Excerpt: The platform genre is one that is undergoing a little bit of a renaissance of late on the old PS2, with the likes of Jak II: Renegade , Ratchet and Clank II and a fair few other sequels coming along to save the bacon of the gamer that demands that precision jumping action. I-Ninja ’s developers Argonaut are a company that have been having a bit of a tumultuous time recently, so I was hoping that their idea of fun was the same as mine for more than one reason.
Excerpt: If you are looking for the perfect blend of action and all-out platformer gaming, then I-Ninja is just the game you are looking for. From the standard platformer-style levels that will have you running up walls and jumping across trenches to the high speed, no-hold barred hacking and slashing, there is never a dull moment in this game. Each level (linear as they may be) is full of rich colors and textures with plenty of attention to detail.
Excerpt: I-Ninja is another in what is quickly becoming a long line of hybrid games. Take a lot of Sonic, add a smidgen of Super Monkey Ball, give it a shake and you’ll have a good idea of what I-Ninja entails. Not a bad mix if the truth be told, but as with all mixed selections there are always the ones you don’t like, that get left until last. What begins as a merry melange of missions begins to grate on your nerves. Our protagonist is Ninja, an angry, untrained rookie.
Excerpt: Ninja games have come thus far: 3D graphics, full stealth-combat and stealth oriented missions, and a wide new range of abilities and possibilities. I-Ninja sets a new funny/true meaning for ninjas, by doing outrageous stunts and feats, such as: take control of a giant robot and box, or grind on rails with sandals.
Excerpt: I'm not sure that it's just by nature of the fact that I'm getting older or if it's the literally thousands upon thousands of games I touch every year, but it's becoming harder and harder to keep my interest in games until the end. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for that fact that it's policy for PSX2.com staff to play a game all the way through (or close to it if time doesn't allow), since movie reviewers wouldn't (or shouldn't) just up and leave halfway or...
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: While Insomniac and Naughty Dog are attempting to move towards more non-linear, adventure-style platform titles, Argonaut have done the exact opposite, creating an unabashedly linear title that is above all else, a lot of fun to play. A worthwhile addition to most any gamer's library.
Conclusion: If you've examined the screens then you'll already know that I-Ninja doesn't look special, but what it does have is a level of playability that few other platformers have achieved of late. Varied pacing and gameplay, precise control and (for once in a 3D platform game) a camera that doesn't screw you over makes the less than cutting edge visuals insignificant - I-Ninja is an excellent little game with a perfect learning curve that will test you regardless of your gaming...
Pros: I-Ninja just plays, darned well., Addictive as heck., Loads of different game styles should be awful but aren't., Strangely satisfying sword fights.
Cons: Uninspiring graphics., Nutty and superfluous story., I-Ninja is about as original and creative as a Westlife single., Annoying cut scenes and a painfully long sub-boss battle with Malakai.
Summary: I-Ninja is a game that fails to live up to expectations. Certainly a sequel could create a buzz but I feel that this game is missing that something special and will get lost in the crowded platform market.