Posted by Retrokaiser On Saturday, November 7, 2015 0 comments
Ninja Pizza Girl is a time-trail platformer game that has you taking the role of a teenaged girl named Gemma. Gemma is not only a pizza delivery girl for her father's pizza place, she is also training herself in the fine art of ninjutsu. Gemma has found a way to combine both her skills to become one of the best pizza delivery girls of all time due to her being swift at delivering delicious pizza. Sadly, not all is fun about being a ninja pizza girl, she has to battle against rival ninja from a bigger pizza chain that also happen to also use ninja for pizza delivery. The rival ninja are also very mean to Gemma as they like to make her life uneasy, depressing even, don't let them stop you from achieving your goal of being the best darn ninja pizza girl in town. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).
The story in this game is just a simple one of a girl trying to be herself and make friends despite of being picked on by other ninja. The concept is very simple but I have no problem with that, it was entertaining and felt like I was watching a Saturday morning cartoon. The story also tackles about how harmful bullying is, especially how the rival ninja like to pick on her. The rival ninja are very harsh towards her, they like to call her names and take photos of her in pain with their mobile phones (glad I wasn't around school when that cowardly trend happened). They got the harshness done just right and it will tug at your heartstrings and really feel bad for our main hero.
The gameplay is very simple, all you are doing is running across the city and trying to reach your destination before your time is up. The gameplay style is that of a side-scrolling platformer and it is a style that works very well for this game. Other than running and jumping, you'll be collecting items that will charge up an excitement meter and this excitement meter will help you gain more excitement. I didn't find the excitement meter thing all that exciting but I did like the song that played when you have gained excitement mode. There are also some levels that have goals that will require you to collect a certain amount of items and levels where you have get to the destination without the pizza getting cold. I didn't enjoy these levels at all, they weren't very fun nor did they feel right being part of the game.
You'll also be collecting two different kinds of currency, the first being a recycle logo, the other being computer microchips. The reason why I call them currency is that you can spend them to unlock some neat bonus stuff such as costumes, art, interviews, and even cheats that'll alter the game. I was very excited to see the cheat section as I haven't seen a section like this in a long time and the devs get huge respect points for not selling this section as separate DLC. The cheats section did not disappoint as it has some really neat stuff that'll add even more fun towards the game and keeps the game feeling fresh.
I liked the level design in this game, they were fun to navigate around, they were also not linear and there are different paths that you can take with each path effecting your time in both good and bad ways. Once you have beaten a level, you will get a ranking depending on how much time it took to beat a level and it is fun to replay them to try and get a better time. The way I recommend to get a good ranking is by taking the higher paths but be warned, they are very tricky to master, so you'll need to train hard, so people that love to play Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) will find it easier to get better times than most others.
Remember how I mentioned how the rival ninja are very harsh towards Gemma? Well, all that taunting will slow you down if you get teased long enough. The rival ninja will also damage you by attacking you by pushing you over, tripping you over by hiding behind vents, and even drop on your head. Too much damage will put you in stun mode, to get out of stun mode you'll have to hit the jump button over and over again until you have recovered. Do not get yourself caught into stun mode as it will slow you down. The damage will also carry over onto the next level but you can recover your self esteem by pampering yourself with treats and games by purchasing them from the shop.
Running and moving around in this game is very smooth and responsive and it helps a lot as you are going to need a smooth run for if you want to beat all of the levels in this game. This game does have a combat system for if you want to beat up all the other ninja, you can do so by jumping in the air and press the jump button again while mid-air to do a diving kick, you can also slide into them by running towards them and press the duck button. The combat system is decent and is responsive but as satisfying it is to fight back, you really want to avoid them as fighting them will just waste your time and you'll need every second you've got to beat the game.
The length of this game isn't very long but the difficulty can get quite brutal due to the obstacles getting in the way as they'll slow you down, especially since there's only enough room to make only a few mistakes as you'll need a near perfect run to beat the later stages. This game does have a very decent selection of difficulty settings, so you can make the experience as comfortable as you want it to be. This game also has a speed-run mode where you can play the entire game trying to beat it as quickly as possible. Speed-run mode can also act as a mode where you can roam the levels without the worry of your time running out as the timer is going up instead of down.
Controls are easy to learn and easy to master, you use the arrow keys to move around, spacebar is to jump, you can also jump off walls by hitting spacebar as soon as you stick to a wall, you can slide by using shift key or down key while running and you'll need to do this for when you need to go under something. The sliding is also used to prevent getting damage from falling and it can be also used for attacking. To repeat myself, the controls are very smooth and so if you make a mistake, it'll be your own fault.
Graphics in this game are very clean looking but is fairly average for when it comes to the designs of all of the 3D models of the characters, they are incredibly basic looking but it won't annoy you or anything, you just won't have any feelings towards them. The backgrounds are also very basic looking but has its own certain charm and captures the atmosphere of being in any major city and feels quite calming as well. I did enjoy the 2D portrait artwork that pops up for when the characters are talking, it has a style that's mixture of Japanese manga and Australian cartoons like Crocadoo (1998) and Flipper & Lopaka (1999 - 2005). The portrait art is very clean, has a lot of charm, and were designed well.
Animation in this game is passable but I couldn't find anything that stood out in both good and bad ways. Style of music found in this game is a mixture of electronic and dramatic piano and I found the sound to be generic sounding but also enjoyable, it blends in with the game very well. The reason why the music blends in is because it sets the mood for what you are going though, it also has that certain charm to where you'll find it oddly enjoyable.
Overall, this is a game that plays much better than what it looks and I did have a lot of fun with it. It is also very nice to see that this game was made with a lot of love and effort put into it and it'll make you feel warm. I do recommend giving this game a go, especially to those that are fans of platformers. Fun game.
Game: Ninja Pizza Girl
Developer/Publisher: Disparity Games
Price: $12.99 (Steam)