Tuesday 29 July 2014

Ninja (C64 review)

Developer: Sculptured Software
Publisher: Mastertronic
Released: 1986

I've already covered the Atari 8-bit version of Ninja here, and in my opinion it's the superior version when pitted against the C64 game.

Your mission in Ninja is to work your way through the Palace of Death, collect the seven idols and return to the opening screen in one piece. A range of thugs and evil ninjas await you in every screen but luckily you have a large move-set available to you including punches, jump kicks, sword slashes and spinning death stars. The main problem with the C64 version is that it's far too easy! There are very few evil ninjas scattered across the rooms (they're the most powerful enemies in the game) so you'll only be facing weak thugs who can quickly be dispatched with a jump kick or by throwing three spinning death stars. As you advance nearer the top floor of the Atari version you'll normally be greeted by an increasing amount of evil ninjas (sometimes 2-3 at once) who can kill you with one hit. Rarely did I see any in the C64 game so there was very little challenge in getting all seven idols. The music in this version is slightly distorted and not as pleasant to listen to compared to the Atari 8-bit version. The loading times between each screen seem to be a little bit longer too, although I admit I haven't actually sat down and timed it.

Despite its flaws, Ninja is still a great game. It has beautiful graphics, controls well, and is perfect for a quick gaming session.

Random trivia: The C64 version of the game has a bug which means you can walk through walls by ducking next to them! Check out the full thread on the Lemon 64 forums here.

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