Howdy, everyone! LionWing president Bradly Halestorm here, and today we bring to you a look at one of Sainome Colosseum R's ten playable characters, the Novice Ninja/Blue Werewolf. We'll be taking an in-depth look at the character's lore and gameplay while exploring both his Normal Form and Awakened Form. So without any further ado, let's get to it!
This first section will be an overview of the magus's backstory so that we can understand to the best of our ability his motivations for entering the fighting tournament that acts as the narrative backdrop to Sainome Colosseum R. To do that, though, we must first understand the game’s story premise. Below is a quick summary:
The kingdom's most celebrated warriors have come from far and wide to do combat in a grand tournament that will determine who is the fiercest of them all. Each has a personal reason for competing in the event, but there is a single thread that unites all of them: the desire to put their fighting skills on display in order to earn the right to be called champion.
As we can see here, fighters from all around the realm are gathering to compete in this gladiatorial contest. Each has been brought to the tournament for their own reasons but all have the goal of being the last warrior standing. There’s more to it than this story, however. The royals who have set up the tournament have promised its winner both riches and fame, which has undoubtedly played a significant factor in many of the contestant’s decisions to enter the event. Furthermore, there’s also a rumor circulating that the winner of the tournament may even be eligible to wed the kingdom’s princess, though no one can confirm the validity of such conjecture.
Now, let’s look at how today's character fits into all of this.
The following is taken directly from the localized text found in the character sheet included in the game box:
This young man left his small village many moons ago, but his training as a master ninja is still a work-in-progress. Too embarrassed to return home, he decides to enter the tournament as a way to command the respect he rightfully deserves. A victory here will mean that his training is finished; only then will he be able to finally call himself a true warrior of the shadows! ...Wait… What are those fluffy things on his head and backside?
Let's discuss the character's playstyle by starting with his Normal Form abilities first. The Novice Ninja has two abilities, the first being "Wooden Doll," which states that the player may reduce damage taken by 1 (damage taken cannot be reduced to 0). This is very obviously a great Normal Form ability to have and we'd dare say one of, if not the single strongest Normal abilities in the game. Damage denial is great in Sainome as it allows players the time to draw the necessary cards for their intended strategy. If nothing else, Wooden Doll is a great postponement skill, giving you the time to evaluate your opponent's strategy and plan an effective counter to it.
The Novice Ninja's second skill is his awakening trigger ability, "Secret Art - Transform." This is a great trigger ability in that, much like the Broke Magus's Summoning Hex, it's completely up to the player as to when they will awaken. Unlike other fighters that require players to be a certain HP threshold, Secret Art - Transform allows players to choose when they transform into their Awakened Form. This complements Wooden Doll well in that both abilities are based around taking control of your strategy by deciding the timeline of the match rather than have that timeline dictated for you by either the luck of the draw or your opponent's abilities and attacks.
The character's Awakened Form, the Blue Werewolf, brings to the table two abilities of its own, and get this: one isn't a de-awakening ability. Say what?! More on that in a moment. Now, the kicker here is, the Blue Werewolf's two abilities are super, super strong. The first one, "Wind Shuriken", states that players may perform the same action twice on the same turn. This is a powerful ability as it allows players to repeated actions, effectively granting them the chance to attack twice should they wish to do so. There are only a few other characters that have similar abilities to this, making the Novice Ninja/Blue Werewolf a sought-after character.
The Blue Werewolf's second ability is "Secret Art - Shadow Clone", which states players may use this once at any time after awakening. After their Discard Phase ends, they immediately take a second turn. This ability is not only incredible game-changing but is one-of-a-kind. That's right, there's no other character in the game that grants players the chance to take consecutive turns. This, coupled with Wind Shuriken, can be a friendship-ending combination, because when played together, the Blue Werewolf becomes one of the most brutal Awakened Forms in the entire game.
"What about the de-awakening ability that every other character has?" That's what you're asking right, especially if you've read all the Character Spotlights thus far. Well, here's the answer: there isn't one! Yup, once you've awakened into the Blue Werewolf, there's no going back. No penalty that sends you back to Normal Form, no choosing to go back to Normal Form; for the rest of the game, you're in straight beast mode. Pun intended. Unprecedented, this character is.
The Novice Ninja/Blue Werewolf is a character of many firsts. To that end, the question becomes "Who is this character for?" The answer to that is easy: ANYONE. But especially newbies. This is without a doubt the easiest character to learn and play well. It will allow newcomers to hold their own while they learn the game, and can be a downright tyrant when played by someone who's intimately familiar with Sainome Colosseum. Normally I go over downsides of a character in these last paragraphs, but there really isn't one in this case. This guy is just an all-around great character; it's that simple.
And that'll wrap up this entry in our Character Spotlight series! Do be sure to check back in the coming weeks for the next mega-sized blog chronicling the lore and gameplay of our next character!
And as always, if you have any questions or comments for us about the characters as we go along, don't hesitate to hit us up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or in the comments section below.
Until the next one, Lions!