Ninja Reflex Review
Wii | DS
Ninja Reflex box art
System: Wii, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Sanzaru 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA / Nunchuck Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 4, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In the Hotaru game you'll have to trap fireflies by tapping them with the stylus as soon as they appear. The quicker you do it, the more points you'll snatch.

Ninja Reflex screenshot

Finally, there's the Nunchaku game. Here you'll have to sharpen your multitasking abilities. You'll have to draw a horizontal eight figure (∞) with the stylus repeatedly; when an object flies towards you, you must hit the L or R shoulder button in order to smash it. Right away you have to continue drawing eights. If you lose concentration, you'll be defeated.

It seems easy, but the mini-games get progressively more difficult. Most of the controls work smoothly, but I found some initial difficulties with the Katana and Nunchaku games. Everything comes with practice though, so just know that those two are slightly more challenging than the other ones. As you pass the different challenges, you'll obtain jewels. These jewels represent the road towards the next belt rank. Like in most martial arts, there's an advancement process symbolized with different colored belts. There are eleven belts you'll obtain until you finally reach the third and most important black belt. After completing each Belt Test successfully, new challenges and ninja names (to compose your player name) will be unlocked. The new challenges are variations of the six main mini-games I just described.

If you get tired of sharpening your physical and mental agility by yourself, you can have up to three friends participate. There's a multiplayer mode where you can all take turns and see who the next ninja star is. Also, the Meditation mode is quite unique. Most people initially interested in this title won't find the meditation very appealing. I'd say most spiritual people are not really into video games and ninjas anyway. However, it's a neat feature, as it guides you through a meditation exercise that helps you relax and let go of all the stressful and negative feelings inside of you. The sensei's voice sounded pretty funny to me though, which didn't quite help with concentration. I don't usually do these things, but it's definitely a positive thing to do for people interested in it. There's also a Silent Meditation mode where you can set a timer, and the Sensei will only speak at the end to make sure you didn't fall asleep!

All in all, Ninja Reflex is not (it is or isn't a fun game?) a very fun game that will keep you playing for hours. The mini-games aren't addictive enough. It's more of a daily exercise for those with enough willpower to follow through. With so many games out there, I find it difficult to go back to the same game every day, especially when it's based on training your mental and visual skills. If you're looking to have fun being a ninja, I'm sure the new Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword won't let you down. Ninja Reflex is probably more fun when played on Nintendo Wii, as it allows you to move your arms and do quick motions as if you were a real ninja. If you feel interested in the title, maybe give it a rental first.

By Maria Montoro
CCC Site Director

Average DS visuals. Not very special, but they do the job. Some scenarios are very nice and detailed, especially outdoors.
Good controls for most mini-games but a bit confusing at times. Overall, the game is not very challenging.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The Sensei's voice is pretty funny and authentic. The background music has a nice zen feel that helps you concentrate (as long as you take the game seriously, that is).

Play Value
The gameplay is not overly exciting but at least it will keep you busy for a bit. If you take it as a daily concentration routine it might help you lower your stress levels.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Develop the reflexes of a Ninja and test your skills against up to three friends.
  • Master eleven belt ranks on your way to attaining your 3rd Degree Black Belt.
  • Six core Ninja training exercises with several variations and difficulty levels for each game - Shuriken: Defend the courtyard from attacks on all sides with throwing stars - Hotaru: Test your quickness against the flash of a firefly - Hashi: One who can catch flies with chopsticks can accomplish anything - Koi: Capture koi fish with your bare hands - Nunchaku: Crush incoming aerial assaults with your nunchucks - Katana: Strike down demons with your Samurai sword in a bamboo forest.
  • Choose a unique Ninja name from over 25,000 combinations.
  • Calm your body, mind, and spirit with meditation lessons from your Sensei.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge Ninja Reflex screenshot - click to enlarge

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