As of late, I’ve been craving some old-school style action platformer action first fed to me by games like Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, and Ratchet and Clank. Alas, the Xbox 360 is not really a great home to these kinds of games. It prefers shooters and…uh, shooter hybrids? Seems to be that way. Which is a shame. It’s not a dying breed, it’s just one that hasn’t gotten a lot of platform support (mind the pun there). For a bit, I really thought I was gonna be at a loss on what to look for…

But then I remembered playing the demo for a kid-friendly wee game called Mini Ninjas. And I had a fun time with it! I concluded my demo impressions then with the point that I’d not buy it if it retailed for $60.00, and unfortunately it did at its release time. Too pricey for my skin. But I’m a patient hobbit, and waiting is what I do best. Stopped by the local GameStop tonight after getting very depressed about packing up all my shtuff and got a used copy for $20.00, which is a much better dealio. The clerk though never heard of the game and had me repeat it for him like so:

GameStop clerk: Mini…Ninjas?
Me: Mini…Ninjas.

So far, I’ve played through the tutorial level and first level which has you rescuing a female ninja from a cage. The gameplay is varied and fun, and I get a kick out of putting on that huge woven hat or using it to float down a stream. The controls are solid, and I am kind of paying attention to the storyline…not really. Something about missing ninjas and an evil dude? Oh, and you get to collect plants to make items. Every game should have alchemy in it. Every. Single. Videogame. Yes, even you, Rock Band. Right now though I’ve more or less played the same parts that I got to play in the demo version and am looking forward to new terrain and troubles.

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