What can I say about Yasai Ninja? It’s an interesting game I suppose, but it’s nothing to scream about… at all. You play as both Kaoru Tamanegi (Samurai Onion) and Broccoli Joe on their adventure through Japan as they confront enemies. Kaoru Tamanegi is a dishonoured samurai while Broccoli Joe is a foreign warrior and the two of them break out of a dungeon and begin their journey to end the tyranny of Shogun Kyurinaga. Broccoli Joe provides what I believe is the comic relief of the game while Kaoru’s only motivation through the whole story is to regain his honour – it’s almost as bad as Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender… and that’s saying a lot.
When I’m faced with a game that I don’t know much about, I try to go in with an open mind. I try my best to look at the most positive things I can even when I can see that the game is not good – this game was an exception for me. Almost from the get go I wanted to turn it off and I definitely won’t be playing it again and will probably end up removing it from my game library. It was not worth my time and I can’t say this enough: it’s not worth your money.
The game’s concept was alright at best, but the actual gameplay was not. I found the way that the game was set out like a comic book cool. It made a change from many games, and the graphics for the game were designed to be like 3D drawings. The style reminded me vaguely of the Tales from the Borderlands series with very cartoon-y animation and the speech was written in word art type speech bubbles so the overall idea of it being a comic book definitely came across. Unfortunately, many of the scenes in the game were lit very dimly so the graphics and design were hard to appreciate and the game as a whole was the same format throughout. Jump from platform to platform, kill some pickles, pull a lever, jump to a new area across platforms, kill some more pickles, pull another lever, open a door, jump to a new platform, etc.
The music and sound effects were okay. The weapon sound effects were very repetitive and it seemed to me like the same effects were simply looped over and over again, and as this game’s fight scenes were mainly a case of mashing buttons it was just annoying to listen to the same swooshing of a sword over and over again. The music seemed like no effort was even put into it – it was all very stereotypically Japanese sounding. Imagine heading to YouTube and searching for “Japanese music” and clicking on the very first video you see – it’s like they just downloaded that and played it throughout the game.
The gameplay was, to put it bluntly, appalling. The only smooth gameplay came from when I was walking around empty rooms. As soon as I approached a fight with even just one enemy, the game began to lag, characters would glitch and jump all over the place and it was frankly just a mess. So you can imagine how awful it was when there were about eight pickles coming at me. Glitching also occurred when I was jumping across platforms – if I had just jumped to one platform as Kaoru Tamanegi, Broccoli Joe would glitch and appear behind me, often pushing me into the water and making me start the whole level all over again. Another element of fighting was that if both Kaoru Tamanegi and Broccoli Joe lost their health all you could do was stare at the screen as they’re both crying out “Help Me”. You can’t change character, you can’t move, you can’t do anything, so you just sit and you wait until the game finally decides to reload the last checkpoint.
Now let’s talk about something that really got on my nerves: the camera. Camera controls are a big element in this game – you need to turn to camera in order to see what you’re doing and this is not an unusual thing to see in a game but of all the things I disliked about Yasai Ninja, this really took the cake. The camera is constrained to the area you’re in – so if you need to look to the left and turn your camera but there’s a wall behind your character then the game basically says “SCREW YOU” because you cannot turn that camera through the wall – you won’t be able to look across the little river you need to jump over to get to the next platform so you just have to wing it; then when you inevitably die by jumping in said river because your aim was off you can’t just respawn back on the platform, OH NO, you have to start the WHOLE LEVEL OVER AGAIN.
So in conclusion: I hated this game. It’s probably the worst game I’ve played this year… and that’s coming from a girl that played Hatoful Boyfriend. Give me a love story with a pigeon any day over this garbage.
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