So cute… So deadly…
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a new Beat ‘em up game coming to PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. It is a Japan-inspired game full of crazy weapons, dangerous enemies and, of course, ninjas. You play as Ninjin, a charismatic rabbit, or Akai, the ninja fox, as you meet quirky characters and explore their colourful world. You can play in local or online co-op but you can have just as much fun playing solo.
The premise of the game is that your Rabbit village got attacked by an evil mole called Shogun Moe and all of the carrots were stolen. Your job is to hunt down the marauding army and reclaim the carrots to save the village. You will meet helpful characters and learn new techniques along the way until you are strong enough to beat the Shogun himself. Also everyone is taking the piss.
Ninjin has a comedic, dorky tone and is full of stupid jokes that you can’t help but laugh at. It’s the video game equivalent of spending a Saturday morning eating sugary cereal and watching cartoons. There is always something happening and you are constantly trying to keep up with all the exciting things going on around you. Somehow the story keeps pace with you, so it all makes sense as it’s happening. New enemy, what, now there’s a Corgi in an Outhouse/Cage for a boss fight, wait, and now he runs a shop and barks along to his own theme song?!
The controls are very simple, you can attack with your sword, dash, dash attack and throw a projectile. Despite its simplicity, the game knows how to test your ability. You have to carefully manage your stamina, which you use whenever you want to dash, throw a projectile or swing a heavy sword. The action can get quite frenetic and if you let enemies build up, it can turn into a pseudo-bullet hell.
There are lots of different enemy types right off the bat. Each new enemy has a little introduction so you know to watch out for new attacks. You have your basic sword-swinging grunts, but you’ll be fighting exploding robots, charging spear-wielding pigs, Sumo bears and chameleon assassins.
Stab everything with everything!
One of the most exciting things about this game is the variety of weapons. You have an array of different arms to choose from and each one has unique stats and a little description à la Enter the Gungeon. There is a Banana Sword, a Tennis Racket, a Goth Sword, a Lightning Bolt Sword; you name it, there is a sword for it. You can also change your projectile and passive bonuses, but more importantly, you can unlock cosmetic hats. My favourite was the Ninja Bandana, because it made me feel like Naruto, and the game encourages this sort of logic.
There is also an innovative survival mode called the Oni TV show. You start out with the equipment you receive at the beginning of the game and every few waves, you get to choose one of 3 items to gain for the rest of the round. So you can pick up different projectiles, different weapons, different passive buffs, and it makes every attempt unique. You also can unlock new weapons and cosmetics to use in the main campaign. It’s a fun game mode that can really test your skills but works just as well when playing casually with a friend.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots will be coming out on the 4th September 2018 and we will be doing a full review when it does! It hopes to bring new life to the Beat ‘em up genre and is charming enough to make the grouchiest Redditor smile. I’ll just be sitting here, waiting for my Corgi shopkeeper to come and offer me a Frozen Pizza Sword with a Pineapple Shuriken.