Save the Ninja Clan (Review)
The idea of Save the Ninja Clan is quite a simple one really. An evil ninja has kidnapped your friends, and it is up to you to traverse the world and collect scrolls in order to save them. Throughout the game, you play as different ninjas, with each one capable of a different ability. The Green ninja comes with a double jump, the Purple ninja has a sprint, and the Grey ninja comes sporting a dash that also gives temporary invincibility. It’s worth noting that each ninja does take a little time to get used to, and you’ll be needing to master them all should you want to truly master Save the Ninja Clan.
For a start, there are two ways to play Save the Ninja Clan. First up is the traditional story mode. This sees you progress through several increasingly difficult platform stages in which you are required to reach the end as quickly as possible, grab a scroll in order to progress on and save the ninja clan. Upon completing a level, you will get a grading for your time, with A+ the rating you’re looking for if you want to truly master each one. Those going for 100% should also note that each level has a ying and yang symbol to collect that work much the same as the bandages from Super Meat Boy, each of which will add to your time. As well as ratings and collectibles, each stage ends with an all-in-one type replay, which shows the various attempts you’ve made on a level with multiple ninjas appearing at once to showcase each fail.
The other way to play Save the Ninja Clan isn’t exactly an extra game mode as such, as really it takes place amongst the usual levels. However it does add a fresh way to experience the game, especially if you’ve made it to the end. This is more like an alternate story mode and has you chasing down all of the secrets and bugs in the game, causing the Game Manager watching you to get annoyed and occasionally send you off to the next level. Whilst this may not provide much more than a little extra Gamerscore for tracking each levels bugs or secrets, it does make for an interesting way to play the game. One of my favourite secrets even had the Game Manager switch the controls to make things even more difficult, and is a great way of prolonging the game should you have already made your way to the end.
Finally, you have the boss fights and whilst these can also be made easier or harder with the in-game speed setting, those wanting to really experience these at their best will want to ramp that speed right up. Whilst most games prove exceptionally frustrating should you find yourself messing with a near unbeatable boss, the boss fights in Save the Ninja Clan provide some of the best platforming action available, asking you to muster everything you’ve learned up to now and put it all to use to beat an exceptionally challenging level. Whilst that may sound off putting for those looking for a casual challenge, the enjoyment you get from beating any of the three is indeed worth it, and you can always switch things down if it’s taking the fun away.