The Ninja Warriors

by Nigel Brown, Robert Whitaker, Tiny Williams
Virgin Games Ltd
Crash Issue 72, Jan 1990   page(s) 52

Virgin Games
£9.99 cass, £14.99 disk

It's 1993 and sinister dictator Bangler is in control of the city with even the armed forces and the criminal underworld in his power. The citizenry, lead by a guy called Marc (my sort of chap), build two bionic Ninjas to dispose of Bangler once and for all. Dubbed The Ninja Warriors the robotic pals are sent to dish out some rip, mangle and maim fun.

Alone, or with a buddy, you control one of the immortal murder machines on their six level horizontally scrolling romp through the devastated remains of a once proud city. Armed with a pair of knives and a limited supply of throwing stars you must Meat soldiers armed with knives, guns and grenade launchers, hunchbacked ground spacers, huge tanks and Ninja swordladies, to name but s few. Not being human you metal hide can take a lot more punishment than mere flesh and bone would, but heave poundings will get you in the end.

Levels conclude with a big fatty, and a handy tip is to save your shuriken for these guys, because they are tough. Finally Bangler will be faced, and despite pleading for his miserable life cut down.

The game gets off to a good start with a creditable rendition of the arcade title tune. The sprites in The Ninja Warriors are all very nicely detailed, but the game is incredibly tough. Soldiers swarm around the immortal murder machines and end the first few games very quickly. Many fans of the arcade machine will no doubt be put off by the high difficulty level: definitely one for VERY tough joystick bashers only.

MARK [71%]

Ninja Warriors is a brand new concept in computer gaming, an idea that has never been used before in the history of computers. Well, that was a lie, it is (as you might have guessed) a ninja beat 'em up game. I played the arcade original at the PC Show and, as beat 'em ups go, it was quite good. The Spectrum version is not a bad conversion but is a little on the slow side. The graphics keep up the quality of the coin-op, but the colour has been washed out of them to produce a nice shade of black on white!. Animation is good though, and smooth. For all you sound freaks there are a few digitised words at the beginning, a tune which I find very annoying and the odd effect while playing. Ninja Warriors is a good arcade conversion, but then the original did not really have anything new to offer the punters.
NICK [68%]

Presentation: 74%
Graphics: 73%
Sound: 72%
Playability: 65%
Addictivity: 62%
Overall: 69%

Summary: A good but tough conversion of a none too original coin-op.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 49, Jan 1990   page(s) 91

£9.99 cass/£14.99 disk
Reviewer: David Wilson

Here comes Ninja Warriors, the great new flight sim from (No, it's not! Ed), er... the rather exciting football management game (Tell the truth, or you'll have to type in Input Output! Ed) (Oh no, anything but that!!) Okay, just when you thought you'd seen more ninja games than you could shake a shuriken at, here comes another!

Ninja Warriors is a horizontally scrolling chop-'em-up. The scenario isn't very original either, the usual stuff about evil dictatorships and two super-warriors, (robot ninjas in this case), pitched against all the tyrant's forces. Still, this one does come from The Sales Curve, the people who brought us the Megagame Silkworm. In it, your task is to hack through six levels of soldiers, big nasty robots, tanks, even fire-breathing punk types, to sort out the dictator himself. You're 'packing' two swords and a limited amount of shurikens. This stock is replenished by killing rifle grenade soldiers and certain other baddies so you'd be advised to use them sparingly. The problem is that you can't help involuntarily flinging them all over the shop as you somersault about! It's very tricky!

What made the Taito arcade game special was the fact that two players could simultaneously ninja their way over three monitors for ultra-wide-screen action. On the humble Speccy this effect has been 'reproduced' by reducing the screen area to a horizontal strip. It's a bit like watching a movie on TV that's been filmed in Cinemascope - you know, when the picture ends up with a black band at the top and bottom so it can all fit in. Still, I've seen worse! Also, in the arcades there are nice graphical touches when you get hit and start to look more and more robot-like with bits of metal exposed. Slashing baddies with your two short swords produces a bit of gore (not for those of a nervous disposition) and a body on the floor. Though these touches are retained in the 16-bit versions, they ain't in the 8-bit job. When a baddie is despatched, it initiates a routine more akin to someone being beamed up to the Starship Enterprise than 'popping his clogs'. Furthermore, I was only reminded that I was a robot by the nice 128K metallic sound when I took a hit.

The main part of the arcade that remains is the two player element, and this it reproduces admirably. The nicely animated huge tank sprites, interspersed on higher levels, are a disappointment though. "Three times hurray!" I cried when I saw them. "Now for some big explosions!" in fact, all that happens is that you chop the man in the turret a few times and then the tank trundles off! Overall then, not really a bad game, but just more samey stuff which doesn't make the most of its arcade original.

Life Expectancy: 60%
Instant Appeal: 75%
Graphics: 80%
Addictiveness: 70%
Overall: 70%

Summary: Maybe I couldn't expect more from the Speccy conversion of such a big arcade game, but for me it's a disappointing hack-'em-up scroller.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 70, Oct 1991   page(s) 60


Most of JON PILLAR's friends are old speccy games. No one else really understands him...

Reviewer: Jon Pillar

A horizontally-scrolling two-player multiload beat-'em-up which isquite a respectable hackie-baddie and well worth an look. Smart shading spruces up the graphics, gameplay is the same as usual, but the difficulty is pitched about right. An easy game to get into and fun to plod away at. (It was in the Fists Of Fury compilation.)

Overall: 65%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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