IGN Review of Cubic Ninja
Cubic Ninja is a 3DS puzzle platformer from Ubisoft that sports an interesting concept, putting players in control of a ninja cube named CC who's on a mission to save his cube princess. Along the way he acquires certain special powers (like the ability to shrink or throw ninja stars) to aid him in his quest. Unfortunately, Cubic Ninja is one of those frustrating games that is almost really cool, but never quite delivers.
The ultimate goal is to use the 3DS's gyroscope technology to get CC from one end of a level to the other. CC moves in whatever direction you tilt the system. It's a fun use of the gyro function, but it doesn't work as tightly as it should, especially given that it's the entire focus of the game.
The main problem is that if you want to bring CC forward, you have to tilt the system towards you. This should be fine since Cubic Ninja doesn't use 3D during gameplay, but in order to get him to go as far forward as you need him to you have to tilt the system so that it obscures your view of the screen. There are ways around it if you don't mind being a little uncomfortable as you play, but as this situation comes up quite often, it's a big detractor from the experience. It would help if you had the option of adjusting the sensitivity of the tilt function, but the closest thing to a solution is the ability to switch to circle pad mode, which is even wonkier to control.
Despite less than ideal controls, there is still some fun to be had with Cubic Ninja. Unfortunately, while there are 100 maze-like levels to work your way through, they're usually rather short, and I cleared all of them in just a handful of hours. Occasional boss fights and some interesting mazes help, but for a $40 game there's simply not enough content. Luckily there are a few additional modes to supplement and lengthen the experience, like a level creator, time attack, and survival modes. While these are fun to mess around with, they still don't feel like they justify the price tag, especially for an experience that feels like it just as easily could have been a $5 iPhone game.
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