Ninja Kids


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5


You could almost expect a Saturday morning cartoon attached to The Ninja Kids. There are four characters, each donning their own color, and each with a separate weapon. That's how you make characters easy to distinguish on TV and toy shelves. At least in the US, there was nothing to celebrate their arrival except this standard yet enjoyable little co-op beat-em-up romp.

ninjakidsarc.png (13451 bytes)It's an obvious derivative rip-off of course, copying the classic style of the genre. There are no combos and hit detection is iffy, but it's still worth a few dollars to plow through it. Enemies fall apart when hit (just without any graphic detail) and the hardware manages to hold it all on screen without any problems.

Boss fights are somewhat under whelming, especially considering how you're mobbed through the stages. The final battle against Satan himself (resurrected by a clan of KKK rejects) is truly a disappointment. You would be unlucky if you died even once here.

Destructible objects are everywhere, providing ninja magic to the tiny crew for added firepower. These characters all offer up some different strategy, though Akane seems to be rather useless. His lackluster speed and power make him the one character to avoid.

Animation is stiff, but if it allows for the rapid pace the game features, it's a fair trade-off. Backgrounds are occasionally bland and there's no parallax to speak of. You'll walk through stages that differentiate themselves just enough to keep things fresh. Always look for the numerous typos strewn about. You'll probably find a new one each play through.

The audio is where the game truly shines, at least in the music department. You almost expect a well known credit to pass when the game is over, but there's nothing worth mentioning. This is classic video game music that does become a little repetitive (especially in stage two), but keeps up with the hectic on screen action while giving you something to hum to on your way home. It's powerful stuff, and enough to cover up the generic and cheesy sound effects.

This game has been forgotten over the years. It was passed aside by the flood of beat-em-ups in the years to follow. From a gameplay standpoint, it deserved it. The characters deserve another shot however as they're unique enough for a kid to enjoy and the music is enough to haul in an adult or two. Play through it at least once; just don't expect it to stick with you.


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Last updated: Monday, September 12, 2005 06:04 PM