Dragon Ninja
By The Hit Squad
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #74

Dragon Ninja

Along with Double Dragon, this 1988 coin-op helped bring beat-'em-ups up to date with sneaker-clad heroes beating up the dastardly ninjas on the streets of America. The President's been kidnapped and it's up to you to rescue him.

As is typical of these games the action takes the form of horizontally scrolling levels with the aim being simply to fight through to the end of the level where a special villain provides a dramatic confrontation.

You don't have that many movies, basically a punch, elbow jab and a kick, but by holding down fire you get a super punch and you can also pick up a knife.

Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja

Dragon Ninja made quite a hit on its release, earning 87% and comments such as 'the graphics are very nice with crisp definition and animation' from Maff who also pointed out the second load's palette isn't quite so impressive.

Kati added: 'The basic action is much like many other martial arts games, but there are a few nice touches, such as the double walkways and the effective scrolling truck section'.

In retrospect, the mark seems generous; there's little to the game other than taking out a rather dull bunch of ninjas. It's simply a question of timing your blows as you walk forward, occasionally leaping between the upper and lower walkways.

Graphics are nice and end-level confrontations are varied, if unspectacular, but it's all a bit samey. A tough challenge for ninja fanatics only.