Platforms: Nintendo Wii and DS. Wii version reviewed
Forget Brain Training, Maths Training, Sight Training and Life Coaching - we want ninja Training, and we want it now. EA's latest Wii game promises exactly that; a training regime that will strengthen mind, body and soul until the way of the ninja is yours. Just think, within a few hours the dark arts of Ninjitsu will be a mystery no more. Your mind will be as sharp as a razor-edged Katana, your reflexes as tight as the budget of Nine Deaths of the Ninja. You'll be harder than Chuck Norris, Sho Kosugi and Steven Seagal combined.
Well, maybe not. You might instead be highly skilled in a series of Wii mini-games, organised into six basic types. You'll lob shuriken at paper targets, fight off monstrous Oni with your katana, and dispatch, erm, fruit and wooden crates with your trusty nunchucks. You might then enjoy a spot of firefly spotting, catch flies with chopsticks or tickle Koi carp instead of boring English trout. Work your way through each of the unlocked sub-games in each type and you'll earn a jewel. Collect five of the six available jewels and you can undergo three more strenuous tests, winning a new belt if you succeed and opening up a new collection of sub-games.
The good news is that the sub-games are surprisingly well designed, and make good use of the Wii remote. To throw shuriken, for example, you use the remote to aim a pointer at the onscreen targets, then press B to lock on and flick your wrist to throw the deadly ninja star. With the Koi catching, meanwhile, simply follow the fish with your onscreen hand, then grab them as they surface with a simultaneous pinch of the A and B buttons. Packing nunchucks? Keep the UK film censor's least favourite weapon in motion by waving the remote in a nice figure of eight, then lash out to turn that hard-tossed crate into splintered chunks. Oni bearing down on you? Only your Katana to protect you? Just move it to the left and right to block lateral attacks, rotate it 90 degrees to stop that overhead chop, then slash out to send that oriental ogre back to hell where he belongs.