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Yasai Ninja Quick Review

Yasai Ninja is a third person hack & slash game. The game features 2 playable characters, Broccoli Joe & Kaouru Tamanegi a.k.a. Samurai Onion, an XP system and local co-op.

Developer: RECO Technology
Publisher: RECO Technology
Genre: Action
Format: Playstation 4
Release Date: July 21st, 2015
Copy provided by publisher

As said in the description, this is a hack and slash game and pretty much has all the default moves you'd find in one. You have a light swing, heavy swing, block/dodge and a jump button to work with. The gameplay mainly consists of running around the 3D environments beating the crap out of other vegetables and completing objectives like opening doors and/or freeing prisoners. Not all of Yasai Ninja is hack and slash though. There are some levels that are side-scrolling, platforming levels. And some levels are half and half. There isn't a whole lot of variety in the objectives and the side-scrolling portions break it up just enough to keep the game from becoming monotonous.

The XP system is pretty basic and there is no skill tree in the game. You unlock moves, combos and health upgrades automatically as you gain XP from kills. There are two playable characters in the game and you can switch between the two at anytime while playing and they both level up as you play. The character you're not controlling is a.i. controlled and actually helps with the fighting and isn't just useless, most of the time. There was one boss fight in an area with lava rivers and the a.i. partner kept getting knocked into the lava causing me to have to start the fight over multiple times and making a 10 minute fight take over an hour. There isn't much you can do about it either unless you have someone to play local co-op with as it doesn't matter which character you control, it happens to both. This is the biggest problem with this game.

The only other downside of the gameplay is the camera. It's hard to judge the distance of some jumps in the 3D levels because you can't point the camera very far down while jumping and this will cause you to fall to your death by either over jumping or under jumping. It's not a huge problem though.

Graphics & Sound

Yasai has that cell shaded, comic book look to it which makes sense since the story is told comic book style. It not the greatest looking game, but not the worst either. The one problem I have with the visuals of the game is the how the screen sways back and forth as you move when controlling Samurai Onion. It's not very bad if you walk but when you sprint, it's enough to cause some headaches, literally. This is much less of a problem when controlling Broccoli Joe and for that reason, I haven't used Onion very much at all since I figured out what was actually giving me a headache. Screen tearing occurs pretty often in the game as well.

The music and sound effects of the game are pretty good but it still feels kind of quiet. The music pretty much drowns out everything else even with the volume turned down. Besides the  opening & closing cut scenes, there is no voice acting in the game, the story is told through text. Quiet games don't bother me when it's beneficial to the games atmosphere be here it just feels like something is missing in the sound design. A few extra noises or screams from fallen enemies wouldn't hurt this game. Even the sound of landing a hit on an enemy is missing, a little bubble that says "BAM" or something else comes up instead.

Replay Value

There is only one game mode in Yasai Ninja, story mode, and besides going back to unlock any missed trophies, collecting all the scrolls or to complete pro mode, which is basically god mode, there isn't much replay value here unless you want to do those things mentioned. You unlock Pro mode by finding all of the scrolls in the game also.


Yasai Ninja is a decent game with a few problems. I wouldn't recommend it at the $20 price tag is carries but if you can get it on sale, it's worth a playthrough.

+ Decent Gameplay
+ Helpful A.I. (mostly)
+ Music
-  Lack of replay value
-  A.I. is a huge hindrance in one boss fight

Score: 6/10 'Decent'

What I played: 6+ hours completing the game once, finding all collectables and unlocking 28 of the 35 trophies
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