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Ninja Usagimaru - The Mysterious Karakuri Castle

Aksys Games
Sep 29, 2016 - Nintendo 3DS

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Critics Recommend

8.5 / 10
5 / 10
Nintendo Life
5 / 10
7 / 10
7 / 10
5 / 10
Video Chums
7.6 / 10
Chalgyr's Game Room
8 / 10
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Crow's Newsletter - 9/26/16

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Critic Reviews for Ninja Usagimaru - The Mysterious Karakuri Castle

A game for those that want nice, quick, and brain stumping challenges at home or on the go.

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Ninja Usagimaru: The Mysterious Karakuri Castle sets up high expectations with its rich audiovisual environment and apparent enormous amount of content to explore, but its extremely demanding difficulty curve and poorly executed controls will send many players in a path of frustration that will not leave them longing for the puzzles where the eponymous ninja rescues the villagers.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Overall, Ninja Usagimaru: The Mysterious Karakuri Castle comes off as a very middling experience. When the difficulty isn't wildly ratcheted up, the puzzles can be quite fun to solve, and the presentation is quite charming. Unfortunately, you'll probably be spending a large portion of your time with this game on a handful of levels that present a disproportionately high difficulty that prevent you from playing the rest of the game. We'd give this game a recommendation, but only to those of you who are very patient in your approach to puzzle games.

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Sure, the title is long and the gameplay takes a bit to get used to, but this is a unique smaller experience that could fit into short breaks from the rest of life. Make no mistake, it's not the most inviting game, but it does make you feel like you are part of an exclusive club. An exclusive club that fought the base controls and found a fun little title hiding behind them.

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While Ninja Usagimaru: The Mysterious Karakugi Castle had some levels that were way too hard, the formula and presentation still work. Most of the levels left me feeling clever, with only a handful leaving me feeling dumb. I would recommend this game to anyone that beat the first one, but this is not the place to start.

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The game begins hard and ends even harder… To be rather blunt and self-deprecating, it made me feel like a moron

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Ninja Usagimaru: The Mysterious Karakuri Castle is a fantastic handheld puzzler that anyone with a fondness for the genre should try.

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Overall, it’s a nice little game to pick up and play while you’re waiting for something, or in transit somewhere, like during a bus ride or your daily commute, but can get incredibly frustrating if you don’t have the patience for it. Surprisingly enough, the worst part of the game isn’t the schizophrenic difficulty or the rather lacking story, but the “escorting” you have to do. The villagers are kinda dumb, and they get scared really easily. It’s also a pain if you have to escort them somewhere, but need them to stay behind because a monster is in your way, because they’ll just walk right into them sometimes. The game feels like one of those hidden gems for puzzle fans, but likely wouldn’t cut it for those looking for a little more action involvement. Remember that ninjas aren’t only sharp with weaponry, but with their minds as well.

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