By David Haughton
I’m starting to think ninjas are a bit too good at their job.
Elusive buggers they are. I mean, how often do you get to play a ninja in anything not a fighting game? There is the Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi and Tenchu series of course. Batman is a ninja technically. But I think that’s it. Assassin’s Creed gave us a pretty nifty pirate game, but where is my Sengoku period ninja game, Ubisoft? You’re failing the team guys.
Black and White Bushido, unfortunately, fails to fill that rather obvious hole in gaming. Instead what we have is a pretty good little party game for up to four players. It’s a simple enough premise: the maps are segmented into light and shadow areas. If you stand in a shadow area as a shadow ninja you’ll become invisible, moving around makes you slightly visible. The same holds true for light players in light areas. Moving into the opposite area of your colour leaves you, rather obviously, very exposed. You only have one dashing attack and lots of acrobatic maneuverability. One hit and you’re down.
What follows is a tense battle of wits as you aim to sneak around your zones and strike at your foes at the most opportune moment. The periodic shifting of light and dark help prevent things from turning into a stand off for too long. Items like caltrops appear randomly around the map to help spice things up a bit.
If the first paragraph of padding wasn’t a big enough giveaway, its easy to see that there isn’t a huge amount to say about Black and White Bushido. It’s a simple game with a simple goal. The graphics are simple but good and the music is generic for the theme. It’s a nice simple party game that compliments well with the likes of Gang Beasts and Mount Your Friends for a evening of gaming with friends.
If you don’t have friends then there is the option of single player challenges and AI players, but you can tell it wasn’t made to be played like that. My only real complaint is that on PC, the keyboard controls are horrendous so make sure you have game pads for everyone. It’d been nice to have some form of online mode but again, its not what it was designed for.
To sum up, Black and White Bushido is a solid party game that, although not really breaking new ground, achieves what it sets out to do very well. If you have some friends over and want to pass a bit of time with some tense ninja action, you can’t go far wrong here, but just don’t expect any kind of depth.