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Ninjammin' Beat-jitsu


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#1 banov

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:29 AM

Ninjammin' Beat-jitsu by LiamBarden
as reviewed by Banov

Links:
YoYoGames - http://www.yoyogames...min-beat-jitsu#
GMC - http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=469656
YouTube Trailer - http://www.youtube.c...h?v=rWGpjLglrrY

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NJBJ is the very first yoyogames entry from Barden, submitted for the YoYoGames Handheld competition. As per the rules, the game uses a window of 480x272, is under 10 MB, and doesn't make use of any DLLs or the registry--tough constraints to make a game under! Like many entrants, this game was officially submitted only hours before the deadline, but the game's quality and character set it apart from the vast majority of the other games that have been entered.

The game kicks off with an impressive (but unskippable) opening sequence as credits flash by the user, ending with the title logo and some kickin' music. The main menu is very bouncy and energetic, giving a great first impression. Once you actually start the story mode, you're treated to a brief opening cutscene that features a rapping ghost, usb flash drive imbued martial arts, and... general hilarity. Again, all of this keeps up the game's momentum and really shows the amount of care Barden put here. Every level opens with a brief voiceover introduction, always including a quick joke. The game's story just exudes confidence and character.

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The gameplay is an interesting blend of rhythm and platforming; the protagonist, 808, runs across the level automatically. The player's job is to press specific arrow keys as 808 runs through their corresponding icon; when successful, 808 perform some stunning acrobatic feat, usually leaping over a pit or some obstacle. When missed, 808 will either fall into a different path through the level, or just ouright perish, forcing the player to restart from the beginning of the area. Occasionally an enemy is encountered, and the player must press the arrow keys in a specific order to slash through the enemy robot. The game essentially boils down to a long series of quicktime events, but the branching paths and platformer design help it feel more like it's in the player's control. Additionally, the player can pick up extra points by pressing the arrow keys to pick up little notes as 808 passes through them, but this is just an opportunity to get a higher score.

Grahpically is where this game shines brightest. Every level has a totally unique look, the screen's constantly exploding with blissful eye candy, and 808's animations are awesome to watch and silky smooth. This is a game that can be enjoyable just to watch--indeed, even when you're playing, you'll spend 60% of the game just watching. Where the game is lacking in gameplay and control, it more than makes up for in style. The only thing that holds back the game, visually, is the choice of font--for some reason, all scores and dialog are displayed in boring old Arial. Why, I ask, why?! It's a minor flaw, but when the presentation is just so perfect otherwise it sticks out.

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Overall, this is among the most impressive entries to Yoyogames' 5th competition, and definitely deserves all the attention it can get. Barden might not be a well-known game maker, but with the release of NJBJ, he's without a doubt making a run for first place. Excellent work, LiamBarden; good luck in the competition, and continue making games of this caliber!

Edited by banov, 20 April 2010 - 10:03 PM.

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#2 Nocturne

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 06:16 AM

You beat me to it! This was defenitely going to be my next review choice...

Impressive game and a good review (again)! Of all the comp5 entries this really captures the PSP feel and is a worthy contender for the 1st place.
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#3 LiamBarden

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:42 PM

Wow thanks guys im glad you all like it!
Ive just made a youtube video for the game, so id be really grateful if you could edit this link into the first post
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=rWGpjLglrrY
Thanks again :mellow:
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#4 overboy

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 01:34 AM

I agree with this:

Holy mother of God... I thought I might have a chance at placing until I played this! Very nicely done. Amazing gameplay, outstanding graphics, and just perfection.


Nice review. Smiliey face.
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#5 PhiL Blunt

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:38 PM

great fun, thanks
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#6 A saurus1

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:03 PM

Um... the screen limits are 480x272, not 472x240. Dyslexia lol.

But it's a great game. I had a lot of fun with it.
And the review was nice too. I liked the way you transitioned from one element of the game to the next, instead of breaking it up into paragraphs each talking about a different thing.

Edited by A saurus1, 16 April 2010 - 03:05 PM.

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#7 monocledsardine

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:39 AM

Very good review, but I have to disagree with your high rating.

Where the game is lacking in gameplay and control, it more than makes up for in style.

In general, games are all about the gameplay and control - the graphics and stylistic decisions are not as important. Using style where you could have awesome gameplay can only go so far. I think that NJBJ is lacking in the gameplay department because of how annoying it is to line the movement up with key presses... it's not really as fun as it could be, especially because the music doesn't line up with the movement. On top of this, there are a large amount of glitches that detract from the game. I don't think this quite deserves a 5/5.

Edited by monocledsardine, 17 April 2010 - 03:40 AM.

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#8 banov

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 04:14 PM

I don't think this quite deserves a 5/5.


I don't award number ratings, so I certainly didn't award a 5/5 :D
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#9 Broxter

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 09:19 AM

In general, games are all about the gameplay and control - the graphics and stylistic decisions are not as important.

Blah blah blah... We've heard this all before.
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#10 KC LC

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:04 AM

I don't think this quite deserves a 5/5.

I don't award number ratings, so I certainly didn't award a 5/5 :chikin

There may be some confusion over what these ratings mean. Ratings reflect the quality of the review, NOT the game.

Ideally, reviews that are well-written and informative should be rated highly, even if you don't like the game or you disagree with the reviewer's opinion.
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#11 banov

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:32 PM

At the end of the day, a game that manages to be entertaining because of its graphics or style rather than its gameplay is still an entertaining game. I'm not saying the graphics made the game--it was fun to play in its own right. But the visual style was still stronger than the interactive bits.
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#12 Manuel777

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:48 AM

I freaking love this game! it perfect in any sence, like you said banov, the review was concise and pointed out every single bit of the game.. i must agree on the fact that the in-game font looks bad in comparission wit hthe whole rest of the game, he must of forgot to change it :D

ill be waiting the next :)
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#13 Broxter

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:06 AM

Grahpically is where is this game shines brightest.

Might wanna fix that. :)
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#14 deano-5

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:16 PM

This is brilliant. ::lmao::
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#15 Takagi

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:11 AM

Wow. Okay, so I rarely play GM games, but this game... wow. This is the GM game I totally wanted to make when I was really into music. And it's so fun! Liam Barden-- I salute you.
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#16 hardlylike

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:25 PM

I just dled it and played it until I beated it (got Cs and Bs on everything except one with A rating on the first run) and I'm usually good at these kind of games^^ I'm currently replaying everything to unlock challanges and to get better rating. This is the first gamemaker game that I want to play again after I've beated it. Most gamemaker games gets boring before I even finnish the games.

I don't think this lacks gameplay...it has lots of replay value and the gameplay is fun and addictive. It has everything you expect from a rhrythm game and it's original and visually appealing (very visually appealing)

the music is great but it doesn't feel like it's synced to the actions in the game, that's the only negative thing I can think about this game. Good job, thanks for making it<3
It is the best gamemaker game I've played so far

oh I know that this topic is old but I just had to comment on this:D

Edited by hardlylike, 01 February 2011 - 02:29 PM.

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#17 e_barroga

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:06 AM

A very well polished game. It's been a while since I've been impressed by a game on this community.

At the end of the day, a game that manages to be entertaining because of its graphics or style rather than its gameplay is still an entertaining game. I'm not saying the graphics made the game--it was fun to play in its own right. But the visual style was still stronger than the interactive bits.


Simplicity doesn't necessarily constitute lack of gameplay. Often times simplicity beats its counter-part.
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