Developer Klei Entertainment is best known for their work on the Shank series, a pair of bloody beat-em-ups that are best described as Tarantino’s take on Double Dragon. The hero, aptly named Shank, flies through the air, brutally gutting an enemy with a chainsaw while emptying a few shotgun rounds into another.
On the other hand, Mark of the Ninja has the makings of a stealth game through and through. It’s a ninja game that never forgets that ninjas are the masters of shadows and silence, and it never eschews stealth-based mechanics for over-the-top action sequences. Though it might sound like the “anti-Shank” on paper, Mark of the Ninja is more of a spiritual successor. It expertly blends the silky-smooth (and not to mention gory) 2D animation that Klei is known for with some of the best stealth gameplay, making it a strong contender for best Xbox Live Arcade Game of the Year.