Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash Wii U eShop Review

Endlessly Running From Mobile to eShop –

Originally released in a mobile environment, Natsume has ported their endless runner Ninja Strike to the Wii U eShop under the full title of Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash for $5.99. Despite some flaws, this Wii U enhancement still retains addictive qualities and is worth the time for casual fans.

Automatically run to the right

Automatically run to the right

Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash is an endless runner with a, you guessed it, ninja theme. Always running from left to right, the player controls jumps, double jumps, gliding, and sword swipe attacking; the entire game only uses two buttons making it simple enough so anyone can pick up and play. Even though backgrounds, enemies, and collectables repeat, the constant unlocking of new abilities and characters creates a satisfying sense of accomplishment, giving it that “just one more” addictiveness. Once I figured out the menu system and became comfortable with the floaty physics, my first two hours with this game felt like 15 minutes.

Ninja Strike Wii U Sc3

New characters are unlocked by collecting certain items or earning enough coins

Like Jetpack Joyride, there is always something new to unlock through spending collected coins or finding a randomly dropped item from defeated enemies; daily challenges also add to this. The randomly generated levels means no two play-throughs will be the same too. Because the player can spend coins to increase attack length and the strength of power-ups, the player usually gets further and further with each run not just from skill but also from earning better abilities. Unlike Jetpack Joyride, the player usually gains enough coins each run to enhance at least one ability instead of storing up coins for really expensive purchases. Breaking high scores with each progressive run is rewarding but unfortunately is limited to local console leaderboards only. Not having online leaderboards is a huge missed opportunity for a game that is all about earning that top score.

Ninja Strike Wii U Sc1

Build up the POW bar to fight these giant wall things – a bonus stage of sorts

As addictive as the gameplay is, there are some flaws that annoyingly hold back the entire experience. First, the player always has to sit through the opening “do you want to buy an item before you begin your run” option even if they do not have enough coins to make a purchase. Next, there is some pretty shoddy collision detection when attempting to jump on enemies to defeat them. In fact, that was usually the way I died – I clearly jumped on the head of an enemy ninja but the game didn’t think so. Also, even when collision is properly detected and an enemy is defeated, there is a jarring frame skip that causes the entire game to stutter. The short music tracks also loop frequently, becoming annoying in just a short amount of time. The player also needs to spend money to unlock the sword swipe attack option instead of simply starting with this ability right from the get go. Luckily, the quick and easy tutorial spells everything out for the player within the first couple attempts of earning that higher spot on the leaderboard.

Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash is not perfect but still an entertaining Wii U download if you have not had the check out the free mobile version (with in app purchases). With tons unlockables to obtain, the game grows with the player’s skill generating a wondrous sense of accomplishment. At the very least, it is nice to see Natsume hearkening back to their Shadow of the Ninja roots.

Not As Good As: Jetpack Joyride
Better Than: I’ve Got to Run! (Wii U eShop)
Also Try: Shadow of the Ninja (Virtual Console)

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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