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Review: Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns
Sounding like the name of a Japanese Porn actress FAINDís great little click game Noitu Love will make you feel like playing on your Sega or Nintendo console when 8 and 16bit where a big thing.
The game features a creative range of enemies like zombies that love to dance in their spare time, nuns that are into suicide bombing or Pickelhaube wearing dogs which you will just love killing unless you are an angry Korean.
The evil professor Darnacus Damnation and his Darns are up to no good. You are playing Noitu Love who is working for an organization called "The Peacekeepers League".
Now you might be wondering: What the hell are Darns? They are robots that look like Radiohead's "Specimen Bear".
Besides proving that creator Joakim Sandberg knows about pixel art, programming and writing music it also showcases his knowledge of video games. The game borrows from other games and builds stuff that has worked before into itís own concept which works well and will make you feel at home if retro video gaming is your domicil.
You will find flying enemies and many other enemies that will make you say ďHEY MEGA MANĒ (or if you are Japanese something like ďOi RockmanĒ), a bomb throwing mini boss that might remind you of Kirby for Game Boy, some disco and dancing mini boss on a graveyard that might remind you of Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti for NES and a girl that tells you what to do like Nell from Advance Wars for GBA.
Started as project for Klik Meís Evolution/Mutation competition you can turn into other creatures like a monkey which can jump pretty high or a bird which can fly. You will need those abilities for solving little quests inside the game like switching buttons.
The game isnít your normal platform game where you just have to walk from the left to the right. Sometimes you will have to go back to if you want to go forward. Beating the bosses which are all lovely individual characters adding some heart and soul to the game requires some brains since you have to find out their weak point if you want to defeat them.
The music written by Joakim himself has the right retro feeling (just like everything else). I especially enjoyed the mix of techno music and Beethoven's Ode An die Freude ("Ode To Joy"), which is also the anthem of Europe, in 02Joyís (hence the name) den.
The sounds are ripped from Game Boy games and do their job.
The levels are pretty big in my opinion and feature some secrets which should be discovered. Level 4 is a top-down shooter level which ads some variation to the platformer. I guess 50 or 60 minutes is the amount of time an average video gamer will need for beating the game which means the game isnít very big but great for people like me who donít like long games anyways. There are 5 difficulty modes so once you have beaten the game in one difficulty mode you can try it in another. If you suck you will also get the bad ending so you have to play it again. There are also several unlockables which are too be found and make the game worth playing a second time after you have beaten it for the first time.
Overall I donít know why you are even clicking if you didnít try this game yet. 2006 seems to be a great year for great click games and Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns is defiantly one of those.
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