Top Critic Average
Wooden Sen'Sey isn't the worst title in the world – it just exists in a time when we expect a bit more from our platformers, particularly when you are shelling out the thick end of a tenner. Again, I tip my traditional pointy straw hat in the direction of another tiny developer who have done some good work here – and I hope that they continue to develop for a console they clearly have a solid grasp of – but things really need to be a bit tighter next time.
In the end, I suppose that is the main disappointment of Wooden Sen'SeY. It wants so badly to be a classically minded platformer that champions difficulty and challenge, but it gets there the wrong way. Instead of constructing a curve that constantly challenges the player, by making a few fatal mistakes Upper Byte has crafted a promising but ultimately disappointing imitation of those classic experiences.
Wooden Sen'SeY has all of the materials to be a winner — sharp visuals, clever touches and plenty of charm. The execution falls down, however, as the intention to offer 'old-school' difficulty isn't backed up by polished physics and impeccably structured level design. Those factors all need to come together for this approach to work, but what we have is an overly difficult, at times intensely irritating, platformer.
Overall Wooden Sen'SeY is so boring that it is almost painful. I can't really recommend this game to anyone sadly but if you're crazy for platformers then wait for a price drop.
Wooden Sen'SeY shows some ambition but unfortunately, its badly implemented control schemes and physics make it extremely difficult and frustrating to play. Sadly, if these problems were addressed, this would be a much more attractive game but it's impossible going around such pressing control issues when the controls are so difficult to use.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Perhaps "Ninja Gaiden" is too easy a comparison to make because it, like "Wooden Sen'Sey", stars a ninja character. Goro's got spunk, though, which translates through his comedic willingness to press onward despite repeated slaughterings by my under-practiced hands. Like the famous NES title, "Wooden Sen'Sey" packs a punch in the difficulty department (though nowhere near as distressing) that might unsettle some players. And, at times, there's a sense that the developers are trying to toy with the player rather than reward them for skill mastery. Still, "Wooden Sen'Sey" is cheap, good-spirited and chuckle-inducing. It's a charming addition to the Wii U eShop that lays the groundwork for an even more ground-breaking sequel (please?)
All in all, it's a decent game. To the dedicated gamers out there who love a hard challenge, Wooden Sen'SeY might be for you. It's lovely to see the atmosphere that Upper Byte Studio has created, but is only lovely until you start dying more times than you can count.
Considering the plethora of top notch platformers available on Wii U, Wooden Sen'SeY isn't capable of earning an automatic recommendation. The game looks great and has a fantastic soundtrack, but the mechanics just feel a little too off to qualify as gameplay bliss, though they are most certainly serviceable. Finally, the brevity of the core game is going to hurt the overall sense of value to those who aren't obsessed with absolutely mastering every game in their collection; so if that isn't you it might be better to wait for a sale.
Wooden Sen'SeY is not the sum of its parts. Beautiful and polished looking visuals can only take a game so far until some of the questionable elements begin to niggle away at the core package. Neko's latest on Nintendo Wii U eShop shows promise at the start, but the padding, poor pacing, cheap deaths from lack of invincibility frames, and extended moments of boredom from a submarine level hold this game back. It falls short from being truly recommended, as opposed as a game that only the hardest core player would appreciate. Seeing more of what this development team can achieve would be interesting, seeing as how it clearly does know what it is doing for the most part.