Mini Ninjas Review
by transformer27

Basic Information:
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Date of North American Release: 8th Sept 2009
Date of European Release: 11th Sept 2009
Trophies: Yes

When I first saw Mini Ninja's in the press, and began to see pictures of the gameplay I thought to myself, "Yep, another poorly made kids game". The only reason that I thought I may pick it up to try one day was the fact IO were developing it. The same IO Interactive who developed the Hitman series of games, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Although this game is absolutely nothing like any Hitman game, it still feels like a quality title made by a better than average dev team rather than a rushed, bodged nightmare of a game like, say, Terminator Salvation.

The game itself follows Hiro, a young ninja, sent on a dangerous quest, to find and rescue his fellow ninja friends and destroy the evil samurai warlord. This is a simple game with an easy to follow story made for any age to enjoy and with a good mix of fighting and stealth, should keep the masses happy.

Mini Ninja's is a simple, yet enjoyable mix of cartoon style graphics, nice story and easy controls and gameplay. The story is also not devoid of a plot, but is still a little bit cliched. The game will most likely start to frustrate towards the backend totally due to the over simple contols and repetitive gameplay. This is really a shame because I was hoping for something with a little more depth.

'Cute' is probably the best word to describe Mini Ninja's, with the easy to learn control system and pick-up-and-play feel. Most of the time in-game you will be either running/fighting or searching for statues/spells (or if your me using a guide). But for me its the repetitive feel to the fighting that lowers my overall opinion on the game, there was just not enough on offer to keep me excited about the game.

The Singleplayer experience is summed up in one simple word: Easy! Although enjoyable to play and a nice change from the normal games coming out, it is obviously made for the younger market. The SP is the only mode available on the disc and will probably disappoint at first, but after completing the story mode on hard (which should really of been called Easy) you will be glad you don't have to play it again.

With the simple control mechanics and repetitive fighting play you will get bored pretty quickly with this game, (5th level for me), and the only real challenge through the whole story are the boss fights, although again really very easy as most come down to a simple sequence of buttons hit at the right time and repeated 2 or 3 times to defeat the boss. The only difference to this is the final boss, right at the end of the story, where you will need to use the magic spells you have collected through the game to defeat him.

You start the game, playing as Hiro, with Futo being the only other playable character at that time. The first level is very simple and is used to show you the controls for the game. There are a few things that, if you are going for the plat you need to remember to do in each level, there are hidden statues to find and caged animals to rescue, but this just makes the game even more repetitive.

All-in-all an enjoyable experience, that I'm glad is over? If that makes sense. Not enough time was spent on making the story varied enough to keep anyone over the age of 5 interested for more than an hour at any one time.

Mini Ninja's is surprisingly, a well put together piece of entertainment. Although the graphics and gameplay are nothing to shout about, the game has a nice polish with minimal tearing or glitchy backgrounds. The music in the game is pretty plain and very repetitive and just grates towards the end of the game.

The trophies for the game are very easy and will only require one playthrough if done correctly.

Gameplay: 6.5/10
Singleplayer: 7.5/10
Technical: 7.5/10

Overall: 7/10 Good

Overall this game is a nice package that most should enjoy, but after the 8-10 hour story mode has been completed there is nothing left to do and the game will be easily forgotten about. Having said that, the game is far superior to most other cartoon style games for the same age group.