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Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4)

In Save the Ninja Clan you find yourself being the last hope for a respectable clan of ninjas unlucky enough to have been kidnapped by a powerful evil ninja. You can speed run through the game for the best times, play the levels the normal way or seek and beat the hilarious glitched areas as you make a fool of the game world's technical manager.

Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4)

INTRODUCTION

In Save the Ninja Clan you find yourself being the last hope for a respectable clan of ninjas unlucky enough to have been kidnapped by a powerful evil ninja. To this end, purple, grey and green ninjas must join forces in order to lead to freedom their old friends. The game is a tight 2D action-platformer that can be played in a number of different ways. Designed with speed runners in mind, gamers are able to dash through levels in order to compete in getting the best times. However, the levels have some secrets to find along the way so that exploration is also very much encouraged. As it stands the game is very challenging and the difficulty does climb as you progress. Overall, the game has enough to keep one invested while taking on all the crazy challenges and secret areas.

Save the Ninja Clan released on July 7th, 2017 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. The game is priced at just $2.99 USD on consoles or $0.99 USD on Steam. It can be purchased online on the following stores: PSN, Xbox Live and Steam.

Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4) - Story

STORY

The story of Save the Ninja Clan is extremely simple and wastes no time developing it in any significant way as it's clear that the narrative aspect was not a focus of the game. You control three ninjas (green, purple and grey) who embark on a quest to liberate the rest of their kidnapped ninja clan. An evil ninja took your friends away and now the player must traverse a dangerous world and collect scrolls in order to reunite the clan once again. As you progress through the game you will encounter evil ninja bosses who hold some of your kidnapped ninja friends. In order to save all the members of the once proud clan, you must reach and defeat the final boss. All in all, the story is briefly presented and serves as a classic launching pad to get the protagonists to embark on a crazy and very perilous adventure.

Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4) - Traversing through a challenging obstacle area

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay in Save the Ninja Clan is very tight and engaging. The 2D platforming is well done with precision and movement timing being the key to either traverse safely or to speed through the more challenging segments of a level. There is a very interesting dynamic found in swapping the three different ninjas you control throughout. Each of the three have their own unique skill that can be used strategically to best the toughest areas and bosses. For instance, the green ninja has a double jump, the purple ninja is the fastest with his sprint ability and the grey ninja has a dash ability that allows a brief moment of invincibility as soon as triggered. With swapping between ninjas being executed at a lightning speed the game certainly encourages the player to think on his/her feet. I noticed how swapping the ninjas in order to benefit from their unique abilities became key as the game's difficulty slowly spiked upward. It got to the point were it was mostly required in order to make further progress into the game while on the earlier levels it was not necessary. So to some extent there is a mid-game learning curve needed to be mastered if one wishes to really beat the game. 

As far as platforming goes, you are able to jump, double jump, wall jump to get an extra vertical boost and also use the trademark ninja daggers in order to establish footholds from which to climb to the peaks of far reaching edges and areas. As for the action in the game, it is very diverse. Combat and enemies in the game are intense and are meant to be handled quickly. The timing of both jumping and throwing daggers at your foes is crucial in order to both get out of harm and strike them down before they defeat you. Your talented ninjas are put down with just one precise hit from either enemies or obstacles. Once you die you can enjoy a replay of your last agonizing moments with the same being true when you complete a level as you can review your performance in full from beginning to end. It is a very useful mechanic for the most hardcore speed runners.

Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4) - Beautiful lighting and cartoon style graphics

Each level has a ying and yang collectible that is often challenging to snatch and adds to your time totals for the level. Yet, that is not the extent of the exploration in this crazy intense ninja adventure. The game features a set of hilarious secret areas possible to be reached because of the apparent deliberately placed bugs or glitches in the game. These are discernible by noticing some off beaten path platforms or blinking wall segments. Once you enter these prohibited areas, courtesy of the bugs and glitched areas in each level, the technical game overlord opens a dialogue box where he communicates that you should exit the area or you could break the game. The overlord's dialogue gets hilarious the more you ignore it and further proceed into the glitched areas. Occasionally you are able to upset such overlord and he sends you all sorts enemies and crazy obstacles to stop you. By traversing across these areas successfully you are able to complete the level. Finding and completing these glitched section allows for one approach to playing through the game and takes you through a different path than the traditional way to play the levels. It is a very welcomed addition to a game that receives more variety and replay value as a result. However, the game may take as little as 3-5 hours to beat depending on how quick one masters the challenges that lay ahead. Yet, with a an entry price of just $0.99 or $2.99 the length and value is somewhat reasonable.

The only potential downside to the game is the difficulty spike. Save the Ninja Clan is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. It can and might lead you to frustration as you enter the more challenging levels were swapping ninjas and command timing becomes essential to survival and reaching the scroll at the end of a level. Trophy hunters only consolation might be that a certain amount of deaths actually awards you trophies. Trophies aside, the stark reality is that the game compels you to use the three ninjas as a team rather than try to use your favorite one all the way to the end of the game. It may be possible to do the latter perhaps in some areas but others seemed to have been designed for lightning quick reflexes. To its credit, ninjas are known for their speed and fast movement so the game does challenge you to become a real ninja in order to master the whole thing. Anyone looking for a real 2D platforming action challenge will no doubt receive their fill here. 

GRAPHICS & AUDIO

Save the Ninja Clan's graphics are sharp and feature a decidedly cartoon style which is very proper and compliments the wacky death replays and glitched areas' craziness. Simple hand drawn environment and landscapes bring life to this serious yet humor-filled ninja journey. The frames and game performance is tight and allows for the quick maneuver and fast action that the game is designed to promote. There are no significant performance issues that could hamper either the gameplay experience or visual presentation. 

The sound and music are equally tight and serve the purpose of getting you in the mood to ninja your way out of the most dangerous areas. The soundtrack is lighthearted and designed to get you in the groove of a very challenging adventure. Yet, the music does not necessarily stand out in terms of setting some real memorable tracks but just gets the job done to accompany the ninja quest you embark upon. The sound effects also being proper and varied with a great detail of noise effects. You can even hear the noise made by your walking and running. Excellent work done in the audio department overall.

Save The Ninja Clan Review (PS4)- Sneaking behind an enemy

CONCLUSION 

Save the Ninja Clan is a very competent 2D action platformer full of challenge, exploration and personal style. The platforming is tight with enough abilities to make traversal as varied as it can be intense. The sole dagger weapon you carry is also used for traversal as a footing. Combat is lightning fast and quick reflexes are required. The biggest problem perhaps is the difficulty in the game that increasingly spikes to a level that only those willing to take the challenge to execute moves at a very fast pace will be able to appreciate. 
A lack of difficulty modes may turn some players off. The gameplay variety on display does allow for different ways to approach and enjoy the game. You can speed run through the game and work hard to establish the best times, play the levels the normal way or seek and beat the hilarious glitched areas as you make a fool of the game world's technical manager. These three ways to play the game give great breadth and variety to the gameplay that in turn strengthens replay value. The game is easy to pick up and play and has enough fun to pique the interest of a wide range of players. Definitely worth a shot to try to save the ninja clan. 
PROSCONS
 + Tight platforming and combat – The game's difficulty gets increasingly hard, not for all players
 + Glitched secret areas are hilarious and enjoyable to find and beat – The game takes just 3-5 hours to complete
 + Variety of gameplay approaches encourage replay value 
8
Great

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