HOWEVER, there is an exception to this...
There are three buttons to use to control your attacks. Button 1 is your main weapon attack, button 2 is jump/flip and button 3 is your bomb/grenade/spcl attack. The ability to shoot other than straight ahead comes into play with the 2nd button when you are jumping around. You can jump any of the typical 8 directions that the joystick points - so. if you press the fire/attack button at the same time that you are jumping, you wind up shooting your weapon in whatever direction you are facing at the time (incl U,D,L,R and all diagonals). So you can play the game as a walking around vertical shooter, or spend your time jumping and firing in every direction and play it as a more typical Omni Shooter. Or, best of all, combine the two for maximum results.
You choose any of 3 characters to start (I always choose the chick in games with a choice - I wonder what that means...). Of course they all have different weapons and different bombs.
I haven't mentioned the one other really cool/unique feature of Ninja Commando - you are (in a way) awarded for button mashing. It is the only game I can think of right now in which the faster you push the fire button, the more your weapon becomes powered-up. In fact if you look at the bottom two pics in the block of four below, there is a series of letters in the first row at the bottom, just to the right of the character portrait. I think it is the character screaming...???!!! Anyhoo, the faster you push the fire button, the longer the string of letters (banshee scream) and the bigger and more powerful your shots become. Stop or slow down your shooting and the letters and your power decrease. Very cool.
|If you look at the upper left pic above, it looks like the evil Pharaoh is giving the finger - turns out it's just an attached cobra.|
The graphics are good, not great. But they are big and cheerful and fun. And the levels have lots of variety.