Atomic Ninjas (PS3/Vita) Review
- Cute characters, bold and colorful levels
- Can be played on a PS3 or Vita
Not so much?
- Not a lot of content, can become repetitive quickly
- No local muitiplayer
Grip game’s Atomic Ninjas is a fun, albeit short, brawler with a cute sense of humor and boldy colorful style.
The best way to explain Atomic Ninjas is to compare it to Nintendo’s beloved Smash Bros. franchise. This is an unfair comparison for several reasons. It’s almost as if I was describing Hyundai Sonata and the only comparison I could use was the Lamborghini Murciélago — yes, it’s a car like the Lamborghini, it has four wheels and drives when I press on the gas, and stops when I hit the brake, but they’re in clearly different classes.
But let’s not start off this review with this oranges-to-apples comparison. Let me focus first on first-impressions, and if we’re talking about looks, Atomic Ninjas is a beauty!
The art style is full of bright, bold colors, and the cast of Atomic Ninjas are cutely illustrated, each with their own unique personalities and back story. Sergei, the Russian cap-wearing ninja is the root of the problem. Seems that he enjoys a bit of heavy drinking — and by “a bit”, I mean “a lot” — and he just so happens to be a nuclear power technician. Mix those together, shake ‘em up, and you have an accidentally triggered nuclear apocalypse.
The other Atomic Ninjas include, The Very Last Samurai, Masked Ninja, Rogue Ninja, Old Monk, Psycho Ninja, and lastly — because people can’t get enough of the undead — Zombie.
While Atomic Ninjas plays like other 2.5-dimensional platform brawlers, like Smash Bros, where your goal is to defeat your opponents and be the last man stading — I mean last ninja standing– erm, last atomic ninja standing. But there’s a catch! You can’t actually kill your opponent directly. Instead you’ll have to use environmental hazards and obstacles to defeat them –uppercut them into a lava pit, or blast them into a laser beam, for example.
And that’s pretty much it. It’s a fighting game, which is a genre that is typically full of repetition. I know that we’ve been spoiled by more feature-rich games like Smash Bros., or fighting games with a ton of unlockables like the recent Mortal Kombat games. One on side, the bar is getting set high and new games in the genre have a lot more to live up to, but on the flip side, while it may feel like a lesser version of Nintendo’s brawler, it’s also available at a fraction of the price. Atomic Ninjas is currently available on PSN for only $9.99.
Another checkmark in the plus column for Atomic Ninjas is that it’s available for both the PlayStation 3 and the Vita. Buy it once and you have a game that’s playable on either or both systems.
I reviewed it on the PlayStation 3, and I think I would have probably enjoyed it a bit more if I owned a Vita and played it on that. You see, Atomic Ninjas has no “couch multiplayer.” Unfortunately, I learned this with an eager 6-year-old watching me play-test the game, DualShock 3 in his hand, ready to jump in and play against me.
The only options for multiplayer are online. There is a single-player element, but it’s not all that fun to play against bots — who, by the way, sometimes feel a bit overpowered. As much as I may disagree with it, I do understand why Grip Games made Atomic Ninjas an online only multiplayer game. The games offers larger levels when compared to other brawlers, and playing it against other local opponents may involve a lot of zooming, or some fancy dynamic split screen adjustments. And these types of games are more fun with more people, and unless you constantly have a bunch of friends, always on the ready to play the game with you, multiplayer seems to be the quickest and easiest way to find people to play.
It’s not Smash Bros., but it is a cute brawler, with a decent sense of humor, and some pretty and bold-colored levels. And it will only set you back $9.99. If you own a PlayStation 3 and a Vita, you can buy one copy and play it on either. While I would have preferred to be able to play against at least one additional opponent, I can see where the multiplayer will come in handy. These games are best enjoyed with a bunch of opponents.