Ninja Senki DX (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 27.04.2016

Review for Ninja Senki DX on PC

Arcades are largely a bygone ideal. Once used to fill the space between the boring stores in malls, arcades are now lost, along with VHS tapes and playing a game without a walkthrough. Ninja Senki DX is asking gamers to venture back in time to these long-lost monuments of video game's infancy. Can it possibly give a new generation the feeling of toppling the best arcade games of yesteryear?

Ninja Senki DX is retro to its very core. From the blotchy pixel art to the minimalist menus, this game feels ripped right out of an arcade cabinet. The quarter-munching difficulty is also intact, though the "just one more try" feeling is as quick to dissipate as the ninjas themselves.

The setup is pretty much the typical retro platformer. There are various platforms and various enemy types. Some of the enemies feel perfectly balanced, such as a Ralph Macchio-type ninja who lobs throwing stars at the player if they are in front of them. Other enemies, like a weird mutant who throws homing fireballs, feel cheaper and somehow unfair, even for this kind of game. Unfortunately, all the enemies in the game follow this black and white style of balance, which makes success feel more like luck than precision. Couple this with generic (within the game and within the genre) boss fights, and the enemies are much more miss than hit.

The controls are, to the opposite end of the spectrum, absolutely perfect. Almost like a high school typing test, every control is mapped to the middle of the keyboard. It might seem dumbed down, but with so few commands to impart to your little ninja, it works perfectly. The controls are also incredibly responsive and tight, which helps give the player a moderate advantage over some of the more unfair opponents.

Screenshot for Ninja Senki DX on PC

Artistically, this game is really stunning. While the pixels aren't tight, they are a style all their own. The decision not to go widescreen also feeds the arcade feeling, and the screen is still plenty visible, even with the HUD on the sides. The music also lends to this feeling, but honestly, it feels overwhelming. When navigating the game's few menus, it feels more like a stopwatch timing your descent into the action, instead of getting you pumped and ready to go.

There's not much to the game, and honestly, even for an arcade-style title, it feels like it ends too soon. There's a challenge mode, but it still feels a bit too short. While it definitely sticks to the retro arcade theme, a bit more exploration into the game's simple mechanics would have been wildly invited. Unfortunately, it just abruptly ends and leaves us feeling a bit jilted. Sure, the game has its faults, but it is still worth the time to play if you're a retro arcade fan. Ending it so quickly feels like a missed opportunity.

Screenshot for Ninja Senki DX on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Ninja Senki DX is an arcade game, and with that comes some baggage. For its incredible controls, it has balancing issues that seem easily rectified. Cheap kills can be made up for by an incredible world, and there seems to be some of it here. For the rather low-key graphics, it still manages to work. It would be foolish to miss out on Ninja Senki DX's retro charm, but if you have a hefty backlog, it's not something you need to rush into. In summary, it should definitely be experienced by fans of the genre, but it can wait.


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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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