Sunday, March 11, 2012

Game of the Day - Ninja Spirit

I wish I could tell you more about Ninja Spirit.  It's a good-looking platform-ninja game with good weaponage.  The reason I can't tell you more is that it is so damned hard.  In fact, if you are prone to rage and frustration, just quit reading now because you do not want to play this game.  Ninja Spirit is one of only a couple of GOTDs (out of around 170) that I had to adjust the dip switch settings to make the game easier in order to progress a little for this review.

Anywho, it's great looking late 80s platformer where you, the ninja, are attacked by foes from every angle.  It reminds me of some of the great Super Nintendo games of the 90s.  You start with 4 different weapons available (ninja stars, sword, etc), and one of your three buttons is used to select between them at any time.  All of the weapons can be powered-up and they change significantly when they are.  One of the fun aspects of the game is to see what the weapon does and looks like when you power it up.  Some weapons add to your defense.  For instance, when the sword is powered-up in a certain way, you can use it to deflect enemy fire.  The best power ups create your "spirit" which are clones of you that shadow/follow you and mimic your attacks.  It's a very effective tool.  It's also helpful that you can see in the little display of your weapons which ones have been powered up (it's at the bottom of the screen.
I mentioned three buttons.  They are attack, jump, change weapon.  The jump is really cool, too, because the longer you hold the button, the higher you jump.  This is highly important against certain enemies and in reaching all the power-ups.  I don't know how hard it is to program such a thing, but I'm surprised that more games of this era didn't do this.  In fact, in later levels, there is much more height/elevation/jumping, so a mastery of how high to jump comes in very handy.

Yeah, there are bosses, but compared to the rest of the game, they are surprisingly easy.  But that's only relatively speaking, because in general, the game is very difficult.

If you haven't played N.S. before and play on normal/default settings and are able to advance through several levels, let me know, I'd like know who I am in awe of.

Trivia:  There are 38 games listed on KLOV that contain the word "Ninja".

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