The next game in the G.G series opts to return to the platformer genre yet again, and the end result is surprisingly engaging. G.G Series THE HIDDEN NINJA KAGEMARU is a unique arcade focused, 2D stealth platformer that manages to put forth a distinct and compelling gameplay system that'll keep gamers coming back again and again.
The premise sees players take control of a young ninja named Kagemaru as he works to infiltrate enemy structures to retrieve secret scrolls. To do this, he must stealthily sneak his way around the enemies, using an array of "Ninpo" to stun or trick enemies in the event that he gets caught. Kagemaru and the various enemy samurai are all very well animated and feature excellently detailed sprites. Levels all have a charming oriental theme to them and this is further supported by the surprisingly unique soundtrack. All in all, both the visual and the sound design properly manage to convey a charming theme that's quite unique among the G.G games.
Gameplay takes the shape of a stealth 2D platformer that strongly encourages the player to go the quiet route, rather than a more offensive approach. Not only does Kagemaru have a very limited amount of uses for each of his Ninpo abilities, but none of these allow him to actually remove the enemy; he can only stun them at worst. This encourages the player to take a deliberate and strategic approach to each stage as you decide which of your tools should be used when you come across each enemy.
Levels come in sets of five, with the fifth stage of each being a special stage where all enemies in the stage actively pursue you and you must evade them for a set period of time. These bonus stages help mix things up and employ different tactics in a decidedly more fast paced scenario. Players are judged at the end of every stage based off of how long it took them to collect all the scrolls and how few times they were seen by enemies, which always encourages players to take risks in order to get just a little bit more on the time bonus. Levels are designed quite well, mostly constructed so that they can be approached in numerous different ways. In addition to this, later stages are notable for restricting or removing certain abilities of Kagemaru, simultaneously raising the difficulty and forcing players to change tactics.
Overall, G.G Series THE HIDDEN NINJA KAGEMARU manages to set itself apart as one of the most unique G.G games to date. A distinct art direction and interesting stealth platforming mesh together to create a fantastic arcade experience that should not be missed. We'd highly suggest you pick this one up, it sits right up there with the best of the DSiWare series.