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Mini Ninjas

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Game Reviewed: Mini Ninjas
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Io Interactive
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
Platform: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, Wii, PC & DS)
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: E10+
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Game Description:

An evil samurai warlord has turned all the cute little forest animals into evil samurai minions in a plot to try and rule the world. In an attempt to stop him an old ninja master has sent his ninja students, one at a time to go and investigate what is going on, but as time passes each student fails to return. There are now only two ninjas left, Hiro (the main hero of the story) and his best friend Futo. Although the ninja master is not sure if Hiro and Futo are ready to leave the village, he has no other choice but to send them out to investigate the evil samurai warlord and search for the other missing ninja students.

Hiro is the main character of the game. He looks and moves just like a ninja, albeit a mini ninja. He is small in size and you never actually see his face, so it is assumed that he is also very young. Hiro shows a lot of promise, however, as not only is he skilled in the fighting style of a ninja, but he is also the only ninja in a very long time to be able to learn the art of Kuji magic (more on that in the spiritual content section) which gives him some extra skills for fighting the enemy.

The game is very linear and it plays out like a typical action platformer. Each area consists of several levels in which Hiro must fight some samurai minions as well as the typical "find items to collect" such as hidden statues and ingredients with which helpful items such as health potions can be made. In each area Hiro will also be able to rescue one of his ninja friends with which the player can switch back forth between Hiro and the other ninjas throughout the game. Each ninja also has their own special ability such as one who is able to use a bow and arrow (useful for long range enemies) and one who uses a pole staff (useful for fighting large waves of enemies.) Each area also finishes out with a boss fight. So is Mini Ninjas a good fit for your family? Keep reading to find out.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

Mini Ninjas is an action game, but there is no blood or gore. Whenever Hiro (or one of the other ninjas) kills an evil samurai minion, there is a puff of smoke and the minion turns back into a cute little forest animal.

Language

There is no bad language in this game.

Sexual Content

There is not any inappropriate sexual content in this game.

Spiritual Content

Kuji magic plays a large part in Mini Ninjas. Hiro is able to use Kuji magic to help defeat enemies or help him in other ways in his quest. For example, Hiro can use Kuji magic to cast fire, ice or lighting at his enemies. Hiro can also use Kuji magic to possess forest animals and use them to attack the evil samurai minions.

There is also reference in the game about how the wrath of the gods was brought down on the land in the form of storms.

There is one level that takes place in a graveyard where Hiro has to use a light spell to drive away ghosts.

If you are stuck in the game and not sure where to go, the player can draw guidance from the gods by pressing up on the d-pad which causes an arrow to form above Hiro’s head pointing the direction in which he should go.

Misc.

There is some minor crude humor in Mini Ninjas. Monkeys like to pick their nose and there is one boss that has deadly farts.

Reviewer's Thoughts

On the positive side, I think the best way to describe Mini Ninjas is charming. It is cute, but it is also fun. It is easy, which makes it good for kids, but not so easy that an adult would lose interest. On the negative side, Kuji magic plays a large role in Mini Ninjas which some parents may not be comfortable with. Overall, however, I would say that Mini Ninjas is the best action game available since Lego Star Wars that can easily appeal to both kids and adults.



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