Shall we date Ninja Love: Find Your Soul Mate
Featuring an array of gorgeous bachelors and their compelling stories, NTT Solmare’s Shall we date?: Ninja Love will surely fulfill your ninja dating fantasies. In this Japanese otome game full of romantic twists, you play the role of a ninja princess. You influence the outcome of your mission through important dialogue choices. As you progress in the game, you unlock beautiful CG art and may even receive mail from the game’s interesting cast of characters.
With bitter rivals and other women vying for the affections of your ninja, anything is possible. Will love blossom during your dangerous journey or will this mission cost you your life?
Set in Japan during an era of turmoil, the main story is as intriguing as the actual dating sim segments. You begin the game unaware of your bloodline as your parents are dead. Raised by your grandfather, the Chief Priest of a village, you live your life caring for and being cared for by the monks around you. Your peaceful world is turned upside down when a mysterious guest arrives and informs your grandfather of Oda Nobunaga’s plan to eliminate the ninja clans. It is revealed that you are the Kusonoki Princess — daughter of Masahige Kusonoki, the creator of Ninjutsu.
As such, your role is to unite the clans so that they may defeat Oda Nobunaga, a tyrant who is determined to wipe out the Iga, Koga and Fuma ninjas. To avoid drawing attention, you can only travel with a single bodyguard. You are to choose from the best warriors of each clan and they all just happen to be eligible bachelors.
The love interests have different personality types, complete with a dark and/or traumatic past to explain their current motivations. Depending on which guy you choose, your character’s story can even change. You can play the role as a helpless damsel in distress in one route and then be a capable ninja warrior trainee in another.
There are intriguing secrets for you to unravel in various routes and events that are unique to each character. There are 14 episodes in all which takes roughly 5 hours to complete at a relaxed pace. The dialogue is well-written as it gives insight into each ninja’s perspective on the war. The romance scenes are, of course, gripping in general. Some can be downright spicy and may not be suitable for younger audiences. The guys are also pretty unique in this regard. For instance, Kotaro may be a tease but that doesn’t mean Saizo is going to hold anything back when conveying his feelings. If your heart isn’t set on just one bachelor, the stark contrast between potential love interests makes the game worth playing multiple times.
If you’re a fan of any of NTT Solmare’s work then you won’t be disappointed with the graphics for this title. The art is stellar for the most part, with the ninja designs properly reflecting each personality archetype. For example, Rennoshin’s kind face and soft wavy hair suits his profession as a doctor. Yagyu clan leader Munenori on the other hand, looks regal with his long, straight hair and cascading kimono. The CG scenes themselves are drawn quite well, with dynamic artwork and wonderful, vivid colors. Being a dating sim, the graphics play a huge part in motivating players to explore different routes and Ninja Love certainly doesn’t disappoint.
We found the UI layout to be intuitive and easy to use. The dialogue boxes are pretty big so controls aren’t an issue even if you play on an iPhone. On the other hand, the game’s translation can use some work. From poor sentence construction to missing letters, there are times when it’s hard to take a romantic scene seriously due to the grammatical errors. It’s a shame since the plot and dialogue scripts are well-written otherwise.
Shall we date?: Ninja Love is a sure buy if you’re at least 13 years of age and are into spicy otome game stories. The characters are well fleshed out and the graphics are stellar. The stark differences in story events make it worth replaying the game a few times just to explore each route. With such a nicely made game, there’s really very little to complain about other than the occasional translation mishap.
Purchasing the basic pack gives you access to three characters (Saizo, Sasuke and Kotaro). If you enjoy the various story routes, you can opt to make in-app purchases for additional character packs and side stories. Each side story only takes about 20 minutes to finish so you may want to hold off on purchasing any until you’re certain which one to go for.
To sum it up, we highly recommend Shall we date?: Ninja Love for anyone who is into otome games. Just bring a tissue if you’re prone to nose bleeds.
Shall we date Ninja Love 2: Encounter Romantic Dilemmas
As a Kusonoki Princess in Shall we date?: Ninja Love, players were on a mission to unite the ninja clans in order to ensure their survival against the tyrant, Oda Nobunaga. The storyline opened romantic possibilities that involved the game’s formidable ninja bodyguards, a kind doctor and a ronin searching for his next challenge. With an array of gorgeous love interests and compelling stories to boot, it was certainly hard to put the game down until the final episode has been completed. That being said, how can Ninja Love 2 improve upon the original and capture the hearts of dating sim fans again?
The story, of course, plays a crucial part in dictating a visual novel’s success. We fell in love with the ninjas and their varied personalities. The routes were never the same, making each one worth playing through to the end. Even the main character’s motivation can be altered just by choosing a different bachelor to be with. For instance, Musashi Miyamoto can be convinced to train you in swordsmanship while Kotaro Fuma will always treat you like a delicate princess. In order for Ninja Love 2 to succeed, its storyline must be comparable to its predecessor, if not better. The protagonist could be a ninja in training instead of a princess. This way, she can join actual stealth missions and learn all about the art of espionage. She can have a romance with other ninjas in training as well as ninja masters.
On that note, Ninja Love had plenty of grammatical errors. We’re not talking about a couple of spelling mistakes for the whole game. Sometimes, the grammar was confusing enough to distract us during major romantic scenes. Having a large international market should serve as a motivation for the next game to be translated properly. We look forward to storylines with fewer issues in this department to ensure an immersive storyline for native English speakers.
Ninja Love fans using the iOS had two ways to play. One option was to purchase bundles which allowed users to see the story all the way through for a set of characters. If they want to play through the routes romance options included in other bundles, they will need to make an extra in-app purchase. Another option was to play for free initially and just pay or earn passes whenever you encounter a checkpoint. If you’re very patient, you may opt to wait for energy (points used to progress the story) to replenish but recovering one takes four hours and this only opens a few lines of dialogue. Having both options available is definitely a step up from Shall we date?: Destiny Ninja’s sole freemium model. Ninja Love 2 should definitely follow in its predecessor’s footsteps and feature the two types.
At the core of every successful dating sim lies exceptional graphics. Ninja Love did not disappoint in this department. We had no issues with the game’s graphics as it is consistently stellar all the way. The CG stills were vibrant and able to bring the handsome cast of characters to life. The layout is simple but it effectively highlights the beautiful artwork. Ninja Love 2 only has to follow suit in order to please its fans.
The game play is standard for an otome game, which makes it intuitive for players of all skill levels. However, it lacks unique features that give the player a means to interact with the bachelors. It would be wonderful to be able to participate in mini games that take full advantage of the iOS. Touch screen segments that require you to respond to prompts will give a much needed break from standard dialogue-heavy game play. If the protagonist is a ninja trainee, she can have segments that require aiming a ninja star at opponents or swiping at the screen to use a sword. As Ninja Love 2 will still be a visual novel, these can be restricted to a single chapter per character. Or, better yet, they can be unlockable rewards for finishing a bachelor’s storyline.
Another interesting feature would be the ability to switch romance paths even after building a relationship with a character. Usually, rivalries are pre-programmed into the game. This makes it difficult to reconsider a relationship, especially when you know the only thing that can be affected in the end is your “Happy” or “Super Happy” ending. Perhaps Shall we date?: Ninja Love 2 can go the extra mile and actually allow players to build relationships with multiple guys (those they have purchased at least) and discover new routes and rivalries.
Though in the end, it will be NTT Solmare’s prerogative to decide which features to keep and boot out, they are known to listen to their fans. With consistently enjoyable otome games, it’s worth the extra effort to make your opinion known so that we can all look forward to another outstanding game.