Ninjas and explosions: two great tastes that you would think taste great together, right? Throw them in a pot, mix with weapons, gadgets, and frenetic multiplayer action, and you have a recipe for an awesome adventure.
Sadly, I don't think this one cooked long enough.
Atomic Ninjas (PlayStation 3, PS Vita [reviewed]) Developer: Grip Games Publisher: Grip Games Released: October 8, 2013 MSRP: $9.99
Cooking metaphors aside, the story of Atomic Ninjas breaks down like this: a security guard at a nuclear plant falls asleep on the big red button and the planet goes boom. Ninjas, using their natural survival instincts, are altered, and...um...must fight each other. For reasons.
And that's it. I hope you weren't looking for more plot or depth than that, because you just ain't getting it, Johnny. In fact beyond that intro, the only interaction you have with "characters" is the sensei in the tutorial. There are no alternate characters to select to play as, either -- you're just a ninja, fighting other ninjas. There are costumes to chose from, but only once you increase your rank through battles.
The main game plays out like Super Smash Bros.; you and three other players are let loose in an arena and must beat the living snot out of each other until they succumb to being flung into a pit and die. There are three weapons to chose from (punch, shuriken, and force grab -- used to chuck boxes at foes) and three gadgets (grappling hook, wall claw, and rocket) that allow you to travel around the arena and basically push your opponents to their doom.
The game is built for multiplayer -- and not much else. You choose an arena, a game mode including the standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, king of the hill, and capture the flag, and try to connect to a room to duke it out with other folk. However the matchmaking is a bit lacking, as often times I would choose a room to play only for it to wind up already being full, or not really there.
While fighting your opponents is the whole point of Atomic Ninjas, its execution is hampered by a poor camera and minimalist attacks. The camera is zoomed in on you, and never zooms out, so you never know if you're leaping (or swinging, or rocket-blasting) towards a foe, or a large pit in the floor. Thankfully in the games where there is a goal such as capture the flag, a small arrow points to where you need to go.
Once you find a foe, you spam the attack button until they're pushed away. The shurikens are pretty effective, but using the right analog stick to aim while pressing the right trigger for your attack is a bit cumbersome, especially when trying to leap around, or hit a target that is also leaping around. The punches are usually the most effective and when timed right can knock shurikens away from hitting you.
At least the game looks nice. The character models are cute and colorful, and the arenas are varied, even if there's not many to choose from. The layout can be confusing the first time you play through due to the camera, but once you learn where the hazards are, you can travel through them well enough. I will say that each stage seems a bit small at times, and the cramped camera angle doesn't help that.
There is a single-player mode, but it's basically just a practice arena (strangely labeled "quick match") where you fight against bots rather than live players. It's effective if you're taking the game on the go or just can't connect in multiplayer, but the AI is a little high on the difficulty at times. There's at least cross-buy and cross-play included, so you can feel lonely when the room doesn't connect on either system of choice.
The main problem with Atomic Ninjas is that there's just not enough to do. Each battle has Ninja Trials: different objectives to be completed during matches, such as killing three foes with shurikens, or stealing opponents weapons after defeat. While those help vary how you play each level, the limited number of weapons, gadgets, and especially arenas make the quick play even quicker, as I found myself getting bored doing essentially the same thing over and over. Still, there were minimal rewards as I leveled up, as different costumes and abilities were unlocked, but not enough to keep me playing for long periods of time.
Atomic Ninjas isn't really a bad game, nor is it a good one. It just sort of exists. What the title does it does competently, but there's not enough options or variety to warrant many matches, unless you're absolutely dying for some multiplayer brawling on the cheap. It's inoffensive and fun, but like the radiation, only in small doses.
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.
OrochiLeona If you're ever writing about something from the heart, and you stop and think "I don't know how people will react to me if I write this" then you absolutely should go ahead. Passionate conviction is often the only voice you'll have.VeryImportantQuestion Wait a second...has the blog editor been changed with the idea being that the formatting be done in Word or something and then pasted in? Have I been using it wrong these last few posts?OverlordZetta guys I'm standing in a Target looking at a Xenoblade X special edition what do I doZer0t0nin Dear Dortmund Zoo: how's it possible for people to steal 3 monkeys, 3 squirrels and 2 penguins while killing a manatee and another penguin since April and you still have no clue how to stop this?WryGuy We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone!
[img]http://dave.zfx.com/Flash/starwarz.jpg[/img]Flegma Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday). Rad Party God ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! --- http://www.moddb.com/groups/2015-mod-of-the-year-awards/features/2015-modding-year-in-reviewOverlordZetta Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.Archelon It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.Gamemaniac3434 Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair. OverlordZetta [img]https://i.imgur.com/LHAAcgPl.jpg[/img]
やらないか?FlanxLycanth If I were a rhino, I'd be horny.OverlordZetta I don't want DOAX, but it does make me realize... There aren't actually a lot of volleyball games out there, are there? Or tennis, even? At least golf has a little competition, but still. That's golf.LinkSlayer64 Well, everyone is throwing in their opinion on women and games, and here I am... writing a blog about being aroused by female characters in games as a kid... Perhaps I should hold off, I have a feeling it may just be taken the wrong way.Agent9 Thinking about getting my sister yokai watch or animal crossing Happy Home designer(comes with nfc reader). I already got a copy of Tales of xillia for her ps3, this is just a bonus for when she's on the road or at someones house. any suggestions?Dalek Sex Dark Souls 2. Dem builds.Torchman Posted image I promised Flanx, didn't get response from him. Heart forever broken.Archelon Community Question: What game have you played through to completion the most number of times?Atleastimhousebroken ProTip for UK Nintendo gamers: Twilight Princess HD is finally up for pre-order on Amazon. Unfortunately, it won't ship to anywhere outside of the UK. Dammit Amazon Italy! Get on this!!!extatix It's the best time of the year again! Finally we get to listen to Wham and Chris Rea over and over again!