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Ninjala is an upcoming multiplayer action video game being developed by GungHo Online Entertainment. Unveiled at E3 2018, it is scheduled to be released in 2020 for Nintendo Switch.Contents
Ninjala centers upon an eponymous tournament being held by the World Ninja Association, which developed bubblegum that could be used to allow people with the DNA of a ninja to perform ninjutsu.
A match can be played between up to eight players aiming to score as many points as possible, such as by knocking out opponents. The game will also feature a story mode, focusing on one of eight playable characters.
Players fight primary with melee weapons, and can also perform parkour such as wall running to navigate the map. In order to generate weapons, player characters must blow bubbles. The size of the weapon obtained is determined by the bubble's size, with smaller weapons being faster with less damage, and larger weapons being slower, but more damaging. Blown bubbles can also be launched as a sticky bomb projectile to trap opponents in their goo. Confirmed types of melee weapons that will be available include baseball bats, hammers, yo-yos.Development
GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita explained that Ninjala was inspired by his childhood memories of ninja and sports chanbara, having envisioned the game as being a mixture of both. He stated that the main goal was to develop create a multiplayer action game that both children and adults could enjoy. Takeshi Arakawa, who co-produced Dissidia Final Fantasy while at Square Enix, is part of the development staff of the game. For its unveiling, GungHo elected to primarily target Europe and North America to gauge their reactions before giving it more prominent promotion in Japan.
Originally announced for release in 2019, GungHo announced on May 31, 2019 that Ninjala had been delayed to early 2020. In December 2019, GungHo president Kazuki Morishita stated that the game was still on track for a Spring 2020 release, and that it would contain content that would be "satisfying" for "seasoned players".Promotion
A teaser trailer for Ninjala was released on June 13, 2018, which is set to music by the kawaii metal band Babymetal. Footage from the game was also briefly featured during Nintendo's E3 2018 video presentation the same day. A new trailer was released on December 6, 2018, showcasing the backstory of Ninjala's universe.Reception Pre-release
The overall visual style of Ninjala has been widely-compared to Nintendo's Splatoon franchise. Jordan Devore of Destructoid felt that Ninjala was hard to judge based on its early multiplayer demo at E3, noting the lack of playable weapons beyond baseball bats (though noticing that yo-yos had appeared as a disabled option in the menus), a need to improve the "flow and feel" of its gameplay, and the lack of "good" lock-on targeting functionality. However, he felt that "there's something to this gum-loving ninja concept for sure", and that Ninjala was "worth following". He argued that alongside Splatoon, there was "plenty of room for more colorful, poppy, kid-friendly multiplayer games". IGN.com similarly noted that its concept felt like "Splatoon meets Arms", and that "if GungHo makes good on delivering creative weaponry and polishes up the combat, Ninjala might just have what it takes to beat Nintendo at its own game."References