Review: Niki- Rock ‘n’ Ball
Today’s review will feature a game from Austria, Niki- Rock ‘n’ Ball for 500 Wii Points. It’s a very simplistic game with a few options, but provides hours of gameplay. When you first start up the game, it’ll go into a series of pictures describing the story of Niki- Rock ‘n’ Ball left off from PLÄTTCHEN- Twist ‘n’ Paint, but that’s another game for a different time. After describing the story, you’re thrown into the main menu. All it offers is for your character, Niki, to go left or right, you’ll go to the same place regardless at the beginning of the game.
The gameplay is quite simple since it was based off a few retro games with Bplus’ own unique twist. Before I go into the main objective, I must clarify one thing right now. You do NOT control Niki, you control the stage AROUND him, please keep that in mind. So that means if you were to just jump in the air you wouldn’t be able to control Niki since you can’t actually move the stage to make him go anywhere. The game offers two ways to control the stage; the Wii Style control has you move left and right while shaking or using A to jump. There is also Retro Style where you hold the Wii Remote horizontally and use the buttons to move the stage. Both are interchangeable in the menu or using the ‘-‘ button in game. But back to the point, the objective is simple, you must collect all of the ZeLeLi Pearls in order and defeat all of the enemies to proceed to the next level. You must be timely though, because after 3 minutes, the stage begins to fill with water, making it difficult to traverse the stage, and if the water reaches the top, Niki will reach a watery grave. The game offers you five lives, but you can gain one back by obtaining all of the ZeLeLi pearls. There is also a fireball power up that makes you invincible, increases your speed and jumping height for a short time.
The game is 40 levels long, broken into four 10 level worlds. The game also has a steep learning curve getting incredibly hard around world 3. To complete the game 100% after beating the levels is to get medals, which are earned by finishing a level within a short time, if you cannot beat it alone, you may also call upon a friend and use Co-op, co-op isn’t much different, the game plays the same, although you both share lives, and are allowed to bounce off each other for strategy.
Niki- Rock ‘n’ Ball is a developer’s attempt at using their modern art styles with a retro application. It worked out quite well, except for the occasional minor gripes of the enemy AI and SMALL glitches, it’s a great package for the price point.
Value: 500/500 Wii Points
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
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