Like most of you (hopefully) know by now, a earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated Japan earlier this year. Help came from around the world from both the governments and the world population. While it was rather easy to donate money to different help associations, some of you might not have donated money. To make it a little easier for the ones who have not done so yet, Japanese developer Cave (who brought us games like Guwange and Deathsmiles) decided to donate sales of their recent Xbox LIVE Arcade game NIN2-JUMP to the Japanese Red Cross.
The game’s story is as simple as you can get. You play the role of a ninja named NIN-JA who must save princess SAKURA which was kidnapped by the evil NAMAKURA. To do so, he must collect scrolls scattered throughout the game’s levels. Nothing impressive here as the classic Super Mario Bros. formula is copied, which is not a bad thing at all since the game is all about the gameplay.
NIN2-JUMP’s gameplay is incredibly simple: Pickup scrolls to open a magic gate and escape through it. Of course, enemies and traps will get in your way to make your trip through each level a little harder than a walk in the park. Luckily for you, you have special abilities such as killing an enemy (considering you have collected scrolls and filled up your power meter) and climbing on walls using a grappling hook.
The mastery of both of these skills is very important as the levels quickly get much more complicated. Also, you are given a grade at the end of each level and nothing less than a strong run will get you an S rank. In addition to the 45 levels NIN2-JUMP has to offer, each of the game worlds ends with a memorable boss fight that will push your skills to the limit. Finally, collectibles scattered throughout the game as well as a special Score Attack mode are also available for those who want a little more out of the game.
NIN2-JUMP’s presentation relies on the principle that the action takes place in a Bunraku theatre show (paper-crafted puppets). It brings a totally unique feel to the game while making the huge amount of blood you can occasionally see feel a little less of a problem. Furthermore, NIN2-JUMP’s audio is solid while not being too over-the-top. You are given a Japanese-sounding soundtrack and sounds as well as many Japanese voices (which I frankly do not understand). Still, both the visuals and the audio do make the game feel like you are watching a Bunraku show, which is quite interesting.
NIN2-JUMP is a great game. It manages to bring a fresh twist on the platforming genre while still keeping Cave’s games special feel. The only negative comment I would have about it is that I would have wanted to keep playing for many more hours. Still, buying this game is not only something you should do for your own good but also because it will help people over in Japan. Cave will donate sales of the game from mid-April 2011 to late June 2011 so make sure you hurry!
NIN2-JUMP is available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 400 Microsoft Points (around 5$USD).
- Simple fast-paced platforming action
- Will appeal to pretty much any gamer
- The art style is beautiful
- The game is so good that you might wish it had more levels