Ninja-Kid II is part of the Arcade Archives collection, published by Hamster Corporation. In short, the collection is a bunch of arcade games from the 80s and 90s that have been remastered, or are in the process of being remastered, for the PS4. You can find some classics in the collection and I suggest searching PlayStation store for your favourites.
I will not lie to you, I have not played the first Ninja-Kid. I have heard about it, but I have not played it. I am not really sure if there is a storyline I am missing out on, but from what I have read, there is not. There was no pixelated cut scene, giving me a dramatic backstory, so I think I am safe on the story front. But let me know if I am wrong. Then again, maybe I just never made it far enough in the game to trigger one.
Arcade Archives Ninja-Kid is difficult. You know when you die in a game and you give the small little sigh, as you think to yourself: ‘that was my fault, but I will get it next time.’ In this game, do not believe you will get it next time. You probably will not get it next time. If you do get it next time, you will not get it the time after that. I honestly do not know if you can complete this game. I don’t. I have been stuck playing different versions of level two for the last week.
As a PlayStation gamer, the X button and jump are synonymous. In this game, that isn’t so. The defaults are jump = O and attack = X. When I review games, I play them with the defaults, because I feel like that is the way the game was made and should be played like so. This was the basis of my issue. I cannot think, off the top of my head, of any game where O has been jump. Even when I know in this game that it is not, when I had to jump I was pressing X and hating myself for it. At one point I had to sit myself down and give myself a talk after I died on level one for what felt like the millionth time in a row. The talk was just me telling myself to stop being a moron and ‘it’s O. O! It’s just O. Look at the circle. Be the circle. Now press circ- WHY? WHY DID YOU PRESS X AGAIN?!’ When I did finally press O and gave myself a high five, I was mashing X to throw shurikens at the enemies, until one of them connected. I would walk over to pick up the reward, hop up to the next little rung of the levels ladder and accidentally press O to attack the next enemy instead of X. It was an endless circle, pun not intended.
The graphics are exactly as you would expect from a remastered arcade game. They’re reminiscent of the past and yet feel current, like you are playing an indie game that wanted to do something a little different that the current norm. For some people, playing pixelated characters feels like coming home and these remasters respect that. The colours are comfortable to look at; there are no harsh or neon colours to deter you from playing.
There is no reason why you would not keep Arcade Archives Ninja-Kid in your PlayStation library for a while, just to play it when you have a little bit of downtime. You do not pick up where you left off, every time you play you start at level one and that is really the fun of it. If you are looking for a challenge that you do not have to become invested in, this is the game for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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