a brightly colored illustration of two ninjala characters
In addition to plentiful in-game content, Ninjala has an anime series available on YouTube as well as a Japanese-language manga. (Illustration by Lexey Gonzalez, Wichita State University)

With New Features, Ninjala Proves Itself a Game Worth Playing

The combat game received negative reviews upon its initial release in 2020, but skeptics may have reasons to try it now that, a year later, it includes new weapons, story modes and more.

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a brightly colored illustration of two ninjala characters

The combat game received negative reviews upon its initial release in 2020, but skeptics may have reasons to try it now that, a year later, it includes new weapons, story modes and more.

Ninjas are the shadows of Japan. The agents, who complete their missions without making a sound, flow like water and are swift as the wind. They were the forefathers of Japan’s history, but during the Meiji Restoration, they dispersed, merging with other clans, their bloodline growing weaker until eventually, they vanished without a trace. Years passed, and the descendants of the Ninja clans eventually formed an organization called the W.N.A. They developed Ninja-Gum that grants the powers and strength of the Shinobi ninja warriors. However, it requires the DNA of a ninja with pure strength and will. Thus, the W.N.A created a tournament called Ninjala to discover them.

Ninjala is a fighting platform game that was released in 2020. It did not receive much praise at first. Instead, it was just called a slow, broken mess and a rip-off of Splatoon, a third-person shooter game that came out on Nintendo consoles, featuring kids who look like squids who fight with weapons and ink. A lot has changed since then; it has been nearly a year, and Ninjala’s anniversary is coming soon. So what has been added to the game since then?

A Ninjala Beginners’ Guide

Finally, there is a helpful guide for beginners to use. The tutorials explain the game mechanics much better, including how to play, how to use your gum and beneficial tricks to remember. If you are a veteran player, you can still get rewards, such as medals and even an outfit for your character, for doing the guide.

Weapons

There are a multitude of weapons to choose from now compared to before. There are tons of gameplay styles and combos to figure out as well, and that is not including the cards and gums these arms carry.

Katana: The katana is the classic tool of Ninjala. It is your go-to choice if you just started, but it is also an excellent weapon later on as you progress. From here, you can pick the katanas, the drills, and the new addition, the fan. All are similar with an individual twist: katanas and the fan are for combos and charging at your foes, and drills are for dishing out damage and ambushing your opponent with the dive ability. This is one of the most popular weapons for everyone of all skill levels and for many good reasons, so if you are starting or want to test out a new weapon, this is a great option to begin with.

Hammer: Hammers are the heavy hitters that can knock out an opponent in two hits. Yes, they are slow, but it is well worth it for their power. They are most known for their specials that sell their destructive power. The SK8 hammer and sushi ax come with an ability that can break weapons and temporarily give you super armor. However, the sound hammers are different, where you can instead turn your enemy and keep them stuck in place with your sound waves. Both types are mighty, but beware if you aren’t careful; you can get targeted and ambushed rather quickly.

Yo-Yo: Unlike the hammers and katanas, yo-yos prefer to be away from the chaos. With the yo-yos, you can steal kos, ippons and drones quickly, thanks to your range. There are also two different types of yo-yos: the first includes the yo-yo, spinner and new yo-yo addition. All are based on distance, where you can hit your foe from afar, or you can get up close and personal by teleporting and dishing a devastating attack whenever you choose. The other type includes the trick ball and Mellow Á La Mode. Both are more close-range; however, you can “poop” your opponent if they get too close, making them unable to attack and allowing you to get a free kill. The only downside to this weapon is that its power is low compared to the rest, and you can be taken advantage of if people can figure out how to get past your attacks. Don’t just spam and expect it to work all the time.

Board: Boards are the last new weapons for now until next season. These are the fastest and one of the most potent weapons due to the board’s ability. Become Tony Hawk and shred on the festival board with the ability to skate everywhere and even do sick tricks to boost your attack. You can even ride on a stick of gum called the Camu Camu board as well. If you’d rather get a surfboard and ride the waves instead, the other type of board is just for you. Either surf on a surfboard named Homerun Surfer or hang on a sword called the Calibur. It’s fun to ride on these boards, but if you don’t know how to use them, you might need to pick another weapon. It takes a lot of time and effort to understand how to use these weapons fully. They are also known to be one of the most complicated weapons because it is difficult to learn to use them properly, but once you master them, you’ll become the coolest ninja around.

The Gameplay of Ninjala

Stages: When the game first came out, there were only two stages, which made it tedious to play repeatedly every day. There are now more than three stages, which isn’t many more, but more places will come next season. The locations provided now come with surprises as well, ranging from a hot spring that gives you health and upgrades your weapon to doors that teleport you to different locations. There is so much more potential now than ever before with so many options to pick from.

Story Mode: Ninjala only includes Chapters 1 and 2, with no news yet on the game’s following chapters. But new anime episodes and manga have come out as well. The anime has been completed, and now you can watch the episodes up on YouTube. There is no information yet on where the next episodes will be, though, and who they will be about. There are new volumes for the manga; however, they are only in Japan, so if you happen to know Japanese or want the weapon skill code for it, there are currently sites selling these books.

Game Modes: The Ninjala development team gives players new modes to mess with from time to time. One is a hide-and-seek mode where some players are beasts, and they chase and taunt non-beast players to gain more points. Next, there is an event where, instead of the S-Burst mechanic, you get to S-Blast, which pushes opponents away instead of locking you into a rock, paper, scissors minigame. And the new mode that now appears at times is a fun minigame of soccer. These modes help boost the enjoyment of the game as a whole, and it is exciting to see what more the developers have in store; hopefully, they permanently keep some of these modes.

Special Features and Releases

Ninjala Pass: From March to June, the theme for the pass is fairy tales. You can choose to use Jala, in-game currency, to buy and earn all sorts of rewards for the pass. There are many great emotes, and some outfits are surprisingly amazing compared to the last season’s pass. You must buy the pass yourself, but soon there will be festivals and events that will reward you with Jala, so even if you do not have enough, you can save your Jala and choose to spend it wherever you please.

Gumball Machines: Speaking of saving, if you saved up your silver medals, you are in luck. There are now more gumball machines that use them, as well as a new form of currency for the devices. Now you can get outfits that you missed out on or could not afford in the previous seasons. You can get new clothes exclusively from the machines as well.

Monster Hunter Collaboration: Ninjala is soon to release a crossover with Monster Hunter Rise, a role-playing action game that is well-known for its gameplay and monster slaying. With this collaboration, you can get all sorts of items and outfits based on Monster Hunter Rise; you can get some while playing Ninjala, while others require the Gumball Machine. If you are hyped for Monster Hunter, save up your Jala so you can get the chance to earn these goodies. The collab will start on April 27.

Tournament: Tournaments for Ninjala are beginning to become more and more popular not just in the Ninjala community, but also in the game. Ninjala is hosting another collaboration with Nissin UFO Yakisoba, and with that partnership comes a tournament open to everyone around the world. In it are exclusive items for joining and more depending on your rankings and points. There is even an emote where you get to enjoy a delicious serving of Yakisoba. The tournament will begin on April 24.

Ninjala is finally starting to become iconic. Eventually, it will have enough weapons, stages and modes to be acknowledged as a good game and stand on its own feet. Yes, there are still many problems with the game, but not every title is perfect. It may have started as a broken mess, but it helped create a community full of people who want to come together as friends and family. There are clans, groups of friends, all sorts of fan art and more. If you wish to give Ninjala another shot, come back to it now, for with its new features, Ninjala is finally stepping out of the shadows and into the light of promise.

Writer Profile

Diamond Sears-Allen

Borough of Manhattan Community College
Video Arts & Technology (VAT)

Hello, my name is Diamond Sears-Allen. I am currently studying to become a TV writer someday, and I am also a lover of video games. Hope you have a wonderful day!

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