Backlog Attack! – 2019 Challenge – November

Continuing from October’s “I’m running late with my blog posts” theme, it is now mid-December, 10 days from Christmas Day and I’m only now writing up my thoughts on November’s Backlog Attack choice. I’ll be honest about December here too, I’ve only just installed it….

So what game did Thero end up choosing for me this month? Perhaps a winter-y game, or a nice warm cozy form of entertainment? Nope, Thero asked me to become a ninja for November in her choice – Mark of the Ninja.

Play time: 108 minutes
Achievements: Yes
Steam Trading Cards: Yes
Enjoyed: I think so – I shall probably play at least a little more
Would recommend?:

Developed by Kei Entertainment and released on PC in 2012, Mark of the Ninja is most definitely a side-scrolling stealth platformer. I’ve said previously that side-scrolling platformers are not one of my favourite genres, but there have been the odd few I have enjoyed. With that in mind, I looked deep within myself and found my stealth suit.

I do have to say that if nothing else, I really enjoyed the cartoon style artwork of the game. It is very reminiscent of Kim Possible and similar Saturday morning childhood cartoons, and this carries across the game, from side scrolling sword action to the cut scenes and stealh takedowns. The cut scenes were a small joy to watch simply because of the semi nostalgia hit.

The music isn’t something I particularly remember having played the game, although I feel it did at least fit the astmosphere and style of the game. There were small sound effects I did enjoy, such as the soft sound of feet padding on the floor, and the cut scenes were well voice acted.

Mark of the Ninja reminded me a lot of Rocketbirds and The Swindle, which I played a while on my PS Vita. Playing on PC felt more awkward and actually I struggled with the controls. Having tried both keyboard and mouse, in which none of the buttons and bindings felt remotely natural, I tried my contoller, which only made a slight difference. Context sensitive buttons didn’t help matters, particuarly when faced with your imminent discovery by the guards.

Mark of the Ninja has a leaderboard style end-of-level scoring system, which reminded me faintly of Dishonored; do certain things and discover certain others and you gain points. Be discovered and you lose points. Whilst I don’t go in for the leaderboard scoring, it would give the game at least some sort of replayability value.

Final Thoughts

I found I didn’t have many thoughts in any particular direction with Mark of the Ninja. It was fine. I’ll probably try tackle a little more of it until I get bored or frustrated, but I’m not overwhelmed in anyway. It’s fine.

Look out for the final choice in 2019’s Backlog Attack Challenge, coming soon to a cinema near you the blog, when I get to it.

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