“So, you guys wanna…play my game?” Mark of the Ninja Lead Designer Nels Anderson asks in a playful voice, his brow raising inquisitively and his hips swinging side to side in rhythm with the last three words of his question. It makes for a silly little dance that the XBLAFans crew gathered around him can’t help but laugh at. We’re about to play a stealth game tucked inside the walls of the Indie Megabooth here at PAX East, but Anderson, with his improv dance move, doesn’t exactly come off as sly.
No, Anderson can’t or won’t bring himself to be sneaky about Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition. His excitement over having us play his latest creation is such that he’s not going to follow in the silent footsteps of the game’s titular ninja. So he doesn’t lurk back in Klei’s personal Indie Megabooth crevice; he’s energetic, and it’s not long before he puts a controller in my hands. Now our attention turns to the screen where all of the requisite sneaking will be performed.
Whereas its contemporaries have tended to make the ninja into an action hero who’s so far over the top that he’d likely make the cast of The Expendables blush, Mark of the Ninja has always emphasized the ninja as a virtually unseen agent of death and/or stealthy sabotage. Whether approaching levels as a killer who isn’t detected until its too late or an infiltrator who isn’t detected at all, players had to stick to the shadows and remain as invisible as possible in order to achieve any kind of measure of success. It was a great system, but one that meant enemies presented but two choices: players could kill them or avoid them. Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition adds another option to the mix.
It’s a packed show this week, we talk a lot about Dungeon Fighter Live, and Andrew fills us on the games we missed last week. Perry brings what little news their is, Todd fails to bring Todd Talk and Andrew rounds things out with the Community Corner which includes lots of discussion this week.
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Over the years, we’ve seen many video games turn to Movies or TV shows. From Pac-Man to Sonic to Viewtiful Joe at one point, some of these characters are some we want to see on our small screen when we get home from work or school. So for today’s Friday Top Five, we’re taking some XBLA games and seeing how they would turn out as Movies or TV shows.