Ninja War and xblaratings.com


Overview

As I am sure some of you are keenly aware, an indie game called Ninja War STOLEN SCROLLS released over the weekend. The game’s release has spawned some internet bashing of Ninja War because it is a “blatant attempt” to copy a particular game on XBLA where you engage in the act of Crashing Castles. I personally am in the “What is all the complaining about” camp. There is a difference between blatant copying and imitation. In particular, the argument is going on over at xblaratings is the center of this issue right now. xblaratings.com a site where anyone can post a review of a game and give as little or as much explanation as they want. I think xblaratings would work a lot better if people weren’t so attached to their favorite games and would actively write reviews with reasoning behind their score. People do not seem to realize that just because they disliked a game demo, they should not give a game a 1 and just say “It suxs”. xblaratings is a great site that I continue to use because it has a very cool idea that I would love to see furthered, but it is way underused. This is kind of a call out to reviewers and gamers alike, support xblaratings. Simple as that, and I will explain how below. Hopefully you enjoy this piece as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

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lets do this!

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Ninja War and The Great Internet Bashing of… Today

I will cover a lot of the mechanics of the game in my review that I will post later. Basically this game is low-budget Castle Crashers. I am able to admit that because it is painfully obvious. From the art style to the map and from the opening cutscene to the backdrops, the game shows Castle Crashers some love. Technically this is not such a bad thing because the game tries to do its own thing, but it could have taken a bit more from Castle Crashers. A few complaints I have about the game are its lackluster control scheme and failure to take advantage of some things. There is no customization whatsoever of your character. No weapons to buy, gold to collect, stats that you can actively raise, etc. It is Castle Crashers combat with a heavy focus on magic. The game is firmly rooted in the mentality that magic is what you want to use. I did enjoy using it, but more combos would also be better. There was the really cool addition of showing the last enemy you attacked health bar. I really hate complaining about the game when I had a ton of fun with it, but it saddens me that this game had so much room for improvement.

Ninja War may be heavily influenced by Castle Crashers, but to compare them to each other is kind of unfair. First of all Castle Crashers cost 15 times are much as Ninja Scrolls and was made by a bigger developer. It is also one the most downloaded and top rated games on XBLA. Ninja War is a $1 indie game people, don’t expect Castle Crashers 2.  To summarize, Ninja War could have been an amazing game instead of a good game, but to call it out for not being Castle Crashers is just insulting to the developers of both games.

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Art Style

     

These settings are very similar….

     

as are these…..

That is enough of that. Ninja War is a love song to Castle…

     

I said that is enough!!! Jeez. Any way it would be dumb of me to say Ninja War is completely original in every aspect, but it does not copy Castle Crashers, it just imitates it in a handful of categories. Castle Crashers was a one of a kind experience, especially with friends, and I am surprised this is the first attempt to imitate it. Ninja War does a few things well with most of the game being average, but Castle Crashers fans will feel right at home.

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xblaratings.com and how to support them

As you can see by the discussion linked above, people are giving Ninja War mixed reviews with very little reasoning behind any of the reviews. Games usually do not get 4 reviews this quickly on the site, so it piqued my interest when it happened. I plan to add my review to the site later on tonight to make the number of reviews 5. The most recent review I will kind of ignore because it is not uncommon for people to give a game a 1 because they find a glitch and are mad. I will try not insult them, but we have all encountered and surpassed glitches before, giving a game a 1 is not the appropriate way to handle this. So if you decide to support xblaratings like I do, don’t do that.

The main reason xblaratings rating system is so volatile is because of the lack of reviews. When a game is lucky to get 1 review over its lifetime, the rating system is not exactly balanced. My challenge to you, as a game reviewer or as an indie game fan, is that once you play an indie game, rate it on xblaratings. It is not that hard, you do not even have to make an account on the site. The one thing I will challenge you to do is to explain your reasoning a bit. If you happen to have your own review site, post a mini review on xblaratings and then have the url of your site with the full review listed in the xblaratings review. This does two things: 1) More ratings means a little more balanced scoring system, so games will be “properly” rated. 2) Gets more views for your site.

—psssttt. do it—

I am going to make a habit of putting a mini review up on xblaratings for every review I put up on my site. You do not need to copy and paste the whole thing, just a paragraph of summary and a link to the full review on your site will do. To those of you who do not like to give number scores this is a bit of a pickle. You have to rate a game in order to post your review. In this situation you can just give the game around the average score and list in your review that the score doesn’t mean anything.

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Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below.

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About Dcon
Just a 20 something dude who like to think a lot about things, sometimes even write about them.

4 Responses to Ninja War and xblaratings.com

  1. Edgar Alan says:

    I wasn’t aware of the xblaratings site until I read about it here. I’m glad I did though, as it seems like an interesting site. I’ve had a quick look at it and already spotted a few indie games I own that don’t have any reviews so I shall have to do my best to rectify that, especially since some of them are great games that deserve at least some sort of recognition.
    I hope a lot of people answer your call, as a site like xblaratings will either succeed or fail based on the input of it’s readers.

    • Dcon6393 says:

      exactly, and in all honesty if I would have kept this site up since the indie game summer uprising I would have people actually reading it. I get 20-30 random views a day, while today I got 86 from someone popular linking this article. I hope more people use xblaratings, I can’t raise it to be a useful resource for XBLIGs on my own

      • Edgar Alan says:

        Well, I’ve posted four reviews there so far and am planning on putting up a review for each XBLIG I own (time for me to do my bit for the community as a fan). I’ve never really written game reviews before so it’s proving to be a bit challenging but I’m actually quite enjoying it so that should be enough of an incentive to keep me going.
        Anyway, keep up the good work, I know I enjoying reading the articles on your site!

  2. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking the time and
    actual effort to make a great article… but what can
    I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

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