10 Second Ninja X is an action platformer game, developed by Four Circle Interactive and published by Curve Digital, releasing on PC, PS4 Vita and Xbox One in July 2016. The previous game in the series, 10 Second Ninja which was widely accepted by players as being an arcade style rushing title.
Ninja X takes on the same gameplay aspects as the first. You play as a ninja (oddly enough) and you have to take out various enemies in a timely fashion whilst traversing sometimes deadly platforming stages. The game is partly a sequel to the first, but also an improved version too. You can take out enemies either by using the ninja’s katana or throwing knives. Each level must be completed within 10 seconds, again the devs are really good at naming their game here…! The fast paced game play means you will continously fail a level until everything just clicks into place perfectly and you have your route planned out to a tee. I must warn you though 10 Second Ninja X is a very rage inducing game, there were times when I had to step away from the keyboard just to take a minute to breathe before starting again. You will easily become infuriated at the punishingly difficult stages combined with the 10 second time limit.
The game also has a gating system, so you can’t just simply breeze through the game by only just passing each stage by completing it in 9.50 seconds; you have to earn a substantial amount of stars in order to get onto the next stage of levels. I believe on average it works out as needing to get a 2 star rating on each stage which is by no means an easy feat. I struggled with getting one most of the time! A huge benefit to the game is that it is very easy to reset a level, if you mess up right at the start you can reset the stage instantly; this can sometimes be a bad thing though as I found myself resetting the level when I didn’t mean to.
Ninja X has the same art style as the first, very crisp looking cartoon graphics which looks just gorgeous. The character sprites are also very well designed and easily one of the best aspects of the visual look to the game. Environments are bright and vibrant with colour and different tones which gives you a sense of exploration throughout the game too. Soundtracks and sound effects are brilliant too; they keep in with the theme as being fast and chaotic giving you that complete immersion effect.
As I said above, the game is gruesomely hard, and every second counts towards the greater goal. Sometimes the path that you need to take to complete a stage may seem completely obvious, but that is not always the best route, you need to be a patient fellow in order to beat this game, I am a mere peasant and only on the second stage and you can see just by the amount of hours I have already put into this game that it is in no way an easy task to manage. You can watch hints and tips from Youtube videos online in order to find the best path, but actually executing them is another task in itself.
The game will have a large amount of replayability even after you manage the mammoth task of 100 levels, you can go back and try your best to three star each level and compete with friends on the leaderboards. If you find this game to be right up your street, prepare yourself for a bargain in terms of $ to hour ratio.
I only had one technical issue, and that was with the game not picking up my controller straight away. For some reason whenever I booted the game up, it would think the active controller would be “port 3” which isn’t exactly helpful as you have to change this manually to “Port 1” in order to get your controller to work. Pro tip; don’t even attempt this game if you don’t have a controller.
10 Second Ninja X is an improved version over the original game in every way. You won’t really miss much skipping the first game, $10.99 for a game of this quality and amount of content is easily a fair price to pay. It definitely will only appeal to a certain audience so I would advise people try out the demo before you make the plunge in purchasing the full game.