Mark of the Ninja sets a new golden standard for the stealth genre (Photo : Klei Entertainment)
Some believe that a flood of sequels and reboots has asphyxiated originality in the gaming industry, and that the future is a bleak vision of franchise fatigue. While it is true that the astronomical cost of game development slows risk-taking, gamers just need to know where to look to get their fix of fresh interactive experiences. Latinos Post has scoured the XBLA and Steam to bring readers a roundup of some of the more memorable niche games released in 2012.
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Mark of the Ninja is a stealth game that resuscitates what seems to be a waning genre. Players assume the role of an un-named tattooed Ninja on a mission to save his clan from deadly intruders, and are given tools that can distract, confuse, or maim guards. The real innovation here is the inclusion of clear audio-visual cues to signal each enemy's ability to both see and hear the player. Each level is open-ended and mimics the "Metroidvania" play style that rewards exploration with extra points for the game's upgrade system. Mark's level-up system gives the game a fluid sense of progression, as new special abilities and tools become unlocked, empowering the player just as the main character grows more formidable in the storyline. Mark of the Ninja is one of the best games of the year, regardless of the fact that it's an XBLA release. The game can currently be found on the Xbox Game Marketplace for 1200 MS Points, and will launch on Steam on October 16 for $14.99
Mark of the Ninja Trailer