10 Second Ninja X Review
10 Second Ninja X is truly a speedrunner’s paradise. It allows the player ample time to clear each level while the levels themselves will change accordingly to keep the player challenged throughout. While there isn’t anything exactly new or refreshing about it mechanics wise, it does display a great use of its level design and it’s crisp controls certainly make for a fun, yet excruciatingly frustrating, time.
The title itself basically describes it all. You are a silent tiny ninja that has 10 seconds to clear each level by clearing obstacles and taking out the evil robots that have disturbed the forces of nature. The game begins with Captain Greatbeard, a character that is reminiscent to the classic Dr. Robotnic, that starts the story with telling his computer he loves it. After the confession of love and the quick to reject super computer, Captain Greatbeard informs our blue clad hero that he has kidnapped all of his forest friends and naturally it is up to you to save everyone.
“10 Second Ninja is extremely easy to pick up with even easier to understand controls.”
10 Second Ninja is extremely easy to pick up with even easier to understand controls. Before we choose our level, you are taken to a retro style TV screen with all the levels that are listed and the amount of stars of completion you have for it. On the right hand side you can also view the leader boards and what player currently has the best completion rate. As earlier stated, the controls for this game are extremely simple. X is jump/double jump, square is your sword and circle is used to shoot your shuriken, however you will want to time and utilize your shuriken strategically as you only have three to use before you run out. When you’ve failed your mission or you fall into one of the many electrical traps you will be faced with, quickly hit the L1 or R1 buttons to quickly reset and try again. And again. And again.
As an incredibly fast paced platformer it is truly all about speed and simplicity. With some well thought out level designs also comes with almost unbelievably difficult situations that seem almost impossible to ever complete no matter how many times you hit repeat.
In the world of 10 second Ninja X, there are multiple worlds to be unlocked and that is where the use of the stars at the end of each level came in. You can earn from one to three stars per level though I have never felt like getting three stars was absolutely necessary. I found at one point I was half way through a world before I discovered I had enough stars to unlock the next. The game does a great job at appealing to casual gamers who just want a bit of fun to competitive players who really want a bask in a challenge.
While the game is fantastic for those who are not about time perfection, there is a real gem of combining strategy and speed to try and shave off as many seconds as you can. Every world introduces a new element to the formula which requires additional calculation and planning. You will encounter new obstacles that come in the form of robots that can only be destroyed with shurikens or slashed, switches that can open up new pathways or lasers that can deflect shurikens back to you.
Has the game got you down in a constant head scratcher and you’re just thinking, “How on earth..?” There is an extremely handy hint system that can be used where you simply use a hint token and a ghost ninja will show you the best route to be taken to clear the level in the allotted time. While you have ghost ninja to show you where to go, it is up to the player to be able to properly execute the weapons and skills you have. Ran out of hint tokens and need to get more? Don’t worry, there are other fun timed challenges that you can do outside of the main game to earn tokens.
Whether you want to play the game for the thrill of a challenge or you just need to kill some time, 10 Second Ninja X is a great game to pick up to do just that. It is a highly repetitive game, while the stages do eventually change to become more difficult, the core gameplay never really evolves into anything too meaningful. The art direction and sound effects work well and the gameplay is tough and challenging yet extremely rewarding.
***A PS4 review code was provided by the publisher***
- Simple and easy to pick up
- A great sense of accomplishment
- Fun timed challenges
- Story and humor fall incredibly flat