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S&S; Review: Mark of The Ninja

Posted on the 12 September 2012 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S; Review: Mark of The Ninja Title: Mark of The Ninja
Format: XBLA
Release Date: September 7, 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Price: $15
ESRB Rating: M

Mark of the Ninja comes from Klei Entertainment, the same guys who brought us Shank.  This go around the team trades its action heavy gameplay for a more stealthy style approach.  

S&S; Review: Mark of The Ninja Presentation and Story:
In Mark of the Ninja, you play as a silent hero, thats covered in Kratos-style reddish tattoos.    Also similar to the God of War, he has a knack for making a bloody mess of every guard in his way.  The story is told through stylish cutscenes with some cheesy dialogue, just like in Shank.  The story is actually very interesting at first, you have a guy given powers from his mysterious tattoos that will eventually cause him to go insane.  Too bad the ending just doesn't really drive the story home, you'll be saying, "So that's it," when you reach the game's uneventful climax.  Like I previously said, if you've played Shank before, you'll instantly recognize the gorgeous 2D visuals.  There isn't a lot of vibrant colors since most of your time will be spent lurking in the shadows, but that doesn't take away from it, in fact it adds to the game to make this style feel seperate from Shank's visuals.  You'll see some really cool weather effects like the screen above, where the game really dazzles on your screen.  Your ninja's animations are really smooth, although they could have added a few more silent kill animations, but the limited number they have are really cool and gratuitous.  In terms of the game's music, its fine to me.  It fits just fine into the game's atmosphere, lurking right along side your character.  
S&S; Review: Mark of The Ninja Core Gameplay:  
This game's mandatory stealth gameplay is extremely polished, which it really has to be.  You don't want an unpolished stealth game, guards being able to see you when they really aren't is never fun, luckily thats nowhere to be found in Mark of the Ninja.  Its a 2D sidescroller with a lot of vertical gameplay, you'll be crawling through small airways and jumping up into a nearby vents to avoid enemies.  You will be alone for most of the game, but a your ninja lady-friend will accompany you and give you little hints or advice for advancing past a new area in the game.  The game rewards you for utilizing your many techniques, like hiding in cover or dark areas and sneaking up behind someone for a stealth kill.  Each action earns you a specific amount of XP which lets you learn new techniques or perks for making your gameplay experience feel refreshing.  The campaign is  only around 7 hours, but the New Game Plus mode gives you a lot of incentive to start another playthrough of the campaign.  The game isn't flawless though, you'll come across an annoying stage where the incessant platforming really hinders your experience, but thankfully its not loo long.  
S&S; Review: Mark of The Ninja Final Thoughts:
If you're looking for a great stealth game or you just wanna unleash your inner ninja, Mark of The Ninja will satiate all your needs.  With a stellar presentation and polished gameplay, this another great game for the XBLA.
S&S Rating:9/10 @whatsPlay

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