) speaks for itself, test how fast you can finish all the levels. All these add to what is a really fun game. After finishing the game on normal mode, you’ll unlock Boss rush mode, which is self-explanatory. Try beating all the bosses back to back on a timer, it is a fun mode.

Verdict:

Ninja Senki DX is a set of short levels that are challenging the first time, but gets easier after learning how to deal with enemies and the level. Collecting all coins, killing all enemies, and finishing on the target time adds an extra layer to replaying the game in addition to speedrun mode and hardcore mode. The Art is appealing but could have been more interesting with parallax scrolling. The remixed soundtrack is varied with a familiar style but doesn’t get boring, with some problems playing audio ques. Enjoyable, fun and perfect for playing on Vita with some problems that does not affect gameplay.

For $5.00 I recommend getting the game on PSN cross-buy between the PS4 and PS Vita.

 

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