Mini Ninjas has a great whimsical art style that I absolutely loved. Each of the small ninjas that you play as are fully realized characters with small details that make them stand out as individuals. The bad guys are gloriously silly running about in a panic and sounding like a bunch of Japanese jawas/ewoks. The game is pretty linear though there are side quests and places to discover. Combat is simple with special attacks and magic to spice things up. Stealth can make up a large part of your gameplay or very little it's up to you. There is a leveling up system that improves your stats and a alchemy system that lets you mix ingredients that you find to make potions that grant you abilities. This game is full of Japanese myth portrayed in a very pleasant manner. If you like ninjas, then this game is a worthy rent.
The gameplay is fun and the graphics and art style are very cool but I got very close to finishing the game but then I reached the avalanche level. Maybe I'm the only one who found this impossible, but I could not beat the avalanche. I would be able to get so far escaping the avalanche and then I would fall down into a forest and it seemed there was no way out and I would always die. I was getting frustrated so I just decided that it wasn't worth it and I just quit and decided I could watch the end of the game in a video online. So if that tells you anything...Usually I'm not one to give up on a game but I just didn't find this one to be worth my time to try to figure out how to get past the avalanche. I decided my time would be better spent returning this one and getting something else. I just watched the ending online and it turns out I didn't really miss a whole lot.
Finished the game last night and I unexpectedly enjoyed every minute of it!
Mini Ninjas is a very good 3D Platformer with solid game play and no noticeable flaws. There is very little in the way of innovation throughout the game. But, Eidos has spent a considerable amount of time polishing the controls and game mechanics.
I enjoyed the "cartoonish" graphics and level design. The whimsical look added to the games charm and appeal. It's a nice contrast to playing "Gritty" games like Fallout 3 or Killzone 2. Lighthearted and rather silly in places.
A very simple control scheme is implemented. It's for the most part a simple Button-Masher. This a great for allowing younger players and the less experience gamers to enjoy the game. After playing for a few hours and growing accustomed to the controls I found that there was quite a bit of depth to them. There is an opportunity for skilled gamers to vary their attacks and strategies if they wished. It is not necessary to do this but it can add a lot to the game.
Collecting items and ingredients to mix potions, Jizo Statues, Secret Kuju shrines and and just floating around in your hat fishing add a lot of little extras that keep the game fun.