Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Ninjatown (DS) artwork

Ninjatown (DS) review


"Ninja Gaiden? Ninja Raiden? Forget those, this is an entire game about a town of ninjas. Ninjatown takes two things they most probably hadn’t ever expected to see together: cute animated ninjas based on a plush toy line, and the classic idea of a tower defense scenario. If you’re expecting to boot up the game and find bad dialogue and easy levels however, you’d better scoot on back down to your local game store and turn in this game for Resident Evil. Do not let Ninjatown’s cute, pastel flooded ..."



Ninja Gaiden? Ninja Raiden? Forget those, this is an entire game about a town of ninjas. Ninjatown takes two things they most probably hadn’t ever expected to see together: cute animated ninjas based on a plush toy line, and the classic idea of a tower defense scenario. If you’re expecting to boot up the game and find bad dialogue and easy levels however, you’d better scoot on back down to your local game store and turn in this game for Resident Evil. Do not let Ninjatown’s cute, pastel flooded characters and backgrounds fool you; this game is no walk in the park.

Ninjatown’s plot is a classic tale of good versus evil. The ol’ Master of Ninjatown must lead his ninja students in defense of the settlement after the evil Mr. Demon. Demon’s plot is to steal the secret formula of Ninjatown’s famous cookies, with double as both currency and a food source. To quote the game, “If they get that recipe, they’ll flood the market with substandard cookies, making my Sugar Stock worthless!” It is up to the player to stop Demon’s plans for cookie domination. Although the story doesn’t really get more complex, it is interlaced with tons of jokes for gamers and internet aficionados alike. How many? To again quote the game, “Well, it’s a big number. Over 9,000.”

Central to Ninjatown’s gameplay is of course, the defense of the town. All levels in the game are basically giant winding paths on which enemies will march, float, or dash towards the other end of the map, which is marked by a red flag. The objective of each level is to survive a varying number of waves without letting more than ten enemies pass through. How do the Wee Ninjas mount their defense of their precious food supply? It’s time to lock and load! Well, not quite. Ninjatown is likely one of the very few, if not the only tower defense game currently to be based mostly on melee attacks. Instead of building towers that simply fire bullets or other projectiles at oncoming enemies, the player builds huts. These huts house various types of ninjas, which can then be deployed along the path in order to beat the stuffing out of the demons. In addition to ground based troops, occasionally a wave of flying enemies will appear. The ol’ Master will need to build Wasabi peanut launching sniper ninjas, snowball lobbing ninjas, or bow wielding ninjas to shoot these beasts down.

Huts are built on squares marked off on the sides of the path. One square holds one building. In addition to huts, the ol’ Master can also build training dojos, guard towers, and tea bistros in order to increase the fighting efficiency of his troops. How does all this get paid for? The cookies mentioned before are used as currency, which is gained every time an enemy is defeated. Most huts can be upgraded, and having a large number of upgraded huts is generally the easiest way to beat each level. In addition to building defense, the ol’ Master can also deploy a variety of bonus items obtained at the end of each level in order to aid his ninjas or to hamper the efforts of the demons. Finally, when the ol’ Master himself has to roll up his sleeves and do some dirty work, there are a variety of special abilities that he can use once a certain number of enemies have been killed. Many of these abilities make creative use of the DS’ stylus and mic.

There isn’t a large variety of music, but most people will be so consumed with fighting for their lives (and cookies), that they won’t notice the looping soundtrack. The ninjas and demons have a few standard noises that they make when they punch and bite, although most sounds are probably ripped from some Saturday morning cartoon that everyone forgot about. While not particularly distinctive, not nerve grinding either.

Much of Ninjatown’s story is told in pastel doused, short cut scenes that lack any kind of dialogue. Although this may seem confusing, most of these scenes are basic and easy to understand. Before each level, the player can look forward to a little “briefing” from the ol’ Master, his advisor, and occasionally, the mayor. Although most of these scenes are simply to introduce the player to a new unit or map, some of the conversations are downright hilarious, and are definitely worth taking the time to read.

While it’s not exactly the tale of a hero battling huge demons to save the planet, an old hero on his last legs, or the journey deep into an insane character’s mind, Ninjatown provides a fresh coat of paint on an aged idea, and manages to provide a casual gaming experience for hardcore gamers. Although the steep difficulty halfway through the game might turn off less determined players, this is a portable gem worth checking out.

Rating: 8/10

Probester's avatar
Community review by Probester (December 15, 2008)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Probester
Call of Duty: World at War (PlayStation 3) artwork
Call of Duty: World at War (PlayStation 3)

Call of Duty: World At War is a good example of money cow milking at work. Following the success of Call of Duty 4, the people behind Call of Duty must have thought “Let’s go back to World War II, except we’ll just port over this new system that people like!”, then proceed to churn out copies of World at War. The resul...
The Saboteur (PlayStation 3) artwork
The Saboteur (PlayStation 3)

The Saboteur is an excellent game. That said, it seemed like someone might have snuck into the game studio before mass production and sabotaged the project before it was released. The otherwise excellent ideas and aesthetic styles clash with an overly simplistic gameplay system and a plethora of glitches.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (Wii) artwork
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (Wii)

When Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles came out, there were several glaring omissions from the level selection. What happened to Resident Evil 2? Or Code Veronica? It was pretty obvious that Capcom left them out on purpose. Perhaps they thought RE2 and RE3 were too similar in location to both feature on the same game?...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Ninjatown review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
EmP posted December 27, 2008:

Though the points here are well made, the review does suffer from being listy: transitions are either poorly made or not even attempted leading to many paragraphs being nothing more than unmarked categories. Intro- plot - gameplay - graphics - sound - conclusion. This is an easy habit to fall into, but you should try to get out of it as early as you can. Talk about the game as a whole and you’ll find all these aspects blend into one giant topic over time. The only way to get to this point is to keep writing; there’s potential here and you know what needs to be talked about, so just start trying to tie them all together.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Ninjatown is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Ninjatown, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.