If The Karate Kid taught us anything it's that the worst bit about learning to be a master fighter is the training. In the 1984 film, Mr Miyagi taught Daniel (san) how to be a karate expert by getting him to clean cars and paint fences. Daniel got frustrated until he realised that he could use the techniques he had learned in a fight. Great!
Ninja Reflex is just like that except after you've caught fish, grabbed flies and chucked throwing stars at dummies you don't get to have a scrap at the end. Not that you'll have the patience to get to the end.
Six Of The Worst
The fact that there's no fighting isn't the issue. It is essentially a Training game for Wii but instead of giving your eyes or mind a work-out, this focuses on making your reflexes better in six mini-games. Yes, just the six and only half of them are, at best, average.
Of the six, the Firefly game is the most ridiculous as, in what is probably the worst videogaming moment of the year, you press A when a firefly appears. Then there's the clunky Shuriken game which has you aiming at a moving Ninja dummy, locking on by pressing B and then making an exaggerated swing with the Remote to chuck a throwing star. The katana game is the only one with any fighting as you block demons and slay them with your sword but again, your character is a bit slow to react to your movements.
Onto the half-decent ones, the fly catcher game gives you the sort of arm-aching enjoyment that we've become accustomed to as you frantically move the Remote around the screen to catch darting flies with a pair of chopsticks and drop them into a pot. Deflecting flying watermelons with your Remote is fine and catching Koi, while ridiculous, is mildly entertaining thanks to the scoring system which gives you more points for catching grabbing smaller fish out of the water.
Once you've completed them all you'll be tested on three of them and, if successful, you'll be awarded a yellow belt. Then you have to play the whole lot again to get the next belt, only it'll be more difficult. We felt a strange compulsion to carry on playing and collected two more belts before getting very bored of playing the same six mini-games over again. And to think that you have to complete the same six mini-games eleven times to get the 3rd degree black belt. Dear lord...