N++ Review: The Way Of The Ninja

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Presenting a combination of fast-paced stages based on momentum and brain teasers, N++ is quite the entertaining platformer. Following suit of its prequel N+, dashing across obstacles while simultaneously collecting gold is what makes the world of N++ go round. Piece of cake, right? Yeah, not so much. Luckily, a lively ninja with god-like speed is taking the reins and prospering onward. Well, kind of. Unfortunately the little dude only has a lifespan of a minute and a half, so why would he not spend that time putting his life on the line and dodging homicidal robots? It makes sense.

Developed by Metanet Software Inc., N++ was originally released back in 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Finally, our little ninja friend broadened his horizons and landed a gig on Steam. Undoubtedly, the electro soundtrack collaborates wonderfully with the speedy environment and keeps me on my toes. The designs of the landscapes are entirely hand-crafted and appear simple, but looks can be deceiving. Providing over 2,000 unique stages and customization, N++ does not disappoint. Sure, the desire to pull out my hair is inevitable, but finding humor in my ninja’s slip-ups kind of calms the storm. Furthermore, humility is constant, especially more so as progression is made. Plotting to make a problematic jump is one thing, but executing it is something else entirely.

N++ death

Oh, What’s That? Ninja Limbs Soaring Into Oblivion?

Luckily, N++ is very forgiving and allows as many retries as necessary – which sometimes turns out to be an embarrassing amount. Misjudging a jump at some point is inescapable; it’s going to happen. Not to mention, time is of the essence. Collecting that shiny gold is what boosts the score and ultimately suspends the death of the radical ninja. Of course, there are plenty of other obstacles to evade that are programmed to blow him to smithereens. Bye bye birdie.

Each episode contains five “rooms,” which are essentially stages. Challenges and surprises are lingering within every episode, but depending on which mode is chosen depends on the level of intensity. Intro Mode is pretty self-explanatory. Guiding the ever-so sprightly ninja through effortless stages generally prepares him for more stimulating events later on. N++ Mode and Legacy Mode envelop an array of predetermined mishaps and entertaining defeats. I really can’t help but laugh at my stupidity half the time as my ninja effortlessly falls to his death and seconds later, reincarnates. In addition to the amusement, stumbling into boredom is very rare considering the remarkable amount of episodes that ought to be completed. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

N++ custom
But wait – there’s more! Not only is N++ jam-packed with speedy obstacles, but the option to build a level from scratch is accessible right off the bat. Creative or not, designing a stage in the Level Editor is child’s play. With a little fiddling around, the most complex and difficult scenarios can be played out and submitted to the online community. Or, you know, put into the hands of a frenemy and awaiting their ninja’s demise. Whatever works. Additionally, browsing through customized stages created by the blood and tears of other dynamic ninjas goes to show the endless possibilities of N++. The amount of detail and thought-out designs are incredible. Needless to say, there will always be more challenges to conquer.

Joining Forces With A Friend Opens The Door To Co-op

Granted, that means actually finding a friend. This apparently is difficult to do. Anyway, what’s so cool about these stages is that one person sometimes actually has to sacrifice themselves in order for the dynamic duo to be triumphant. All it is, really, is deciding who gets to be the martyr. Heroic? Maybe. Nothing a game of rock-paper-scissors can’t fix. Regardless, if one ninja is obliterated by a murderous machine, the other has the opportunity to redeem them. On the other hand, racing a friend or three (which may soon become foes) is another multiplayer option in N++. Competitive or not, it is absolutely exhilarating to go head to head against another ninja while concurrently dodging bombs. Also, shoving it in their loser faces and being crowned victorious is pretty awesome, too.

N++ level editor

Summary

N++ is that game in my Steam library I will always go back to. Granted, it isn’t one of those stories to necessarily binge on, but it gets those gears in the brain grinding. Whether I’m fashioning my thinking cap in order to achieve mastery or putting my creativity to the ultimate test in the level editor, the sky is the limit. Even though completing a level requires a minimal amount of effort, attaining a respectable spot on the leaderboards is an accomplishment. High scores are meant to be beaten and there is always room to improve. Plus, I mean, frolicking about as a gold thirsty ninja kind of already seals the deal.

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Amanda has been obsessed with the video game industry since she mustered through an array of nearly impossible Sega Genesis games. When she's not writing, you will typically find her with her gaming computer, eating pizza, or watching Dragon Ball Z.