Never have I played a game since Deadly Towers in the late 1980's that I could describe as 'the antithesis of fun'. Where do I even begin with this title?
Old school or not, CPHD plays like garbage. You attack color coded enemies with color coded shuriken. Failing to do so launches your weapons right back at you. Okay, not the biggest problem except the enemies bunch up so red and blue enemies stand in the same spot. Now which do you throw at them? Add to this with purple enemies who MUST be dealt with using weak melee attacks (don't count on stun animations, they keep hitting you), numerous enemies who basically fire bullet hell style at you (your character is a large, clumsy, and slow target despite being a ninja), and a lack of strafing... you have a recipe for disasterously bad controls.
Did I mention the enemies automatically move up a plane slightly to avoid your shots while they charge, but can still hit you from angles you can't attack them? Because they all do this. It gets better. Enemies don't die in 1-3 hits. Even when you fully power up using the pointless damage power ups in the shop, they still take about 7-9 hits. You're forced to keep back tracking and quickly turning to get any shots off on the enemy and they chase you at near equal speed the entire time. Oh, and moving back from where you came can spawn more enemies. Except sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't make a lot of sense. Further, if you get caught in a screen by about 7+ enemies, 'arena mode' is declared, which leaves you unable to leave the immediate screen you're on while even a single one of them is alive. It doesn't help how utterly small playing field is (you can easily get attacked by enemies of unknown color from off screen) or that the arena mode borders make it even tighter.
If there's a story, I barely understand it. Something about retrieving a chest because some old guy dressed as Batman in his BVDs demands it. You play as one of the two gimp ninjas (Literally. The game has a constant sexual innuendo theme.) which consists of a guy in a vinyl horse outfit named Pony who says nothing but 'oompf!' during the cut scenes or the resident eye candy, Biki, who is a hood wearing thong bikini clad bimbo. The animations for these two are nice and the old school pixelation is kind of enjoyable, but neither them nor their world is really that interesting. Scenery is filled with the aforementioned sexual innuendo in everything, from carpets to blow up dolls to ♥♥♥♥♥♥ inspired dungeons. There's innuendo and then there's just bashing someone in the head with it. I get the impression these are supposed to be funny, but it just falls flat usually. Still, it was a little amusing as an easter egg to find the original character from Metal Slug as an orgy statue.
Gameplay is not even remotely fun or all that skillful. Enemy appearances are frequent and random in allocation. Power ups last mere seconds. There is a complete lack of any way to navigate the twisty dungeons- you get an arrow pointing to the goal, but no explanation how to get there... meanwhile, you're on a timelimit and constantly being assaulted by obnoxiously hard to fight enemies. Bosses... are reasonably designed. They're mostly bullet hell encounters, but you typically fight them without the enemy adds, at least.
This game feels hastily put together. Horrid controls, miserable gameplay, and a great sense of 'stuff is happening just because'. If they bothered revamping this a bit and putting actual work into it, such as strafing or achievements, it might be a little better. But I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. I only have it thanks to a Humble Bundle. In no way, shape, or form should you pick this title up. It's not so bad it's good, it's just awful. Avoid it no matter what.