09 Jun, 2004 reviewed by Dusarn

by Metanet

(visit the game site)

1.5 Minutes to live...

1.5 minutes is how long your ninja in Metanet's N has to live.  How would you spend your time if you knew you only had 1.5 minutes to live?  Many times throughout my life I have sat in deep meditation pondering this very question.  I came up with an inumerable amount of activities to do (...well not really, there is only so much you can do in 1.5 minutes) but alas, I could never decide on one I truly liked.  Then along comes Metanet  with the answer to my question... steal gold from bloodthirsty robots.  Bingo!

With the burden of that eternal question no longer weighing on my shoulders I eagerly began to play the game of N - The Way of the Ninja.  Within a few moments I realized the gold I was stealing from the robots not only would impress the ladies, if I managed to make it out of the robot fortress alive, but it also extended my already short lifespan!  Score! 

After playing N for awhile I came to a conclusion that I believe anyone who has played N will agree upon.  There is no better way to spend a lifetime of 1.5 minutes, than to spend it playing N


A short life cut even shorter...

The Gameplay

For those of us who enjoy a fast paced game that requires quick reflexes and fast thinking, this game delivers.  This game really gets the adrenaline pumping, especially when you've got a heat seeking missle on your tail, 2 'tracking zap drones' coming for you, and your only hope of escape is a narrow passage that you only get one chance to nail!  There is a wide assortment of robots that will keep you on your toes and with 29 episodes each containing 5 levels this game will keep you busy for a long time (not to mention the great replay value).


I was going to give the gold back! Honest!

I would like to touch on the physics for a moment because I feel that is the game's strongest area.  The physics in N are very realistic and really bring the ninja that you play to life.  I remember the first time I played the game, I had just climbed to the very top of one of the walls and I jumped off hoping to land on a nearby platform.  Unfortunately I missed the platform and was falling helpless to the floor down below.  Had this been a normal platformer I could have survived a fall from any height, but in the physics feel so much more life like... I knew the fall would end in my death.   I hit the ground and sure enough I died, but the dying animation really surprised me.  Which brings me to another great aspect of the game.

Graphically, the ninja that you play in N looks very simple and plain... until you start moving around.  If the physics in the game were not enough to bring the ninja that you play to life then the animations surely will.  From climbing walls, running across slopes and jumping, the animations are very fluid and lifelike.  The dying animations, however, are truly amazing.  I often found myself killing my ninja just so I could watch him bounce around like a little ragdoll.  Running into a mine or being hit by a missle is also a nice effect as it sends your limbs flying off in different directions.  The limbs that are blown off of your ninja(God rest his soul) are also controlled by the same physics engine and have a ragdoll effect to them as they bounce around, which adds a nice touch.

I really have nothing negative to say about this game.  Usually the negative aspects of games are jumping up and down, getting right in your face, but not in 'N'.  It does take awhile to get used to the movement of the ninja but I hardly consider that a negative.  Actually even once you get used to the movement, this game is still incredibly hard at some points.  Some of the levels will have you shaking your head in disbelief wondering if the level is even beatable, but I assure you they are.  This game WILL get frustrating, especially when just starting, but if you can stick with it and get familiar with the movement you will find a very fun game in N.


You'll never catch me!

All in all 'N' is a great game.  It's rare to find a flash game these days that is as polished and bug free as N.  The collision detection, physics, character and death animation are all superbly done.  The graphics, besides being a bit drab, fit the game very well and remind me a bit of Loderunner.  The sounds are simple which actually end up meshing very well with the simplicity of the graphics.  Metanet has really done a great job with this game, it has great level designs and is overall very challenging and fun.   Whether you plan on living a long life or you only have 1.5 minutes to live, N is guaranteed to take up a good portion of it.



by Murraymint
The bland graphics in this game may put some people off, especially as you have to download the game to play it :(
However, the old proverb 'never judge a book..' couldn't be more appropriate.
A combination of flawless physics programming and well thought out level design make for a great game, and all free of charge!

It will be nice to see the level editor cleaned up in a future release. Nice work.

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