N++ Ultimate Edition -Review- (Xbox One)

Death enhances the experience in N++

For thousands of years people have admired ninjas. There has always been a sense of mystery surrounding them that made every little kid want to be one. Playing through N++ lets you live out that fantasy.

As the third and final installment of the game that began long ago with the original N, N++ is the fully realized potential of the series and it feels great to play. How often can you play a game and your initial thought is how great the game feels? With thousands of levels plus a level creator tool at your disposal, you’ll be having a blast as a ninja for the foreseeable future.

You begin the game with a tutorial set of levels, but are able to jump into the main game at any time  you wish. The premise is simple, each episode has five rooms that you must complete to move on to the next episode. Try and complete each room as quickly as possible while collecting all the gold in the room to help you rank higher on the leader boards. As you complete episodes you ‘funlock” new color schemes (about sixty total) that you can change to at any time. With a smart blend of platforming and puzzle-solving, you have to make your way through the room to flip a switch which will then open the exit for you.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong. You’ll have to navigate your way though each room avoiding a plethora of robots that want to kill you in multiple ways. During your time with N++ you’ll explode, be shot and disintegrated by lasers – and you’ll have a blast doing it.

Never has death felt so good in a game. During your play through, each death will help you figure out what to do next. More specifically, each death will help you determine what to avoid while making your way through the episodes. In most games, dying is the end all be all. You have so many lives and when use them all, game over. Not here. When you die, you just restart from the beginning of the level – armed with new knowledge of how the room works. To some extent Death is your best and only friend in N++.

The physics here are best in show. Forget everything you know from various other platformers. Unlike Sonic, where speed is king, N++ requires a finesse that most platform games lack. It’s not only about flying through the level as fast as you can, it’s about lightly jumping over bombs and avoiding snares that will cause instant death. Armed with only a jump button, you will live and die by how hard you press it. Some areas require a light tap to jump over one bomb while avoiding a second, and others require a hard push allowing you to jump over multiple traps at once. Often you will find yourself using gravity itself to navigate through a room. Nobody does momentum platforming better than N++.

For a game with a minimalist set of visuals and sound effects, the same cannot be said about the soundtrack. The techno/trance combo will have your head bopping and then lull you into a trance as you complete each level. The soundtrack definitely enhances the already incredible experience.

Recommendation: N++ Ultimate Edition is a special game. If you’ve played any of the prior iterations, you’ll be getting the complete (ultimate) edition here. If you enjoy platforming and puzzles games of any kind this is a must play.

For anyone living under a rock for the past decade, much like this reviewer has been, do yourself a favor and pick up this game asap. In small doses or marathon sessions you’ll be hard pressed to have a more enjoyable experience.

N++ just feels right. You will never enjoy dying in a game as much as you will here, and will feel such a great sense of accomplishment with each room that you clear. With endless replay ability, N++ is a must play.

 

*N++ was provided to the reviewer by the publishing company but this fact did not alter the reviewer’s opinion*

Author: Phil Neyman

Philip is better at buying video games than he is at playing them. He was once told “it must suck to love something so much and be so terrible at it.” As a boy he would write terrible poems about himself and Ross Perot. He enjoys the best and worst of all forms of media, but nothing in the middle. Puyo Puyo Tetris has almost caused unreconcilable differences between him and his wife. He’s never had a hangover, but not from lack of trying.

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