If you’ve been playing games for a good few years now, chances are you’ve seen plenty of adventures that either pit you as, or against, a team of mighty ninjas. Super Hyperactive Ninja is yet another ninja adventure, however this is probably the first time you’ll have found one that is quite so reliant on a good brew to get him through the day. But hey, there’s a first for everything right? Welcome Mr. Kohimaru and co.
Your job throughout Super Hyperactive Ninja is to take control of ninja Kohimaru – at least until you unlock others – and take him on a quest to retrieve the legendary coffee. That’s right, there are no swords, scrolls or ancient relics, it’s all about the legendary coffee – the coffee that has been stolen by our nemesis, Shogun. That’s the general gist of what Super Hyperactive Ninja is about, there’s nothing more explained and even as you progress, there’s very little more you’ll hear about it.
Super Hyperactive Ninja is a platformer, and like all good platformers, there are multiple levels for players to master, each one bringing its own challenges in the form of awkwardly placed platforms, environmental hazards and dangers such as spikes, pits and many other death inducing obstacles.
The idea of the game is pretty simple; you need to guide your lovely coffee centric ninja through each level as quickly as possible, whilst avoiding death along the way. Besides the typical environmental hazards, each level is also scattered with a number of enemies and it’ll take a little planning to take each of these down as they need to be attacked from behind, with immediate death coming from any attempted head-on assault.
Enemies come in various different forms, especially later on in the game. Early enemies are simple foes such as other ninjas, however later on players are faced with dogs and energy ball firing enemies that can prove much harder to beat, especially with the hyperactive mode that’s used to best enemies proving sluggish and delayed.
Once you make it to the end of a level, your performance is assessed, and a score is given based on how quickly you’ve guided the surprisingly out of shape Mr. Kohimaru to the end, how many times you succumbed to death and how many different items you used throughout the stage. If you’ve done really well then there may just be a chance that the coveted S-rank comes your way.
One way to gain a better chance of claiming that S-rank is to make use of the shortcuts within each stage. These are generally secret routes, however some of them are the most obvious option available, whilst others will be requiring a little inside knowledge of the level to uncover.
Besides the secret shortcuts, there are special items that are usually tied to specific characters or purchased from the in-game shop with money obtained through each level. The items can help in a number of ways, from giving players special abilities to increasing the stats of the character. Each of the guys come with different stats and it may be worthwhile heading back to later levels once you’ve got used to the specifics of each, if only to try and get those missing S-ranks.
Players will also come across boss fights that break up each section, most of which require you to jump in with the latest unlocked character and best the boss with a unique item or ability. These aren’t really any harder than the main levels, however they do require well timed skills to be actioned.
To make it to the end of a level, you’ll need to make the most of the hyperactive mode. This is represented by a yellow bar at the top left of the screen and allows you to sprint through an area, bounce off walls and takedown enemies provided they aren’t facing you. Unfortunately though, it’s an extremely unforgiving mechanic and one that isn’t particularly easy to use, especially later in the game when enemy placement is designed to catch you out.
Should you manage to master the use of hyperactive mode however, then it’ll be the beloved coffees that you pick up through the level that keep your energy bar from dwindling, with small cups of coffee adding a small amount to the bar and larger cups filling it more generously. All you really need to do though is to make sure to keep it topped up.
Unfortunately, that’s all there really is to Super Hyperactive Ninja and beside the typical level formula the only other thing worth a mention is the art style, which is designed to pull on those fond memories of the greatest ‘90s platformers, with the classic 2D design and original 8-bit soundtrack.
Super Hyperactive Ninja is a game that will fit in well with those who enjoy a good speedrunning adventure or simply want to find the next challenging platformer. Whilst there may not be much replayability besides going back for the S-rank, there are certainly some bragging points to be earned for anyone who can master this surprisingly difficult adventure. For such a low price, there may well be many who want to give it a shot.