Amstrad Computer User

Ninja Warriors
By Virgin Games
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #65

Ninja Warriors

Another Ninja slaying session which has you lobbing shurikens at American GI lookalikes. Sounds familiar? It is.

"In 1993 to be an individual is to be, er... dead! The totally evil masterigeek (sorry . . . politician) Bangler has serious power going down in town. All the Fuzz and Squaddies are his but so is the Underworld, You are MULK, pal... and as THE totally wicked revolutionary (for 'THE' read 'ONLY') you are gonna build two assassination machines - the Ninja Warriors - and attempt to chill out this Bangler guy with knives, shurikens and some bad posse hip movement!" So run the sleeve notes to Ninja Warriors. Who writes this tosh? What it boils down to is that the script writers at Virgin have run out of ideas for plots for what is yet another Ninja fight game.

By now there must be almost as many, if not more of these stab-cm-in-the goolies games as there are race games, and to be honest, they're not getting any better. Ninja Warriors is a classic example of how games companies are exploiting what is claimed to be 'harmless' violence. It# happens all the time in the arcades, but the coin-op games are generally full of action and intense fun. Ninja Warriors is packed with neither.

The Ninja Warriors

With the aid of a joystick or keyboard, you control your ninja and make him walk left to right across a scrolling corridor massacring everything that moves.

The assailants look like American GIs, clad in green uniforms and armed with sharp blades. As they plod towards you some throw grenades, others fire rifles, or wait to get close enough and then stick the knife in.

It mentions nothing in the plot about your ninja's arthritis, yet he still seems to suffer severely and every movement is so slow and lethargic that he couldn't even run for a bus, let alone flee from the GIs that move at twice his speed. But, still if they get close enough you can prod them with your shiny dagger, or better still lob a throwing star at them from a distance.

The Ninja Warriors

Larger, more dangerous enemies pop up from time to time, including a hunchback and a sword lady and on the second level cardboard cutouts of quadrapeds lunge towards your crippled ninja, causing him to lose more energy.

Five levels of dull scenery scroll past until you eventually reach the notorious hideout that is so often found in this type of game. Actually, the graphics are quite good but are so incredibly slow. As far as sound goes, don't count on it to liven up the action, 'cos it won't.

So what has Ninja Warriors got that the others ain't? Two player mode, that's what. Yes, you and a friend can endure the penalty for spending your money together. Two ninja fighters, one red (perhaps blood stained), one blue. Both begin as invincible flashing blobs that could be mistaken for disco lights. This flashing soon wears off and the action begins. Ninja Warriors is uninspired, uninteresting, dull and boring.

Andrew Banner

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