From The Minds that brought you people bursting into flames and falling into a tank full of sharks in Hitman: Blood Money, comes a game about fuedaf Japanese assassins. Yet there are no prostitutes, drugs, strangulation or pyrotechnic shark attacks in Mini Ninjas, for this is a family title. This is a world where the bodies of your victims disappear in a magical cloud, leaving behind small fuzzy animals that merrily hop away into a cartoon landscape.
Set in a mystical Japanese world of samurai, ninja and talking bird people, Mini Ninjas tells the tale of Hiro, a relatively diminutive ninja, as he sets off on an epic quest to defeat a bald-headed villain who transforms cute little animals into evil minions. (And no, his name isn't Robotnik.)
Bouncing through the world, Hiro learns new tricks and magical powers, concocts potions, engages in rudimentary hide-in-the-bush stealth gameplay and fights the usual array of lesser enemies and bosses. It's all very cute and jolly, but there is a distinct lack of depth or wit behind the cuteness, and so little to keep older gamers occupied for long.
The visuals are a little dated too, and might have looked more impressive with some cel-shading effects, rather than the fairly basic 3D on show.
The biggest flaw however, for a game whose story revolves around a team of ninjas, is its distinct lack of a co-op multiplayer mode. Even Sonic had Tails to play with, but here each ninja must fight alone, and so Hiro must magically swap places with one of his allies rather than summon them to stand beside him. This is a simple game for simpler minds.