The Ninja

Master System

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 1

Overall: 2

Everyone always claims that they want to be a ninja. Ninjas are cool. What they don't realize is that they don't want to be THE Ninja. A ninja is fine, but not THE Ninja. This guy doesn't stand a chance.

Armed with an unlimited amount of shurikens (you don't want to know where he keeps them all), our perky buddy sets out to slaughter a bunch of people, much like they're trying to do to him. This isn't Scrabble. It's a life or death struggle between some people who have anger management issues.

No pent up anger in the world is going to save the player as he is relentlessly torn down during the first batch of foes. You restart, and then the process repeats itself. Even if you can figure out a way to get around them, you'll be stuck trying to dodge another one.

Since THE Ninja can't strafe, or maybe he just didn't think about honing his skills before setting off into medieval warfare, he's dead on arrival. When you need to walk towards an enemy to fire a projectile in the proper direction, you don't stand much a chance. The developers, in their wise old ways, allowed the second button to shoot forward... and only forward. Programming their woefully designed hero to strafe was obviously too much to ask.

It's hard to even like what you're looking at. The opening stage takes place on a grassy plain, and taller blades look like graphical garbage. Later stages, though they change the sprites around and offer some cheap background objects, don't fare any better. It's an obviously inept and outdated title.

The music's only suitable to the period in which the game was set. That doesn't mean it sounds good. It fits in as far as the game concerned, but it doesn't offer any incentive to keep playing.

The Master System has Kung Fu Kids, Black Belts, and one of them fancy Shinobi guys. None of them was a more inept hero than THE Ninja. It's a very appropriate title, as it lets the player know just how screwed they are going into this fight. You think being the sole ninja available for this task, he'd come armed with more than just shurikens.


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Last updated: Saturday, July 30, 2005 09:26 AM