previews\ Jun 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Mini Ninjas - 360 - Preview

E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

IO Interactive, the crew behind the Hitman and Kane & Lynch franchises, haven’t exactly made their name on family friendly experiences, but their latest title should change all of that. Mini Ninjas is a lighthearted action game where players take control of a group of ninjas as they fight to save their homeland and fellow ninjas from an evil samurai warlord. The warlord has released magical demon warriors to fight for him (and he’s using innocent woodland creatures to do it), requiring you to utilize all of your ninja skill, cunning and magic arts to defeat him and his evil forces. Mini Ninjas is a charming title that families should enjoy, while offering enough appeal and depth to hardcore gamers.

In Mini Ninjas, you have control over a variety of ninja abilities. You have the standbys like sword play, wall-running, stealth and other acrobatic moves, as well as a few extras. You’ll be able to enter your spirit form, which allows you to possess and control animals for either stealth or combat purposes. Additionally, you can create a variety of potions using ingredients that you gather in the environment. You can even freeze time in order to pick out enemies as you fight.

Each of the ninja warriors that you unlock in the game will have their own special strengths and weaknesses, you'll be able to switch between your available ninja crew on the fly. You begin with one ninja buddy, Futo, who is big, strong, and capable of wielding a giant hammer. However, he is much bigger and slower than his ninja brethren, and thus less capable of being stealthy. He does have a special move that allows him to roll up into a ball and plow into enemies, which is a handy move. Each character in the game has a special attack, including Futo’s roll attack and even a flute move that confuses enemies and causes them to dance.

Mini Ninjas is turning out to be a fun and engaging title that is simple to get into and yet quite fun. Look for it this September.

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