Thursday, April 19

Review: Ninja Striker! [Nintendo Switch eShop]


When it comes to budget-friendly titles that manage to deliver surprises and defy expectations the Switch has had a pretty good track record. What can, on the surface, look like something a bit generic can turn out to have some unexpected twists to give you much more than you may find with a budget mobile game, for instance. Flyhigh Works newest release, Ninja Striker, easily falls into that category, delivering an action platformer that makes getting your combo on the cornerstone of gameplay. This not only pushes you to maximize your score but is also a crucial element in surviving key parts of its levels.


What you’ll quickly find in the game is that you should expect the pacing to be pretty frantic and crazy. Usually utilizing your homing attack, you’ll be looking to chain from enemy to enemy, piling on the points. This can be a lot of fun and you’ll need to get used to some elements of the level if you really want to maximize your score because once you set foot on the floor you lose your combo. Since your homing attack zeroes in on your enemy, though you’ll need to be careful to be sure there aren’t walls in the way, you’ll find you can move through the areas pretty quickly just keeping these attacks going.


Where it can get tricky is in spots where you’ll need to use it to get to an enemy and then time your follow up jump correctly to traverse a gap. It’s this mix of quick chaining action and an odd platforming challenge or two that will keep you on your feet… well, or off of them if you want to 3-star the level. Each of the 6 areas has 4 stages, with the last always being a boss fight. In general the bosses aren’t too difficult to defeat but they’re at least a nice variation to break up the action and perhaps make you play the game in a more traditional fashion. Due to the quick pace of the action it can start to get a bit jumpy in places, with the screen trying to keep up with all of the numbers going up while you fly through groups of enemies, but fortunately this doesn’t impede gameplay.


Flying through all of the game’s stages and finishing things up won’t necessarily take terribly long but aside from the emphasis really being on building your combo and score the other great news is that each of the game’s 4 characters are quite different in how they play. With everything being so combo-heavy the variances aren’t major but there are very much characters who are easier to chain with than others and the nuance in each actually makes playing through the game for each pretty satisfying. For the price there’s much more to Ninja Striker than you’d assume and I can’t say I’ve played anything quite like it on Switch. If you’re looking for a nice palette cleanser or quick hit to play on the go for the price it is absolutely a steal.

Score: 7.5

Pros:

  • Quick and satisfying action makes it easy to pick up, play, and put down
  • Each of the 4 characters is different enough to make playing through with each appealing
  • Its budget-friendly price is more than fair for what it delivers


Cons:

  • If you’re only out to “beat the game” it won’t take too long to do so
  • With so much going on things can get choppy, though it doesn’t affect play