Cave are famous for their ‘bullet hell’ shooters such as Deathsmiles and loads of other quirky Xbox 360 titles, but with Nin2-Jump (pronounced Nin-Nin-Jump) they have moved away from their comfort zone with a quirky platfomer.
You play as a ninja called Nin-Ja who is involved in the classic save the Princess from an evil demon storyline. The game itself is very simple, you have to find all of the scrolls in each stage and then find the exit in the fastest time possible. You can then post your score to a leaderboards and go back if you think you can beat your time. Once you have completed the adventure mode there is a score attack mode to take on as well.
There are five worlds to get through, moving through the four seasons before reaching the castle. In each new world your ninja gains a new ability. In Spring he starts off just being able to jump around without any aids, Summer grants him the power of the Kusari, a chain that allows him to grapple onto walls or anchors to pull himself around in any direction. During Autumn he is able to use powerful magic once he has collected enough scrolls to destroy any enemies around him. In the winter the enemies seek to ambush Ninja at opportune moments, forcing you to think on your feet and use power only when necessary. Finally, in the Castle, Ninja will have an ever-restoring pool of magic to rely on, this makes his adventure a mush simpler tasks. Don’t be fooled by the simple levels at the beginning, things do get tough later on.
I love the distinct art style of the game, it looks like you are viewing the action on a 2D projector, with your hero’s red scarf always caught on the fixed wind in a world of painted backdrops and paper, shadow puppet characters, whilst the audience of silhouetted children shout various reactions to Nin-Ja’s actions as you play. It’s a charming aesthetic that compliments the theme wonderfully.
Unfortunately your time is this beautifully crafted world is short, with the 50 stages taking very little time to get through despite some particularly frustrating sections and some tough boss fights. It’s shame to have so little time to hone your platforming skills and you’ll certainly be craving more come the credits. The score attack mode adds a little replayability and the presence of a downloadable content option is encouraging for future DLC but as it stands, Nin2-Jump is a charming but brief platformer.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: XBLA Release Date: 27/04/11
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a digital copy of Nin2-Jump for review purposes by the publisher. The title was reviewed over the course of five nights on Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.