Wednesday, September 5

Review: Ninjin - Clash of Carrots [Nintendo Switch eShop]


In this modern age games are meant to be gritty, extreme, mature, and serious, right? There’s no room for light-heartedness or fun, we want main characters full of angst taking on a cruel and violent world! So, here’s a morose tale of a town beset by the minions of an evil shogun overlord who are cruelly deprived of their… carrots? Oh, and did I mention that instead of being dark this is a bright and cheery, fast-paced beat-em-up / runner that will have you attacking with all manner of increasingly silly and bizarre weapons that you can purchase in the store from an adorable Corgi? If there isn’t at least a part of you smiling at this you have something wrong with you.


In the game you’ll take control of a good-natured ninja (or better yet, pair up with someone else locally or online to add to the fun), seeking to knock out a wide variety of bad guys, collect carrots, and upgrade your gear. Playing out like a faster-paced beat-em-up positioning is everything as you’ll want to be sure to get behind enemies to take them out. Some tougher ones will require you to use a throwing weapon or attack from a distance since they can be explosive, a fact that you can use to your advantage against other enemies to make them burn. As you progress through more areas and waves new enemies will continue to appear and in different combinations to make sure you can never get too comfortable and may need to carefully choose your weaponry to best suit your opponents.


What drives the game, aside from the action, is certainly all of the weird weapons and gear you can get to customize your ninja. You can choose to go light and quick or heavy and slow at the extremes with a little bit of everything in between. Some weapons are almost purely focused forward while others allow you to swipe a pretty large area in front of you to do damage. You can randomly find and pick up cases in the levels themselves or purchase items at the stores but another way to get great gear is to saddle up and take on the game’s challenging Endless Mode. Completely random and quickly stepping up its difficulty the reward for lasting at least 10 levels, and then every 10 levels from that point, is a special piece of gear to unlock. You never know what you may get but I enjoyed the tantalizing prospect of getting some powerful gear ahead of the curve, though be wanted you’ll absolutely need to work for it.


Aside from the consistently silly characters and overall sense of light humor there’s not much more to tell than this about Ninjin: A Clash of Carrots. It is a game that is very clear in what it is shooting for and it not only does a fine job of getting there, I’d say it crushes it out of the park. While there are certainly more weighty and brutal beat-em-ups on the system the quick and charming gameplay of Ninjin absolutely stands alone on the system. Especially if you have a friend to party up with, this is a great title to simply enjoy.


Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • Terrific gameplay that’s quick, easy to understand, and feels completely unique on the system
  • A strange and silly sense of humor that I found entertaining without going too far over the top
  • Quite an amazing range of weaponry and gear that allow you to define your own personal play style
  • Remarkably fun if you have someone to play with

Cons:
  • It could perhaps be a little too silly and juvenile for some tastes
  • Online support is there but not very fleshed out and I was never able to find anyone, making it of questionable value