Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

[Review] Ninja JajaMaru: The Great Yokai Battle +Hell – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Mar10,2023
Developed By: HELLO QUEST
Published By: ININ Games
Categories: Retro
Release Date: 02.21.23

What’s this? A new Ninja JajaMaru Kun title? That’s retro influenced? I’m sick of these, they’re so reductive. Move forward, not back! Yet…I absolutely love The Great Yokai Battle +Hell. Infact, I found myself stuck playing this game much more than anything else in this three game release.

Lets go back to the past, to the original title. You know, with single screen action, jumping into bricks for power ups, and lots of enemies. Killing enemies grants you money and those little souls you so desire. Once you fill up this bar at the bottom which decides how many you need, a level is over. Once you finish the level, your points, souls, and coins are all put into a little JajaMaru themed Gashapon machine. Luckily, this isn’t full of RNG, but instead drops capsules at specific landmarks of coin collecting. This nets you a plethora of unlockables. Characters, music, art in the gallery, different kinds of powerups, etc…

The sounds, the animation, all of the build up makes the whole event exciting, and unlocking stuff is a really good feeling, especially the characters. Each character has different stats, the standard speed, attack, HP, etc…But also the shuriken and weapon they use. Some swerve, some can go through walls, a special crossover character can even uppercut! One even uses a tongue? A few of these characters are recolors with new moves, but some are even the enemies you fight and they all play different.

While the original game had more of a looping feel with some samey levels again and again with no control of when and what to do, you get the trusted 1-1, 1-2, 2-5, etc… level structure. Always a new level layout, constantly new enemies in the levels. Can you beat them without getting hit? Collecting three petals? How about beating specific levels with specific characters? It’ll all be worth the cash you get back.

Powerups will come familiar, but much more flashy this time around. Of course we get shurikens to shoot faster, potions to go invisible, the red balls to go fast. Standard stuff. But the bigger powerups, hidden behind golden bricks. Now those get showy. It’s almost as if a celebration when you get a powerup that can kill anything in one hit. Fireworks and streamers and confetti fill the stage. As will money. Let those pleasure receptors go nuts while you absolutely destroy a difficult level. Can you do it without though? Grab a floating Jaleco logo, it’ll let you control a few Jaleco characters for a bit!

If you’re wondering where the art gallery Retro Collection *should* have had went. Well, it’s here. Unlockable, but it’s here. It’s pretty in depth too, but you’re probably going to have to play a bit to unlock everything, much like more characters. I don’t mind the grind at all, this is such a fun game. Even better, you can force one of your friends to play with you. Never felt as if the game depended on it, but it’s a cute addition.

The gameplay looks good, while still keeping the retro style, but the menu does just as good. I have to shout out the fact this went retro, but didn’t use that as a way to confine themselves like Mega Man 9 or Double Dragon IV. Both games I felt kinda went backwards. You can switch to classic music if you want, I know some people will, but I enjoy the new stuff. Not to mention, the title screen has a Home Made Kazoku song. Love it.

Play this. If you’re not going to buy the physical or deluxe bundles, at least just buy The Great Yokai Battle +Hell. It’s so so so so much fun.

4.5/5

Buy Now: $19.99 (also a part of a retail, physical edition from ININ games that includes Ninja JajaMaru Retro Collection)

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*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review

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