Review: 10 Second Ninja X (PS4/PSV/PSTV)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: 10 Second Ninja X
Format: PlayStation Network Download (PS4 335 MB) (PSV 210 MB)
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: Four Circle Interactive
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 7
10 Second Ninja X is also available on Xbox One and PC.
The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

You can do many things in ten seconds or less. Reading this sentence should take you less than ten seconds. Bookmark an affiliate link to help PS Nation. Count to nine. Drink a can of soda. Complete a 100-meter race, if you are as fast as Usain Bolt. Oh, and complete a level in this game.

Gameplay:
In fact, to attain the three stars for each level of 10 Second Ninja X you have to complete it much faster than the ten-second limit. Some seem impossible at first but once you master the three throwing stars and plan the route, it becomes much easier.

Easier is probably is the wrong word to use, as each level is still very tricky. So far, I have only accomplished the three stars on a couple of levels and two on the others. The game informs you of the time needed to get the next star so you know what to strive for.

Strive you will, and in my case, obsessively so, to the point of infuriation in fact. My obsessive tendencies let me move on to the next level but for some reason when I get two stars in one of the levels I feel the need to get two on the rest in that group.

Then out of pure luck, I get all three stars and my compulsion to get the rest drives me to the brink of madness. There are no gimmes in this game and I have gotten so close it turned my hair grey.

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This is not just 10 Second Ninja, there is also the X, which means you get the original forty levels and another sixty after that. Therefore, this will test your nerve for a long time, if you can stomach it. There are no checkpoints or loading, on the PS4 at least, so you can jump back in quickly.

Annoyingly it takes about twenty seconds to boot up the game on the Vita. How dare they! Then an entire second for each level. Don’t they know we are busy people! All joking aside, it is quick on the Vita, but nothing compared to the almost instantaneous PlayStation 4 version.

… a very clean look that allows you to focus …
There are secrets to find in the peculiar hub level that slowly expands with the more stars you amass. Sadly, there is no Cross-Save so you will have to play it all over again on the other system. It seems to be a trend with Cross-Buy games lately.

Controls are very simplistic and reminiscent of a classic control scheme from an aging entertainment system. Both the Vita and PlayStation 4 control the same so there is no distinction between the two.

Visuals:
The game has a very plain and simple, no fuss style. It has a very clean look that allows you to focus on the targets. I found myself reminded of Sonic the Hedgehog, although in some ways, that had better graphics. Well, more detail anyway.

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Audio:
A fast-paced Drum and Bass track makes up the level music but don’t worry if it’s not to your taste, as you never hear more than ten seconds or so anyway. When you venture into secret areas a Pink Panther-esque theme kicks in, which is part of the reason I keep sneaking about and not getting stuck in some of the rip-your-hair-out levels later on in the game.

… agonizingly frustrating …
Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only but it does feature online leaderboards for every level. So you can see just how slow you are compared to the crazy I-beat-it-a-second-quicker-than-you people from around the world.

Conclusion:
10 Second Ninja X is a very demanding game, mentally I mean. While it is fun, it is also agonizingly frustrating. I can only play it for a short time before feeling the need to take a breather. Moreover, I fear I am nearing the point where returning to the game is not appealing.

The game is not broken or flawed, quite the opposite in fact. I find it too damn strict and, as the wise Austin Powers once said, “That’s not my bag, baby.” If your hands can move at a ninja like speeds and you have the reflexes of a very nimble cat, a ninja cat maybe, then you will love this game.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature and the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS Vita Screenshots

PS4 Screenshots

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