Platformers can offer split-second gaming where you are timed with sharp reflexes, have to time your jumps and dash through levels as fast as you possibly can. You do this for a few reasons; to get the fastest time or because that is a main goal of the gameplay objectives.
Four Circle Interactive‘s 10 Second Ninja uses this style of gameplay and the original release of the game was successful. But they made a new version of the title called 10 Second Ninja X. Does this new edition of the game offer fun gameplay that pushes your ninja skills?
The game’s plot is of a silent Ninja defending his forest home from a pirate fellow. After loosing to the Ninja before, he takes him up to his ship to complete a series of challenges to try and humiliate him all the while agreeing to free the imprisoned animals in the robot he makes. If this set up sounds familiar, then you might be thinking of a blue hedgehog, but unlike the speedy blue blur, our Ninja is silent. He says nothing, and this offers fun reactions from the main bad guy.
He gets very annoyed with the ninja not responding at all to his conditions and other people on board the ship have fun interactions with the Ninja. The game has a funny sense of humor and the ending to the game is quite heart warming honestly.
Overall, while its very simple, the overall story is well done and enjoyable to play through.
The game is structured with a hub world to explore, the pirate ship you are on. Here, you can do a lot of different things; activate TV’s to play the main stages, collect CD fragments to unlock a special (and quite fun) mini-game, talk with the crew members on the ship and change into different costumes you unlock as you play the game.
In order to play more stages, you have star requirements, with each level having three stars to get. You get ranked with stars depending on how fast you complete levels and you need X amount of them to unlock new levels. I was annoyed by this at first, as I had to replay the first world a few times over & over again….but that is the charm of the game.
Once you get a grove on the games core mechanics, you can play the game in any order you want; you can just get by through levels or you can master a world of stages to have more options for the proceeding worlds. It offers a fun spin on the difficulty options you see in most games, as you can make the game as easy or as hard as you desire.
10 Second Ninja X is a very simple game mechanically; you can slash with your sword, throw shurikens (three per level) and double jump. But these simple controls are pushed with the goal; completing levels in under 10 seconds. That, is where this game shine brightly, as the levels are expertly designed.
You have different types of ways to use your shurikens like tossing them into objects that can bounce around, into objects that pull you into them, and electrified foes that cannot get killed with your slashes. This allows the games puzzle levels to offer great challenge but completing a tough level with three stars is such a good feeling.
More so from the sharp controls, as on the Vita the game feels perfect. Every press of the buttons or D-Pad is swift and responsive. You have a lot of control over your character and that makes playing these levels a joy. If you are having issue with levels though, you have option to use coins (which you get from a NPC in the hub) to unlock hints, which shows a phantom AI character completing the level so you have an idea how to clear the stage.
One fun thing to point out is that this game is two games in one, as an series of Legacy levels that are from the original release of the game unlock when you beat the game. These levels have new elements not seen in this game like boss battles with the main foe for example. The gameplay present does a number of things right and leads to fun mechanics being used effectively.
This game is packed with content, with 60 levels for the main story but over 50 levels to play through when you beat the game and a mini game that unlocks when you find all the CD fragments. In addition, you have trophies to collect on the PlayStation Versions of the game & Achievements on the Steam & Xbox One versions alongside leader-boards to beat the best level times.
I beat the game in 2-3 hours but the extra levels in addition to getting 3-Stars in every single level will take much longer. You have a lot of content to speed your way through.
10 Second Ninja X runs at native res on the PS Vita with a locked frame rate (60FPS), but its simple design helps things be clear so levels are never an issue to run through. The overall look of the game is nice, with the usage of color being well done and the music of the game matching the tone/mood of the levels.
The game’s character designs are also nice, as while they are simple, they are great to look at. The game is a good looking game that has a simple but attractive visual aesthetic.
Story – 4 out of 5 / Gameplay – 5 out of 5 / Design – 4.5 out of 5 / Replay Value – 4.5 out of 5 / Presentation – 4 out of 5
10 Second Ninja X is a great title that offers some fun levels to run through with tight gameplay that rewards fast and successful runs through levels in addition to having a great deal of content to play through. The presentation is simple but well used and the story was enjoyable. I recommend this title if you are big fan of speedy platformers and like a fun challenge.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
I reviewed this game on the PS Vita with a code provided by the developer. The game is out now on PlayStation Platforms (PS4 & Vita with Cross-Buy Support), Xbox One and Steam.