Perry and Andrew return this week, and bring a whole lot of PAX games to talk about. Before we hit those though we hit the games from the past couple of weeks. Perry brings us what little news there is and then Andrew rounds it out with the triumphant return of Crews Community Corner.
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Mark of the Ninja was developed by Klei Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released Sept. 7, 2012 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Ninjas have a long and proud tradition in fiction in general and video games specifically. Since Ninja Gaiden, the stealthy Japanese warriors are behind perhaps only Nazis and zombies in gaming ubiquity. Continuing that proud tradition is new release Mark of the Ninja, a stealth platformer which sets you in the shoes of a ninja attempting to save his clan from extinction. Along the way, you’ll sneak, stab and hide your way through a solid adventure. Is it worth your time? Read on and find 0ut:
When Konami’s legendary game designer Hideo Kojima shows up to discuss what he’s been up to and then proceeds to show it to the world for the first time, it tends to expose the fact that the event he’s showing it at has become a bit of a big deal. There was no need for Kojima’s traditionally obligatory exclamation points to suddenly appear over the heads of the PAX Prime enforcers to make that much clear. The Big Stealth Game, Metal Ground Solid: Ground Zeroes, was revealed on the big stage to the delight of seemingly everyone watching.
Not all eyes were glued on Kojima, however; back on the show floor PAX’s little stealth game was leaving everyone who found their way to Klei Entertainment’s little corner in the not-so-little Indie Megabooth equally impressed. The XBLA Fans team had previously gotten our hands on Mark of the Ninja back at PAX East, but that didn’t make us any less eager to take it for another spin or to speak with its lead designer, Nels Anderson.
On Friday the game will release on XBLA. Long before getting to that point, however, the studio had to commit to setting out in a completely different direction than it did with its previous work on the Shank franchise. Doing so meant forging a mostly new path, since very few 2D stealth-oriented games had come along over the years to lay down the groundwork. I asked Anderson if that meant Klei had some unique challenges to overcome while developing the game. Laughing, he rhetorically replied, “Um, all of them?”
“All of them, in fact!” the designer exclaimed, now seemingly convinced that it was in fact all of the systems that presented challenges. “Because no one’s ever really done one, right? Like there were a couple very, very small ones, but certainly nothing to this scope or magnitude — at all. So then it’s like, we just sort of had to like really look at 3D stealth games and sort of reconstruct them design-wise. Like, ‘Why did they make the kinds of decisions they made?’ And then take that up a level and translate it back down to 2D.
“I mean, there aren’t templates or schemes to drop in in this context — at all. Which is good, it just means we had to try a whole lot of stuff that didn’t work before we got to stuff that actually did work.”
A second trailer has been released by development team at Klei Entertainment for their upcoming game Mark of the Ninja. However, much like the first trailer for the game, …
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