[Ph!GR] Mark of the Ninja

So, after I ran all my pants through the wash several times and then burned them after my experiences in Sender, I’m back with a far less scary game, that doesn’t involve ninety percent of my bodily fluids to escape my body through no incident that’s my own. This video game is called… *pause for effect*… *it’s really dramatic*

Mark of the Ninja… yay

THAT’S ALL I GET!? Fine, I enjoy the game, you don’t have to.

Mark of the Ninja was developed by Klei entertainment, (sort of) famous for their most recent title “Shank” which I found entertaining, so it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. Klei probably has some of the coolest artwork that I’ve seen in a video game (Dust is another game with amazing art, but that’s a subject for a later ramble) in a while. (Finishing sentences before using brackets is for chumps.) Mark the Ninja is a 2D side-scroller stealth game, and it’s heckafun.

Mark whatever the crap’s story centers around a ninja clan that was invaded by some guy who’s supposedly really important. You play as a ninja, who’s voiceless and nameless, but ironically not faceless, which I think defies at least 16 rules of “video games 101”, that states “if a character does not have a voice or name, he must be faceless.” There’s another rule stating that faceless people get the chicks, which I think was the inspiration of Slender. Whatever, I like to call this character Mark McNinja, it seems fitting. Mr. McNinja was given something called “the mark of the ninja” which is just the title of the game and more specifically tattoos. Not just regular tattoos, time bending tattoos that allow Mark to stop time in his mind and pick where he wants to throw his items and stuff. These tattoos are made out of some sort of flower that has some potent venom or some crap that vaguely explains his abilities. The only drawback behind Mark’s gnarly tattoos is that he’ll eventually go insane, I’m not sure if this is actually something that happens because the game ends before you get a solid answer, but there are two endings and one seems like it would be him spiralling into madness. The story isn’t even close to Mass Effect in epicenes and center-ness, but it was enough to keep me interested until the end, but the story isn’t the only thing that kept me interested.


This game is probably the best side-scroller I’ve played, either in a long time or ever. Basically the game boils down to sneaking past guards using all your gadgets or straight up killing them. But you can’t just run into a room and stab everybody, Ninja’s are fragile people type guys who don’t take as many bullets as “brick-wall-shooter-man” that everybody seems to have the hugest crush on in the gaming industry. If you’re spotted in this game, you shouldn’t expect to be able to take on more than one guard, so you’ll have to be stealthy throughout. If you are spotted because you fell off something, you can by no means blame the controls. The controls in this game are tighter than … you know, something that’s- IT’s LATE OKAY!? Like I was saying, this game controls amazingly and any fault you make is entirely yours, so no ten year olds can complain, and I doubt ten year olds would appreciate this game, because it’s a complete departure from your standard “aim and shoot, lame sauce” affairs that seem to be so prominent. The levels have plenty of paths for you to take to get to your destination. (I think I said “to” two too many times.) The paths that you should take all depends on your play style, you’re rewarded for not killing any guards and you’re rewarded for killing all of the guards, if you want to be a pacifist or if you want to kill everything will determine how you go about your business. The game accommodates for this with a good system of actually having a map and allowing you to see what’s on the other side of a door or vent without going through the door or vent, if you see something on the other side that you’re not simpatico with, you can just turn around and find a better way in.

This game isn’t extremely into combat, if you end up getting into a fight, you’re best off running away like a little baby… that can ru- SEE!? I’M NOT GOOD AT THIS! Instead of just getting into fist fights, you’ll stick to the shadows, by breaking lights, which will attract any guards (through a system I’ll get into.)nearby. You’ll want to distract guards and hide, either up on ledges or in hiding spots, waiting for the guard to get close enough for you to miss his daughters piano recital… PERMANANTLY! When a guard gets close to you, you press X which stops time then you hold down a direction on the control stick and press X again, if you mess this up your kill will be noisy and the guard will start screaming, attracting more guards to your location.

Which brings me to my next point, the aforementioned “noise system”

Whenever you perform an action, it makes sound, except for walking and stealth kills, you’re a ninja, you don’t make noise. When you make a noise, a blue bubble will appear and stretch out from the location of the noise, any guard within this range will be attracted to it, and probably ask it out on a date. Once the guard loses interest, either because he heard a more tantalizing noise, or he simply lost interest, he’ll start wandering away. The sound system allows you to pick a certain guard who you don’t particularly like and stab him in the nostrils once he wanders away from his friends. Or you can use it to attract a whole bunch or guards and simply walk around them while they’re picking their noses wondering what that noise was.

There’s also this whole light system, basically if you’re not in direct light, you’re invisible. So don’t make too much noise and guards will never see you. That description was marvelous, ten out of ten.

The Adventures of Mark McNinja is worth a play. If you don’t enjoy fun you can always try “Modern Battle Callfield of War 97: Unoriginality is Just Another Bullet”, that’ll be more your speed.

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