Easy learning curve
"Gone are the days of classic platforming!" cry the fans that remember the original Mario, Bionic Commando, MegaMan, Donkey Kong, and scores of other platformers that included the Nintendo-proven platform formula. If you are one of these fans, then look no further than Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns; you won't find a better throwback to the days of retro platforming.
The story, although relatively shallow, deals with a mad scientist that has a rather strange fascination for robots and soldiers with smiles and plans for taking over the world with said minions. The plot does not really progress much between the initial introduction to the world's current state and the last level. You fight your way past hordes of grinning darns to get to the end of the level and fight a boss that is a greater minion of the mad scientist, until the very last level, where you get to trade blows with him yourself. A twist is thrown in where you have the ability to transform yourself into different creatures (a monkey, a super smart person with a big brain, and a bird) to get past certain obstacles. Although it was a great idea, I wished I had seen more used with it; there was great potential for some creature specialty combos, and it wasn't utilized until the last boss fight.
Unfortunately, the game probably would have been longer if more creativity had been put into the plot, but as it is, it is comprised of 6 levels that took me about two hours to beat on normal mode. Granted, I only have 24% of the game complete, but even if you play it on other difficulties to unlock more extras (of which there are hardly any), you'll still be playing the same levels with harder enemies. As it is, replayability is limited.
Although sometimes this same-old formula is bad (like in terms of the plot), the platforming action shines with old-school goodness as you run (and jump) circles around your enemies, all the while dodging bombs and bullets (or whatever other harmful projectiles that might come your way) and smashing your foes into the ground. The greatest part about all this fast-paced gameplay is the fact that it comes with an easy learning curve; you'll be beating up enemies like a kung-fu master in no time, thanks to Noitu Love's simplistic (and classic) controls.
Rounding out the game, and at the same time being the biggest reversion to classic platforming is definitely the graphics. They grab you, suck you in and do not let go, much like my mom's mashed potatoes. That's a good thing.
All in all, Noitu Love, being a classic platformer with extra cool graphics and great gameplay falls short of being great because of its weak replayability and lack of innovation. Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns gets a 3.7 for trying harder than the average platformer.
Review by: greywolf
Safe for ages: 13+