I feel as though Ninjala has always existed on the precipice of mainstream relevance. For almost two years now, it’s been building toward its release, never really garnering that much attention outside of its constant comparisons to Splatoon. Even though they’re two distinctly different games, it’s always lived in the shadow of Nintendo’s kid-and-squid shooter. If Ninjala wanted the spotlight on itself, it could do so with a successful open beta.
It did not do that.
Rather than giving players a taste of the bubblegum-brawler gameplay, the recent Ninjala Exclusive Ninja Club beta left most people pursuing an endless series of error codes until emergency maintenance blocked anyone from playing. That more-or-less describes my experience with it, so rather than write-up an impressions piece of a game I really don’t have any impressions of, I thought I’d share with you the most balls-to-the-wall error codes I ran into when attempting to play this game.
Error Code #: G-0–001
Error Code G-0-001 deserves mention right out the gate for being the most common error code I encountered when trying to play Ninjala. It’s also the craziest because you never knew when it would pop up. You could be trying to access the multiplayer, the training center, or the closet to deck your avatar out in some dope duds, and then BAM!, there it is to ruin your day.
Error Code #: G-2-05000-15000
Unlike the more promiscuous error code above, G-2-05000-15000 proved particularly gnarly because it always popped up whenever it seemed I was the closest to actually connecting to the multiplayer mode. This specific error code screenshot was captured after I spent five minutes waiting, hoping, and praying that my connection would finally go through. And just when I thought I had it, this bastard flew in doing a 1080 twisty through a flaming hoop just to slap me down.
Error Code: Connection Error
That’s right. Connection Error is confirmed to be in Ninjala. I know a lot of people were wondering if it would make the jump from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so I’m happy to confirm GungHo Online was able to secure its presence in its new Switch exclusive. Considered the Margo Martindale of error codes, I can’t wait to see how Connection Error manifests itself when Ninjala officially launches.
Error Code: Unable to Enter Game
This was the screen players saw when trying to access the open beta outside of the scheduled hours. Or, it was the screen players eventually saw when trying to access the open beta within the scheduled hours. Getting the unable-to-enter-game error was like being smacked in the face by one of Ninjala‘s colorful Ippon Katanas. If video games had bouncers — outside of the game The Bouncer — this screen would be the 400 lb. white guy, who used to be a marine, wearing sunglasses just waiting to beat the shit out of any dickhead who tries to force himself into the club.
Error Code #: G-0-1200
Finally, error code G-0-1200, the unicorn error code that was so rare, I only saw it once. A legit mystery of what role this error code filled that couldn’t be filled by G-0–001 or G-2-05000-15000. What secrets does this error code hold? Could it contain the reason as to why a company with the word “Online” in its name hosted a public beta that went this poorly? Only time and data miners will tell.
Despite the frequent error codes and GungHo sending the game into emergency maintenance 20 minutes into the 8:00 pm beta session, I was able to play and complete a single round of free-for-all Ninjala against other players. It was okay. I started in first place with a quick kill, but by the end of the match, I’d dropped into fifth as these gum-chewing cretins kicked my ass from one side of the stage to the other. It’s hard to make a judgment with such limited time under my belt, but it ran surprisingly well given how the rest of the beta went and I can say the gameplay didn’t do anything to swear me off downloading the title when it actually launches.
Ninjala launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on May 27. Whether or not that will change based on the beta remains to be seen. Hopefully, all the connection kinks I experienced will be ironed out by then, because if there is one thing the Switch doesn’t lack, it’s engaging free-to-play games.