Four Circle Interactive and Curve Digital have given us a chance to check out the new action/puzzle game, 10 Second Ninja X. How will it hold up in the long run?
The game’s story is extremely simple; You take on a blue-garbed ninja, facing down a bitter pirate’s army of robots as you attempt to free the forest creatures. The dialogue within the game can be humorous, but it is quite minimal, simply being there to give you an excuse to destroy countless robots within a 10 second period across a variety of stages.
The gameplay itself is extremely simple. You will use the left stick to move, X to jump (and double jump), circle to throw one of your three shuriken, and square to slash your sword. You can also restart stages at any time with the press of the R1/right shoulder button.
The stages feature a variety of layouts that truly make you have to stop and carefully plan out a strategy before moving and beginning the ten second countdown. That in mind, most stages are fairly simple to beat within the provided ten seconds… the true challenge comes in beating them in far less time.
When you do complete a level, you are awarded 1-3 stars, based on your performance. 1 star is easy enough to get; Just beat a level. 2 can be quite challenging on some of the levels, and 3 can be a daunting task indeed. Want the three stars in the very first level of the game? Ok, just destroy the robots within 2.05 seconds. Of course it is possible to do so (and I and a friend spent a while trying various things to shave off tenths of a second), and it’s even possible to do it faster, as those in the number 1 spot and above on the global leaderboard prove.
In my first run through each stage, I typically grabbed one or two stars.In a few cases, I grabbed two and was surprised to learn I had done so; I could have sworn that I was too slow.
As you advance, you unlock more stages, which tend to feature new obstacles. For example, an electrified shield around enemies, forcing you to use your precious shuriken (if you touch the field with your sword, after all, you will die). Or perhaps you’ll find a switch that can open up different paths for you to go through.
Unfortunately, these obstacles don’t feel like they really culminate into anything in the end. The ending is humorous, and you gain the reward of 40 more levels upon obtaining it (the original 40 levels from 10 Second Ninja), but, considering how easy these levels feel after the others, perhaps they should’ve been part of the introduction or earlier levels.
The motivation the leaderboards and challenge of obtaining 3 stars on every level offers some players will likely keep them hooked for many hours, struggling to defeat those ahead or just to get that one, last star.
Art and Sound
The art and animations are simplistically cute, and feel like they honestly contribute something to the game. The music, on the other hand, feels extremely generic, and, if anything, can detract a bit.
Having typically played the game in 30 minute bursts, I didn’t encounter the save error that others have (although this glitch should have been fixed in an update released on July 19, 2016), and, unlike some, I have no qualms about the sudden increase in difficulty (it can be quite difficult, first starting out, to obtain the stars necessary just to unlock the next set of levels). If the difficulty there sounds like it’ll be too much, I’d honestly encourage you to try it out regardless, as the fun does increase quite a bit when you gain more options. There are even minigames, such as Nunnageddon 2 to enjoy.
If you enjoy the challenge of trying to be the best, you should really love 10 Second Ninja X.
Final Score: 4.25/5