Yasai Ninja is a 3D hack and slash puzzle/action/platformer. The game is set in Feudal Japan where a Samurai Onion called Kaoru Tamanegui has been incarcerated after finding out his Shogun has committed treason. While in Prison, Kaoru finds an ally in Broccoli Joe. Joe encourages Kaoru to break out and fight. They must travel across Feudal Japan to find allies willing to fight for the cause. The Japanese tribes to forge alliances with include Leeks and the Pepper Rangers, to name a few, and they must amass a big enough army to defeat the treasonous Shogun Kyurinaga and his minions in order to retake Japan and restore freedom back to the people.
There are 10 episodes to play, and not every level is full-on hack and slash since there are some 2D platforming levels as well, so there is a good mix of genres in one game, which makes for a good game. The main objective of Yasai Ninjas is to kill other vegetable samurais and complete puzzles and objectives before moving on to the next area. The game includes some checkpoints but they are not very well spaced. The platforming levels checkpoints are very well placed and spaced out, but in hack and slash levels, which are slightly longer, you usually only have one checkpoint so if you die then you have to repeat huge sections.
There is an XP system in place where XP is earned via kills, but there is no skill or upgrade tree. You can gain health increases and unlock new combos, and you can also switch between Joe and Kaoru by pressing the L1 button. Kaoru fights with a Katana, and Joe uses the Nunchaku, which means that each character has his own abilities. For example, Joe can pick locks with QTEs and Kaoru can grab objects.
The difficulty of the game can spike quite a bit here and there. There was one boss in particular that took me the best part of 35 minutes to beat. Be warned that the game will start to get tough at around episode 7. The game is probably best played in Co-op although the AI partner is not completely useless and does actually fight and help when needed, but your adventure will be easier if you have a human co-op partner to play with. You can heal up by collecting green orbs from killing enemies, or you can heal each other with the square button. If you both die, then after 15 seconds or so the level will restart unless you made it to a checkpoint.
The game has two scrolls to collect per episode, and while some are really easy to find, others will require that you search every corner of the area, so always look everywhere to make sure you don’t miss any!
Yasai Ninja has a comic book-style graphics, which is an interesting choice but definitely not for everyone. As for the trophy list, most are easy o get, but you will need to replay the game in pro mode for the Platinum. Yes, Yasai Ninja includes a Platinum Trophy! See why it’s important that you find all twenty scrolls?
Overall, Yasai Ninja is a fun game. It reminded me a little of Mini Ninjas which is definitely a good thing. The platforming and sidescrolling levels are excellent, and I do think that Yasai Ninja would have been even better if the whole game focused on that type of gameplay. Overall, I can definitely recommend this game.