View Full Version : Fan-made review [SPOILERS]

13th Sep 2009, 12:45
NOTE: This is a fan-made detailed review. Those who do not wish to be spoiled best go back. This is specifically made for IOI programmers. I hope they will read this. Also, if you wish to make your own detailed review here or link this to the review sticked thread, do so.

I finished the game on PC, using keyboard and mouse with most features unlocked, but I'll give this game a 2nd round for sure.

Character design:
I found the characters to be very cute. Very well done for the cute japanese-esque enviroment. I personally tried to give all the characters a fair chance at each part of the game and I found that the characters are not equally compensative. Also, I noticed that you do not see any story-related scenes in the game. In the vignette, Hiro has a crush on Suzume, and I read somewhere that Kunoichi has a crush on Hiro. But there's no proof of this in the game whatsoever.

Hiro - The main character and holds of kuji magic forms. His sword makes a regular punch. Just like any other super-hero. I only disliked the fact that only hiro could challenge a boss, but it fits by level design, so I'll let it pass. I totally loved the last power where
you can posses the enemy soldiers. But problem about it is that it has no stealth value... I wish it did. (At least when i played it)

Futo - Strong and slow, can't argue with the steriotype xD... Although he feels a tiny bit too slow... but then again, if compensates for other characters

Suzume - She has a good trick up her sleave and a little lower damage then Hiro. Interesting choice of character design.

Shun - The archer, great for long range attacks but weak when up close. Very nice animations on him, especially when he hangs off the side of a building, but his running seems a little off for him, I know he tries to stay low all the time to stay camoflaged but he runs alot like futo. Also the fact that aiming takes a long time using this character. Mashing the mouse button makes him shoot faster. Although I expected more from what the trailer presented.

Tora - Although he's one of the cutest characters, I did not find him to be that necessary, he just feels like a mix of kunoichi and futo but there's nothing really grand about him which makes him a better choice of character compared to the others in any situation that I encountered.

Kunoichi - Also an interesting character, despite her being abit weak, her special
attack isn't anything special. Just like Tora, there's nothing grand about her which makes her a better choice of character compared to the other characters in any situation that I encountered

Kuji spells: Nothing really special about them, they feel alot like spells in millions of other games but fitting nontheless!

Stealth: Although it's one of the main features of this game, it doesn't feel like it. Climbing on the rooftops felt appropriatly stealthy, But in some cases, Bashing everyone felt more fun then hiding.

Enemy Design:
I must say I'm impressed. They are designed briliantly with the scary samurai masks of feudal japan. For idiots they are very well programmed! Although the generals are just wusses which annoyed me. I know it's supposed to make them funny but they're just annoying even to look at! Although I found the wussy general who's afraid to talk to the samurai warlord very cute! I pittied him xD
The bosses are VERY cleverly done! All 5 bosses are smartly programmed. Despite that their winning moves were repetitive. But non-the-less I enjoyed even looking at them

1st boss with blades: He looked wierd with the tiny legs, but a bit repetive.

2nd boss of farts: Very clever! Made me giggle alot xD. I could have never imagined seeing an intimidating enemy that uses farts and is capable of maneuvering them xD

3rd boss in the water: Cleverly designed! Although repetitive, the finishing moves where fun to see.

4th boss in the air: Interestingly designed. There's not much I can say about him though I found him cute.

5th and final boss: Straight to the point, Intimidating. He looks alot like a cliche of other bosses from other games. But It fits well.

Voice work:
Very good work from japanese voice-actors. They sounded appropriatly like minions or furious big monsters. However the english with japanese accent where sometimes off key. Specifically the wussy general who's afraid to talk to the samurai warlord and the samurai warlord himself a little off. But non-the less, excelent work. Another note:
Towards the end, there is a samurai who dies from a volcano bomb and uses the "Wilhelm scream". Please... Avoid using that. It is cliche of the ages. Plus it made the samurai sound less miniony

Level Design:
Again, very very impressive. A mix of both open world and linearity. This is what I love about IOI and Eidos games, you do not force the players to do 1 thing, the player chooses what he/she wishes to do. But sometimes it was annoying to spend alot of time running. I will not go into detail. But all I'll say is that I did not expect the part where you
climb the animated building for the final boss. At first i thought it was going to be a battle but i was totally surprised about it! Good work! Another note that annoyed me is when you are playing later through the levels you stumble upon notes left by the characters you already saved. It's abit annoying.. they could have just told you...

Very very fitting. Peter Svarre made a perfect job in the music score. I don't know
if Jesper Kyd would have done a better job, but I still think that giving Peter Svarre
the score still kicked off a success.

There aren't many from my side. But most of them are pretty clear.

From my side would be Gameplay:
Not that it wasn't good, but it felt kinda sticky sometimes, that's normal, I'll let that pass. Also I must say that this game is too complicated for 7 year olds. There are too many factors for young children to enjoy it, Unless they play games everyday, like myself xD

Alot of people noted this out. Same from me, some of the gameplay felt alot like button mashing but at least you let the player choose his/her approach

Glacier engine:
This is not from me but alot of people complain about this. I highly recommend you start work on fixing the FPS issue then starting on your next game.Otherwise you WILL have trouble on your next release. Also, the fact that gamers need to use the xbox 360 controller is a down-side to the glacier engine. Although I know how to fix that issue, I didn't use a controller for this game because my controller is getting old.

Easter Eggs:
I didn't search thoroughly for this but they're not clear! I wish someone would point them out!! Or at least tell me where to look, Coz I'll defenatly give this game a 2nd go!

Overall: Impressive, brilliant, clever, Japanese. 8 out of 10. Some gamers may not be interested for a second go, but I HIGHLY recommend a 1 go.

1> DO NOT MAKE A MOVIE!!!! A tv series would be perfect for this.
2> If a sequel has to be made, DO NOT REVIVE THE EVIL WARLORD SAMURAI, IT would be an annoying cliche, especially for fans of this game. I recommend getting his brother or sister to do the job.
3> Multiplayer: Despite the fact that this game didn't have, It fit well for a single player game. Inserting it for Co-op mode ONLY would be enough (like kane and lynch)
4> Merchindise: If there isn't START MAKING IT NOW! :rasp:
5> If a sequel has to be made, I would put a wandering ronin who is an ally/enemy of the mini ninjas. I know it's a little cliche, but none-the-less...
6> FIX THE GLACIER ENGINE (as i noted before)
7> If a sequel has to be made, Do not increase graphics. The game was fun as it is, and increasing graphics would ruin the style of the game.

13th Sep 2009, 15:29
Thank you Falkenwut *hug*

This has made me decide to buy the game ;). I also agree that IOI really need to fix the Glacier engine. Definitely for Kane & Lynch 2.

13th Sep 2009, 16:00
Great review. Can't wait until my copy arrives.

14th Sep 2009, 00:35
Falken, I agree with some of what you said, but in other points, I don't. None-the-less, great review! ;)

I have beaten Mini Ninjas once and plan on beating it at least 2 or 3 more times this week. = ] For me, this game wasn't as bad as what I've been hearing around the web. It wasn't bad at all, infact. I thought it was a total blast, more fun and amazing than the demo even hinted, (which I wrote a lengthy review on here on these forums). I'm not going to write too much right now, but I'm gonna give my thoughts...for what they are worth.

The main thing I've been noticing is that people have been saying they feel the characters aren't much different or they couldn't find a reason to change from one or the other. I have to completely disagree with this and I scratch my head wondering how people got to that assumption. Maybe it's just my personal playstyle, but I don't rush through things. I don't button mash. I like to see the game from the way the developer wanted me to see it, as well as whatever creative things my own mind can muster. I frequently found myself stealthing in a nearby field, spotting enemies in the distance, sizing up how many and what weaponry they had and then making the proper ninja/consumable weapon choice. I can see how this game would be very boring if you didn't actually bother to stealth, stuck with Hiro's "over-powered" kuji, lol, and just ran through the game. I tried many different strategies going upon almost every individual group I saw. I also stealth A LOT. I'm playing a ninja, that's what they're supposed to do. :whistle: Here's some thoughts on how I used my characters, maybe it can help others have more fun and find different ways to view combat situations.

Character rundown

Hiro - Your magic power-house. I basically used him whenever there were a mass amount of enemies close up so I could do magic. Meteor storm, Ice storm....etc. I also found it useful to use his Windwall when there was a lot of archers, then switch to another charcter to take out the ground enemies or in one instance, a big guy. There's a lot to be done with him, you just have to size up his kuji right. Even the lower level spells have their strongpoints.

Futo - Large, slow and powerful. I used him mainly on big guys, but also when I had just too many enemies around at a low level. He's good for damage control. Knockback enemies for a few seconds of pummeling on the one behind you. = )

Suzume - I founder her most useful with her flute attack, especially when there was like 7 spearmen ahead. She can make quick work of a large amount of enemies...fast.

Shun - I had a lot of fun with Shun. Though his primary arrow attack is a little weak, if stealthed, you can take out enemies from far away with one hit without anyone the wiser. Bushes, rooftops, anything. Enemies beware. The best thing about Shun is his explosive shot. Its pretty much a mass instant kill for a large group of enemies that are far away from you....any survivors can be picked off accordingly. :rasp:

Tora - Tora, was my favorite. For some reason he seemed to be able to take out sooooooo many enemies soooooo quickly without taking hardly any damage. His charging attack isn't much to talk about and hard to aim, but otherwise, he was the definition of a badass. I'd stealth kill two walking patrols in the same swipe, run over, knock down an arrow tower, and unleash hell like a mini ball of crazy and claws.

Kunoichi - This was probably the only character I didn't really understand. Aside from her range, she seemed slightly weak to me and only really useful while jumping and attacking. She did rip the hell out of all the paper walls on the last level though. Every contribution counts. :scratch:

I don't know, I guess it's all up to the gamer to decide how the game plays through, but for the people to pin this game up as too linear, repetitive, boring, etc....it's just wrong. Especially calling out IO and saying they've made a less-than great game. The developers did an amazing job and I am sad to say I don't think this game will ever get the reception it really deserves, because the majority of the gaming population won't try what the developers intended and will instead rush through or just write this title off because of how it looks. I pity those gamers and their gameplay styles and urge them to try other ways of playing aside from rushing.

I guess what I'm saying is, you guys get a GREAT JOB from Twill├┐! This has become a favorite of mine, for sure. The only things I found wrong with it, to be in all honesty, were thus....the Evil Samurai Warlords voice, hehe, he needs to work on that. The other being my fault really....I'd end up going through an entire map, reaching the end and fiding out I missed a Jizo statue somewhere along the way....only to find it was near the beginning. Haha. That took a lot of extra time on a few levels, but then again, it wasn't a game design flaw, it was me not searching entirely properly. The problem cleared up about halfway in though. ;)

I hope maybe these thoughts can help people look at the characters differently and enjoy the game properly. I played on the Xbox 360 version, by the way. No problems there like I've been hearing on the PC versions. Cheers!

the resolute girl
14th Sep 2009, 09:57
how do you need a controller for the game ? keyboard is far superior and exact. turnspeed is higher, you have more options for buttons......a xbox controller is more of a crutch for me.

and yeah, this game could be too complicated for 7 year olds but on the other hand is very easy for more experienced gamers. So actually, the balance is pretty good. It's inbetween, you can always play it on easy if it's too hard (hard is the new normal nowadays)

only the price is too high for basically a game with "cut or simplified" features and a very short playtime. I can get games for that price with much more detailed environment AND multiplayer AND coop AND longer runtime.....this won't help your sales


The moment you have to use QTEs in your game, it's time to check your design again, meaning: it's bad. QTEs are the most annoying excuses for a proper designed boss level that communicates the way to take the boss down without relying on BIG "SPACE" or "X" letters on screen and boring, pre-90s commodore summer games controller je**ing.
why are there special events in games where all the keys/configs you learned are suddenly cast away for 1 button mashing ? why learn abilities and mix potions when all you have to do is mash "SPACE" or wait for an onscreen-prompt. that's what bothers me and actually puts me out of the game....

enough rambling, enjoyable game but I would not pay full price for it, if there is a sequel consider more features, especially coop and/or longer runningtime to justify the steep price for this small game. e.g. Trine is from a much smaller company and managed to be much more than this mainstream production with full price. AND it does NOT have securom, the devil.