Ninja Exorcist, quite simply, does a lot of things right. It’s reminiscent of the NES classic Ninja Gaiden, albeit without the brutal difficulty, as the protagonist has a number of similar tools and athletic maneuvers at his disposal, including the ability to bounce from wall to wall. Taking a bit from the Mega Man X series, your ninja can also gradually slide down the sides of each wall, thereby allowing for more precise strikes on opponents.
The first thing that grabbed my attention upon booting up Ninja Exorcist was the striking visuals: meticulously painted backgrounds provide quite a bit in terms of engagement, and prove to be among the best on XBLIG. Character animations are equally impressive, where my ninja was springing from wall to wall or stealthily executing a fellow ninja.
The ambiance is further improved upon by the soundtrack, which is fitting considering the nature of the title and environments alike. The stereotypical Asian melodies along with the frequent use of flutes and woodwind instruments match perfectly with tone of the game, as do the sound effects. The gurgle of an opponent choking on his own blood as I slit his throat further affirmed the idea that I was a ninja on a mission.
You can approach enemies in a number of fashions, either by striking from a distance with a shuriken or bow, going head first into battle with a sword, and finally the stealth approach, which I found most appealing. Each of these approaches can be upgraded to yield more ways of disposing of enemies through a talent tree, which unleashes new abilities as you earn experience.
I’d imagine that most gamers would find something worthwhile in their time with Ninja Exorcist. Frequent save points help fend off the frustration of having to start over from the beginning, and the speed of the game is somewhat determined by your approach, although it can be a bit slow at times and it relies heavily on exploration. If you can get past that, then I’m certain you’ll be entertained during your campaign with Ninja Exorcist, which I highly recommend.
Price: 80 MSP ($1)
Developer: Nebula Game Studios