Better Ninja than Never
Today’s release on Xbox Live Arcade is Trigger Heart Exelica, an originally Japan-only Dreamcast “bullet hell” vertically scrolling shooter, and if that sentence doesn’t make any sense to you whatsoever, that’s totally fine.
You see, we’re actually here to mention last week’s Xbox Live Arcade release, N+. It’s based on N, the freeware game sensation developed by Toronto independent game developers Metanet Software, but the main difference is that you have to own a $300 console to play it.
(We kid, we kid.)
N+, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a series of single screen levels featuring a tiny ninja collecting treasure while avoiding homicidal robots on the way to an exit. The play is based around the ninja’s physical movement, and by virtue of its short levels and refined control is incredibly addictive, no matter how hard it gets (it gets very hard). With over 300 new levels plus an excellent level creator and multiplayer mode, N+ is well worth the 800 Microsoft Points (about $10) it costs.
Look at it this way—if it wasn’t very good, we’d be asking you to buy it to “support local independent game development” (though the game was developed in Vancouver by Slick Entertainment, Metanet created the concept and performed level design), but because it’s actually great we’re just recommending it! (The same goes for the Playstation 3’s Everyday Shooter, developed by local Jon Mak.)
Bonus extra link: Jim Munroe and Craig MacNaughton (Infest Wisely) created a short film in support of the game, which you might want to check out and see how some of Toronto ended up in the game (sort of).