Shank and the Ninja+.
Shank, a Flash Animated based action/beat 'em up from Klei Entertainment, is a nice throwback to the old school, side scrolling games but also being violent enough for today's 'flavor'.
Having a very distinctive 'comic' book type artistic style, it is Klei's first mature themed game, initially being taken with suspicion. But after showing off the mechanics of the game, it began turning the curious into fans. Having simple controls as well as several weapons/actions at your disposal, it was a game made for exploring different means to 'destroy the competition'.
Armed with 2 Shanks, dual pistols and Chainsaw, it already comes off as something not so simple.
Having a rather basic story; main character being hunted by his former syndicate, did retain some special twists.
Co-Op being the biggest difference here, is that it is a separate story from that of the single player campaign. Taking place before the single player story, the main character (Shank) is partnered up with his buddy, doing some 'dirty work' for their 'business'. This ends when his higher-ups discover Shank has been having a relationship with a common girl, a teacher. This pales ill for the Boss whom orders her demise. Shank and friend decide to intervene.
- Single Player Campaign
Taking place (literally) after the Co-Op story, is after the Syndicate got Shank's Girl and left Shank for dead. Having survived, he returned to the area the Syndicate owned and decided to start unraveling those responsible for the deeds.
Acquiring several weapons on his personal vendetta: Shot Gun, Uzis, Dual Machetes, Chain wrapped fists and a Katana (along with grenades), Shank had many ways to remove any opposition he would encounter, fight, pounce, throw.. Leading him to the Boss, a figure he used to look up to as if he were a father.
While Shank was highly received, Klei had plans to continue Shank's mission. But before doing so, they decided to please the fans by offering some goodies to them.
- Shank OST
- Shank Comic
Both being free (with the Comic coming after Shank 2's announcement) were a nice treat for waiting fans during the development of the second part of the story.
The Comic is a bridge between both games. Telling that once Shank took out the Boss, and Shank's refusal to assume control, left that Syndicate vulnerable to a hostile take over within that region. Which happens when a controlling militia steps in.
Both are available here:
With Shank all said and done, especially with the bridge, it seemed like Shank's job wasn't quite done yet. In comes the sequel. After destroying the Syndicate and enabling a rival militia to assume control over the Syndicates roles, the land had been squeezed even more than normal. Especially after a friend had contacted Shank.
This leads to a meeting between him and an old friend, from an orphanage they grew up in. Shank had want to visit, but in the present time, that wasn't going to happen. So he ends up being forced to counter the motions of the Militia to assist his friend. Whom later plays a vital role as the main antagonist requires a heart transplant, with Shank's friend being captured who matches his blood type. This drives Shank into his previous 'revenge' mode, taking on everything in his path.
This time, armed with his trusty Shanks, throwing knives, chainsaw and machetes, he also comes up with: Sledgehammer and a different kind of shotgun.
Also including Land Mines and Molotov fire bombs. Shank 2 was a similar experience in it's own right, but it was also quite different in how it was deployed. Shank 1 you could swap your weapons at any point, here you had a Load-out screen before each mission. Shank also lost his 'block' ability from the first in favor of just dodging but essentially replaced by counters for weakening enemies (for insta-kills).
- Survival Mode.
Biggest change here was it's multi-player mode, being that of a Survival Set up rather a Co-Op. Out of 3 stages, you and an online partner would be set up against waves of baddies (including the occasional big baddies) to test how long you can live. During each round, you can generate cash which you can use for item purchases to help you out. Restore your health, hire a distraction (boar), purchase weapons, etc. This made the game experience more enjoyable cause the matches would vary by who ever was playing at the time. Some good, some bad, some, well not caring.
If you have anything to discuss about it or whatnot, check out the forums:
Mark of the Ninja.
Mark of the Ninja, a Stealth action game. Taking place during a genocide of sorts against the Clan your character belongs to.
Getting out alive, you seek those responsible for the slaughter of your people, taking in the Ink extracted from a rare particular flower that heightens senses but causes madness. Used only in instances that require a perk to gain an edge. Rare due to the madness, the Ninja willing to take in the Ink is also willing to kill themselves before they kill or harm anyone of their own Clan.
The story ark is a few stages (with a slight twist that spurs a few levels more), first against the hand who wrought the deed of slaughter, the other being the trigger that caused the slaughter to begin with. Being with 2 separate endings, you make the choice to kill the opponent or to kill yourself. The final stage having some really cool effects that make it seem like the 'madness' is setting in.
Able to unlock costumes as well as Ninja weapons/tools that can trick or distract enemies. Enabling the choice to kill or to sneak by enemies. Not to mention their dogs with a few extra senses that require some special thinking; being able to hear better and smell your presence.
All in all, it is really nothing like Shank - it can certainly stand on it's own. It is very fluid, some parts are difficult (as suspected), but is quite enjoyable.
For a bit more lore of Mark of the Ninja, check out the following net-book flash stories (2 parts so far):
Give it a throw down, and enjoy how different it plays from a typical hack 'n slash.
For the fans.
For those whom have waited and enjoyed Mark of the Ninja, Klei has a few things to offer:
They have recently announced ringtones for your phone (not a biggie but kind of cool) and a short while ago they offered Wallpaper of the game.
Found on their site or directly linked below:
Any comments, suggestions or otherwise aim for discussions, their Forum is open:
Special Edition DLC.
New announcement from Klei Entertainment centers around Mark of the Ninja. Content that the game was a full experience (and it was a hell of a ride) they have caved and made some DLC for the game. Or a Special Edition renovation. Either way, it is the same game with some new additions.
- Flashback level centering around Dosan the Tattoo Artist.
- New Lethal/Nonlethal play style.
- New items for use which will be available during the game as well as new stage.
- Developer commentary spread throughout the game.
Not too much but enough to make it interesting for folks who haven't purchased the game yet and interesting enough for existing fans to make their peace with their inner self to press thru the challenge again.
Currently, no mention of additional Achievements, but it is possible due to the nature of DLC and all.
Release information states it is only aimed for Summer.