Thursday, November 29

Reddie Reviews: Mark of the Ninja

The Steam Autumn Sale has come and gone, and hell I've bought a ton of games. So here is my review of one of them! Mark of the Ninja by Klei Entertainment and produced by Microsoft Studios.


                                                       About the Game:

Mark of the Ninja is a 2d stealth action adventure in which you play a Ninja covered in cursed tattoos that give you the ability to enhance your senses with a drawback that they cause you pain and suffering. You are tasked to save your clan and defeat the evil megalomaniac corporation gunning to destroy your ninja family. In this quest you are aided by your Master and a fellow Ninja who acts as a teacher in the field. This game features a moral choice system and multiple endings and balls to the wall stealth maneuvers (see what I did there?) Let's get down to business!


The sound design is incredible, you pass through the game without realizing that there is a soundtrack, in fact at the time of writing this review I am convinced that there isn't any music through the majority of the game save the cutscenes. This is essential for the stealth element. The noises you make are represented by both audio and visual cues to ensure that you are never confused as to why you were killed brutally and how you were spotted. The music in the cutscenes is ambient and really sets the tone for the scene.


Done in a 2d flash animation style, the visual aspect in this game is gorgeous. The cut scenes are full motion video cartoons, and feel like you are watching an episode of Mark of the Ninja on television. Every character, animal, and level is almost perfect. Light is used effectively. If you walk into the light, your screen brightens and your character is shown in full detail however when in the pitch black you can only see the outline of your Ninja in the darkness. The only negative thing I can say is that sometimes you aren't sure what is a stealth spot and what isn't. The dark objects in the foreground "can" blend with the objects in the background but as you play, you get used to it.



                                                               Game play:

This IP gives you plenty of opportunity to choose the way you would like to approach different situations. You can go in balls to the wall and die, or take the stealthy method and kill your enemies one at a time. With a variety of enemies from guards to motion sensors the change up is incredibly effective. At the end of each level you are given points that can be used to upgrade your kit and abilities. With a plethora of upgrades and multiple enhancement paths, you are life gets pretty wonderful. I personally went with the stealth kill branch and was given increasingly useful abilities to take down my enemies from different locations. In fact before I knew about the upgrades I thought that the game could use some extra moves. But low and behold there they were. Points are given at the end of a level based on the amount of kills you have, whether you have set off an alarm or if you went for a no kill run (which factors into the the end game moral choice style ending) The only thing that I can say that would be slightly negative would be that this game can get frustrating at times due to sound design, were it plays the same alarm sound for half of a level, and if you are not careful you could be playing it for about a half hour and that is a small gripe versus the amazing quality of this product. I would also highly suggest playing this game with a controller.

                                                             The Nitty Gritty:

There is very little about this game that I find terrible. As mentioned previously without the controller, this game can be unresponsive. Though there are slight problems that were mentioned above, this game is near perfect for the genre.

I give this game a 9.5 out of 10.

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