On Ninjas

Blaugust Post #2

N++ was announced before the PS4 came out, and released this past week on PS4. It’s the sequel of sorts to N+, which was on the PSP, DS, and 360, which was itself the successor to the flash game N. (Note: I don’t think the original holds up terribly well.) The basic concept remains as it did from the beginning: You are a ninja, get through the levels with as much time left on the clock as possible. Levels contain gold, and each piece picked up adds two seconds. For the 360 version of N+ and for N++, the game tracks your time against other players automatically. Levels are simple, single-screen affairs but there are a very large number of them, ranging in difficulty from 1-1 to Super Meat Boy.


Newton’s First Law

One of the key concepts in the N series is one that was in the kind of Sonic games Sega doesn’t make anymore: Momentum is key. Standard movement speed is pretty fast, but use of ramps and wall jumps can speed things up dramatically, or let you get to jump higher than you can from level ground. N++ in particular begins with levels attempting to teach this, and I’d say it does a pretty good job. I’m not the best judge, because I played a lot of N+. I will say that the level “Intro to accepting your limitations?” is a bit of a dirty trick, because it’s the third level in the tutorial but requires you to grasp the concepts from later tutorial levels to 100% it.

Profanity, Usage by Cause:

One of the areas where N+ really shined was in multiplayer. You could play in the single player levels, but there were also special co-op levels that require at least two people. I’ve referred to the New Super Mario Series as “divorce mode” multiplayer, but this is almost as bad. (Almost, because at least you don’t have collision with your partners.) You will likely have moments of stress where someone is leading a rocket around and you are a little too close, or when someone hits the bounce block you were aiming at causing you to fall into a minefield. It happens. Restarting a level is always only a button press away. If you’re going into it with the intent to break up your friendships, there’s also a race mode.

N++ is one of those sequels that is “the same, but more”, and I’m okay with that. More levels, more obstacles, more colors, and more features make this a worthwhile pickup, and I really like what I’ve played of it so far. I recommend this game if you like relatively difficult platformers and/or games that are better when you add people.