Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
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Well, I guess everybody’s kung fu fighting now! Confusious reigned when Big Ed knocked me to the floor with a flying kick and asked what colour belt I had!
Before you can say ‘Toyota’, I found myself tossed into a dojo facing some of the toughest beggars this side of Bruce Lee! Come with me, young apprentice, as we face the horrors of Ninja Gaiden!
The formula’s fairly bog-standard. You take on the role of Ryu Hayabusa (sounds like a stir-fry meal!), latest in a long line of Dragon Ninjas. Your village has been attacked by a band of vicious thugs (ie, lager louts) and your people slaughtered. Finding a lone survivor, Ryu’s told the villains have stolen the town’s Bushido.
The Bushido’s an ancient scroll that, apparently, can give it’s user enough power to control the world (or some such old guff!). Ryu swears (naughty boy!) to find the scroll and bring the bad guys to justice.
Okay folks, what we have here is a pretty nifty platform game with a few twists. The Master System sure is a lucky little chap to be blessed with a game like this! I played it for ages (instead of wording!) and couldn’t put it down.
Ryu’s quite a clever fella. He can jump, fire, use extra weapons and perform a handy trick to reach high ledges. Stand under the ledge, press jump and up to flip Ryu onto it. This is a technique you’ll have to master for later levels.
The first level has Ryu racing through a forest kicking ninja ass. Jump across spiked pits, dodge throwing stars and climb those trees faster than a very fast thing on a fast day!
At the end of the level you face a whopping great sumo wrestler. He’s not too tough but keep an eye on your energy.
Pursuit On Tokyo’s the next section. Use your ninja skills to battle across the Japanese skyline. Fling yourself over girders and avoid those workmen flashing their hairy bum cleavage! If you can get to the end, you have to take on your old mate, Tsutenkaku the Samurai.
Later levels take you to dark, clammy caverns, frozen wastelands and ancient temples.
Dotted around each level are scrolls. These contain extra energy and weapons, such as throwing stars and force fields. Some of the scrolls are hidden so check all those nooks and crannies!
Ninja Gaiden’s a t’rriffic challenge. The levels get tougher and so do your opponents!
Mastering your moves is the real key to this game. Some obstacles might look impossible at first but use the right combination of jumps and flips and you’ll get past them.
Ninja Gaiden looks great. The characters are small but well defined, there’s very little sprite flickering and Ryu moves like a well-oiled machine. A bleepy oriental tune accompanies the game and effects add another touch of realism, explosions and death sounds suitably startling!
I’m well impressed with this game. I loved Ninja Gaiden on the Game Gear and this is a thousand times better! With loads of levels, tough villains and a challenging mission to complete, it should satisfy even those who’re sick to death of platform games. It’s not original but bloody good fun!
Wade through the multitude of opening screens on this one and you find a real belter of a platform romp! The scenario’s uninspiring but that doesn’t matter when the gameplay’s so smooth. Who cares about sacred scrolls? Just get out there and start dishing out death! Ninja Gaiden’s great to look at, the music and in-game effects are nicely atmospheric, and above all, the controls work a treat. Jump up to a branch or across the ravines and Ryu holds on and sticks where you want him to without any fuss! If you’re a ninja freak you’ve gotta get hold of this one quick; even if you’re not, Ninja Gaiden’s got a whole lot to offer. Grab it now!
A simply superb MS platform hack-‘em-up.