Ninja Reflex - hands on

Dec 6, 2007

Mastering the mysterious art of the ninja is a skill known only to a select few, but come next March even the most un-coordinated gamers will be able to give it a go when Ninja Reflex debuts on the Wii. Unveiled to the world last night, Ninja Reflex feels like a cross between Wii Sports and WarioWare with Mr. Miyagi as your trainer.

Designed around basic martial arts concepts, Ninja Reflex starts off by giving you a “ninja name” and then heading into one of six ninja-themed mini games. The solo experience has players advancing through continuously tougher versions of each challenge. Master a full set of challenges to earn a belt. There are 11 belts in all, making for nearly 300 different challenges to master. Scoring is based on reaction time (hence the “reflex” in the name).

Each of the six challenges are based on a theme. We were allowed to try our Wiimote with three of the challenges, but the others were strictly off-limits for now. First up was Shuriken. Known as the “throwing star” of the ninja, this game required players to lock on to a target with the Wiimote before quickly flicking the wrist to throw a star. Targets were a mix of evil ninjas and friendly geisha girls, making the whole thing feel like a revamped Hogan’s Alley.

Hotaru, which means firefly, flooded the screen with the shiny insects. Here the object was to quickly highlight a firefly and click on the Wiimote to capture it. As the challenge level picked up the fireflies hit the screen in various colors. Capturing those with the wrong color actually detracted from the score.


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