Just finished beating Adventures of Pip, by Tic Toc Games. The full release will be available in May for Xbox One, PS4, 360, PC, Mac and Wii U, but it got an early release on Steam. I’m not sure how completely done the game is though. At least I’m hoping what was released on Steam isn’t the finished product. It seems almost fully polished. It’s a solid platformer with excellent controls and all gameplay elements are there and I didn’t encounter any bugs, but it’s lacking some music. Worlds 2 and 3 use the same tracks and every stage in each world uses the same music throughout. Boss music is also sadly absent. There just wasn’t enough variety. Jake Kaufman is responsible for the soundtrack and I’ve never been disappointed by his work, so I’m hoping it all just hasn’t been added in yet.
Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of pure platforming games. I’ll play them, but they tend to get too aggravating too fast or I simply lose interest because there’s generally no substance. Adventures of Pip provided just the right amount of difficulty (for me anyway) and had a few challenges but nothing that got too rage-quit inducing. For the less casual platform gamer, I can see this game getting picked up and blown through in a single sitting.
Overall I enjoyed the game, which for the designer of a platformer, is quite a challenge to get me to say. Below is the full playthrough done on Twitch, laid out stage by stage. We had some technical difficulties throughout. Audio levels especially in the first video. It’s mostly the commentary (which is asinine anyway) that has problems. Game audio is pretty much fine.
A Ninja themed set of 3 quickies available from the Indie Xbox Live Arcade.
Ninja Stole My Bike
Ugh. This game is such trash. I won’t go into much detail about the gameplay, because there really isn’t much. Take an impossible game and make it more boring and then you have Ninja Stole My Bike. They took a genre of game where all you really do is press one button and found a way to make it less interesting. There are two redeeming qualities to this game however. For starters, it only costs 80 MSP, which is most likely more than what it cost to make the game. The other, which is probably already obvious to fans of YTMND.com, is the games namesake. Basically, your playing the cut scene from Punch-Out!! But instead of an up and coming boxer chasing a fat black man on a bike, you’re a pizza delivery boy chasing a ninja. So aside from the little chuckle I got from the connection to an overtly racist internet meme, this game is only worth it for those who have a major crush on these types of games and have played every other one in existence.
Has that annoying chibi style of art, but that’s really the only negative thing I have to say about this game. It’s honestly pretty good for what it is. It’s a weird hybrid of a side-scrolling action platformer and stealth game, with a little bit of impossible game thrown in. Think if Solid Snake was storming Dr. Wily’s castle. The game has a much quicker pace than any Metal Gear though; you won’t be sitting there for more then a few seconds waiting for an enemy to turn away. You’re given two basic instructions at the onset of the game: Don’t be seen, and don’t murder anyone. The don’t be seen part was a given, I was expecting that considering the title and all. But the second part – no killing?! You’re a ninja and ninjas use swords and a swords sole purpose is to kill. Instead your sword is relegated to a glorified door slasher. The music’s not so bad either. I set my standards low for indie games, so I won’t say it’s good, but it’s catchy and goes with the pace of the game pretty well. This one’s also only 80 MSP and you could do much worse with a dollar.
Akane the Kunoichi
Kunoichi = female ninja
Definitely the most visually appealing of the three games reviewed. The 16-bit art style took me right back to the days of the SNES, with bright and vibrant sprite animations and backgrounds. This is a straight up action platformer. Akane performs as you would expect a ninja to – doing wall jumps, throwing projectiles at enemy ninjas, and harnessing her potent ninja magic. Although, the whole stealth aspect of being a ninja is thrown at the window. It kind of reminded me of Shinobi, but far more colorful, like if Nintendo had made Shinobi instead of Sega. The only real complaint I have is the noise she makes EVERY TIME you jump. I could really do without that, or at least some variety in effects. That aside, it was a pretty solid game. Controlled well, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, and a halfway decent soundtrack. I’m not a particularly big fan of platformers, so for that to be my only gripe shows that there was a good degree of effort put into developing this title. At only 80 MSP, it’s definitely worth the dollar.
Since this is my top pick of the three, it deserves a video.
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By the way, if you’re still wondering about where Ninja Stole My Bike go its inspiration, GO HERE. But I warn you, it IS racist.