I consider myself a huge fan of classic monster movies. It just so happens that I am also a fan of visual novels with a cute cast of characters. Luckily for me developer code:jp released their newest title Ninja Girl and the Mysterious Army of Urban Legend Monsters! ~Hunt of the Headless Horseman~ which blends the genre and throws in some cute ninja girls for flavor. The result is an entertaining presentation full of dark humor, but players might feel lost in the lengthy history lessons.
Ninja Girl and the Mysterious Army of Urban Legend Monsters! ~Hunt of the Headless Horseman~ (which will be considered as Hunt of the Headless Horseman from now on) begins on a dark and rainy day. A ninja named Kiri Hattori wakes up after sensing nearby danger. She turns to a mirror in the room and summons her ghostly friend Mary who was executed for being a witch and now can use powerful fire magic.
After heading outside to investigate, they see a strang girl passed out on the ground named Lily, but nearby danger appears as the notorious Headless Horseman appears for a fight. These encounters aren’t by coincidence either and after a battle, the two girls are left with Lily to figure out the role that she plays in all of these events.
Hunt of the Headless Horseman can seem pretty text heavy as the characters take their time explaining things. What could become tedious to readers is that the characters often get into deep conversations about lore and history. However, to make these moments easier to digest, the writers decided to loop in some comedic yuri dialog that usually stopped me from fact-checking the girl’s history and just took their word for it.
One of the best moments of the game revolves around the action scenes which are well written and animated as the characters jump around throwing ninja stars and launching special attacks. Where it can get a little messy is how the game switches narration from the third person to Kiri’s inner thoughts, which takes a little getting used to. However, the lack of a male protagonist does not hold the game back in terms of the story quality as the girls proved they were more than capable and keeping the game feeling immersive and entertaining.
While the game is entertaining overall, there are some twists that seem to just come out of nowhere. Somehow everything is connected and Kiri always seems to be miles ahead of everyone else’s plans. Such as an unexpected trap that Kiri knew was coming or how she is connected to the Headless Horseman. I just felt that the extent of Kiri’s abilities of intuition and skills aren’t ever truly explained and as the reader, we are just supposed to be along for the ride. It’s different than what I’m typically used to in a visual novel so the story comes off as unique, but it does come with an occasional eye roll.
The entire story is ultimately a build up to the final encounter and it’s a good one. The final act of the game is filled with emotion and action as the knowledge gained throughout the story comes to light and the girls must do everything they can to survive. Interestingly, there are multiple endings to this battle which can be either good or bad. The true ending of the game offers a nice conclusion to the Headless Horseman and leaves the door open for future adventures.
Graphically, Hunt of the Headless Horseman has some really cute illustrations of the girls in different outfits. The CGs are adorable and some of the chibi CGs offer a nice break to the serious weight of the story. Sure, the humor can get pretty dark, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of overly cute moments sprinkled throughout the story.
With that said, the game does lack memorable environments save for the outside scene animated by rain. Every environment in the game is pretty forgettable. However, the music is decent and adds to the intensity of the action scenes. I also loved the voice over and thought the voice actors did a great job of bringing these characters to life.
Ninja Girl and the Mysterious Army of Urban Legend Monsters! ~Hunt of the Headless Horseman~ is a short visual novel that features some interesting moments of storytelling that will be well received by fans of monster movies and fantasy lore. The game’s dark humor and yuri themes make the historical moments easier to swallow as the game does spend a lot of time on character backstory and their history.
Ninja Girl and the Mysterious Army of Urban Legend Monsters! ~Hunt of the Headless Horseman~ is a visual novel that pays off the most in the end. The game’s final act is intense and wraps up all the backstory ingested throughout the entire visual novel up to that point and makes it all worth it. In the end, it’s a no brainer, only good things can come from yuri ninja girls fighting monsters and Hunt of the Headless Horseman is no exception.
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