E3 09: Burch ‘n Davis play Mini Ninjas

There are some pretty cool areas set up around the E3 showfloor that physically depict the environment that you would find in the games presented there. For example, the Arkham Asylum area is built to look like the rusty old gates of the titular institution. For some reason, there is a F.E.A.R. 2 area that is littered with old bicycles and other assorted pieces of junk you come across in the game.

And then there is an area where the floor is lined with fake green turf, a group of bamboo shoots, and a gigantic inflatable samurai. This is the area where those at the convention can play Mini Ninjas, an upcoming title for the Wii.

Naturally, such an inviting piece of floorspace drew Anthony and I into the fake bamboo forest to give the game a try. Past the jump are our impressions. 


I had not heard of Mini Ninjas before seeing the cool booth they had set up.

Ashley: I had, and it looked pretty interesting. I’m drawn to anything that has a neat graphical style.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t look so good in person. I especially had some trouble when fighting in areas with tall grass; I couldn’t see where the enemies were, nor where my character was for most of the time.

Anthony: It was very cutesy, to be sure.

Ashley: It was. There is a giant crow that gives you advice. I liked that.

Anthony: I had the same problem about not being able to see the enemies in tall grass. We actually played this separately, unlike the other games we’re previewing together, but I guess that’s a pretty big problem.
Then again, I just hit the B trigger over and over again and Won The Whole Game Forever, so I dunno.

Ashley: Yeah, it was very simple and easy, from what we played.
By simple, I mean bare-boned. There wasn’t too much else to the combat other than a sword slash.

Anthony: There was some waggling, too.
Light waggling.

Ashley: Waggle waggle.
Sorry, that’s just fun to say.

Anthony: I hate you so hard.
But, I’m actually almost at a lost of stuff to say. The game looked kinda cute, but the gameplay was intensely shallow.

Ashley: That’s probably why you didn’t stay with it for too long before dragging me away to do something else.
Our experience with the demo was short and bittersweet, much like these impressions.

Anthony: Well, we completed a fair few mission objectives. Kill these samurai, bring back a Macguffin for the bird.
Nothing thrilled me, though. The combat wasn’t particularly fluid or satisfying, and the platforming was kind of awkward.
On the upside, though, if you fall in the water you can use your samurai hat as a little boat, and that was fucking adorable.

Ashley: I freed some cute animals from cages too.

Anthony: Aww.
So: cute, but shallow?

Ashley: I believe that’s the best way to describe it. Which is unfortunate. But them’s the breaks, I guess.

Ashley Davis