Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a slick wave-based hack’n’slash with a bold art style and a goofy Saturday morning cartoon story. When your village is overrun by Shogun Moe’s malevolent forces and your precious stock of carrots is stolen, you head off in pursuit of Moe and his cronies.
Clash of Carrots world is broken into themed stages, each consisting of several levels. As either lagomorph Ninjin or vulpine Akai, each level has you taking on waves of enemies, usually culminating in a mini boss fight. The game’s combat is fast and responsive, making slashing through hoards of enemies an instantly gratifying experience.
Despite its simple controls, which have you using combinations of slashes, dashes and projectiles, Ninjin’s combat is surprisingly deep and tactical. The introduction of each new enemy type adds a new layer of challenge, demanding you stay on your toes and adapt your play style to whatever the game throws at you. Playing well rewards you with more valuable loot, powerful special moves and health regeneration between waves, as well as a higher final grade and a more bountiful yield of carrots to spend on new gear.
In its latter stages, combat can become overwhelmingly hectic, with ever-changing combinations of deadly enemies filling the screen. Some difficulty spikes are punishing and can make for frustrating roadblocks, occasionally forcing you to grind to collect carrot currency to unlock superior weapons thus giving you the edge in battle. Thankfully stages usually only take a few minutes to complete, making grinding for currency or revisiting levels to attain an S rank a fairly efficient process.
The game’s wealth of unlockables is where its most compulsive hook lies. With over 30 weapons, from lightning fast daggers to fire imbued, long-reaching spears and high damage hammers and greatswords, the variety on offer is extensive. A similarly numerous amount of unlockable projectiles, accessories and artifacts, the latter of which offer various perks when equipped, make for a great amount customization in both play style and character aesthetic.
The addition of online and local coop is greatly welcome, making battles twice as hectic yet twice as tactical. The Oni TV show offers a uniquely challenging survival mode, pitting you against wave after wave of random enemy combinations, rewarding you the further and further you manage to get without dying. Coop and the Oni TV show fleshes out the experience, beyond the relatively short single player campaign.
Ninjin’s anime inspired art style lends it a unique identity and a good deal of charm. Equally its writing is often witty, although at times dialogue sections can be overly long considering the pace the game sets. The addition of animated cutscenes and voice acting would have elevated the presentation of its story, however with focus on gameplay, the game’s narrative shortcoming are easily overlooked.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a stylish, arcadey hack’n’slash with satisfying combat, challenging, varied enemies and a wealth of unlockables. Occasional frustration and some shortcomings in terms of story and presentation mildly detract from what is otherwise a fun, albeit brief, adventure.
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.5/10
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a stylish wave-based hack’n’slash with a bold anime art style, satisfying, tactical combat, and a challenging variety of enemy types, rounded off nicely by the addition of coop and an endless survival mode.
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Reviewed using base PS4.
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