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VIRGIN £19.99 Joystick and Keyboard

Ninja warriors Darius from Taito created something of a stir a couple of years ago when it first appeared in the arcades, not because it was a particularly good game, but because it was the first to use a system of three monitors, giving a massive 45" play area.
Then came The Ninja Warriors – a completely different type of game, but still using the large play area – and now there is the Amiga version. Will you need three monitors to get the full effect?
No. To retain the ‘wide screen’ feel of the game the graphics have shrunk into a 1/3 height strip of game area. This is a one or two player hack and slash game fought over six stages.

Your motivation for going through with it? Well, the year is 1993 and the head of not only the military police forces but also the underworld criminal elements is a nasty chap called Bangler. To restore some sense of order to things, this chap needs ‘rubbing out’, and so Mulk, the leader of the revolutionaries, has invested some considerable time and effort in building two robot assassins. The Ninja Assassins.

This horizontally scrolling game starts in the slums where the assassins have to work their way left-to-right through the stage chopping and slashing away with their two knives at the enemies that come running on from either side. Obviously, these chaps do not want to be sent to the great coin-op in the sky so they will attack you with knives themselves – some are even armed with machine guns and grenade launchers – and every hit taken reduces your energy until you die. Then it is a case of either restarting or using up one of your three credits to continue.

The game would not be complete without some mid and end of level guardians to take out, and these include hunchback-like Ground Spiders and large animated tanks manned by a sub machine gun touting maniac. Fortunately, as well as just knives, you are armed with a limited amount of shuriken (throwing stars) which can be lobbed to take out some baddies from a distance. Make it through the stages and the baddies become more numerous and more aggressive, until the final confrontation with the archfiend Bangler himself.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
A first class conversion. The animation is great, as are the backgrounds. The sound effects are also superb, although the title music grates after a while. One of the best looking coin-op conversions to date.

JUDGEMENT
Fans of the genre are in for a real treat: this one is immensely playable and well put together. The shrunken screen works brilliantly and though it is no fault of the conversion, all the original needed was a bit more variety and it would coveted the Format Gold award. As it is, it comes just about as close as it could. A great game.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 6, January 1990, p.43

GRAPHICS 9
SOUND 7
INTELLECT 3
ADDICTION 8
OVERALL 88%


Ninja warriors logo  CU Screen Star

Sales Curve/Virgin
Price: £19.99

W Ninja warriors hen you see a game that looks and plays like The Ninja Warriors it is infuriating. If you consider the number of wasted arcade licences you see in any one year it is difficult to see how anyone can have an excuse for not turning in something of this quality.
Not only is The Ninja Warriors a faithful coin-op conversion, it is near perfect. The last time we said that was when we saw Silkworm. it should come as no surprise then that not only is the same company responsible, but the same programmers are involved.
Back in May we picked out Silkworm as an early front-runner for conversion of the year. With that feather tucked firmly in their caps Dutch coders Ronald Pieket Weeserik and John Croudy have been slaving over The Ninja Warriors attempting to go one better. It seems they have.

Like Silkworm, The Ninja Warriors is hardly a big game arcade licence. It is probably better known for its three screen monitor set up rather than the originality of its gameplay. This is a sensible move on the part of The Sales Curve and one that pays dividends.

The Ninja Warriors is a pretty straightforward two player horizontal beat ‘em up. It was a well-balanced challenge with some neat touches, but none as neat as those displayed in the conversion. Naturally the game has been compressed to fit on one monitor, but the graphics have been downloaded making it very pleasing to the eye. Despite the playing area being restricted to a narrow band the ninjas are still some six sprites in size, and they are beautifully animated, to the point where the female’s hair bounces up and down when she jumps as if she was in a Silkience advert. One of the end of level guardians, the tank, has as many as seventeen different animation stops which makes the turret swing beautifully smoothly.

The technical achievements do not stop there. Whilst there are two disks everything loads in as you play untilyou have to swap (just the once) between levels. Nothing too radical about that until you realise it is loading in the sound for approaching sequences – and it is all sampled.

There is six levels, the largest being seventeen screens wide, which take you through streets, airfields and interiors in pursuit of the perennial Boss character (who turns out to be a fat little wimp). The ninjas jump, flip, block blows and hack wickedly with knives. One minor problem is that it is too easy to waste the shuriken stars. They are limited in supply so it is all too easy to run out when you need them most – and need them you will because the armed soldiers and the hunch backed ground spiders sap your energy rapidly.

It is a pleasure to play another oriental beat ‘em up when t is as polished as this. The Ninja Warriors should be a surprise contender for the top spot this Christmas or there is no Santa Claus.
Mike Pattenden

CU Amiga, December 1989, p.p.64-65

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
87%
93%
89%
93%
92%


Ninja warriors logo

Sales Curve/Virgin, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99

Ninja warriors I n 1993 evil rules the day. The tyrant Bangler has taken power with the police, military, and criminal elements all under his presidential thumb. A pretty neat trick, and Bangler intends to stay in power longer than Mrs T.

While political rivals are intimidated, or caught by the media in the company of models younger than their daughters, then Bangler seems to achieve his awful ambitions. But there is a solution, one from the RoboCop school of political subtlety - assassinate the crook!

While the normal procedure is for some unknown geek to kill a president, times have moved on and a more sophisticated approach is called for. Enter the Ninja Warriors, androids with metal instead of skin, circuits instead of veins. They're mean mothers specially created by the revolutionaries to assassinate Bangler. So begins the slaughter...

The Warriors kick things off in the slums of the capital city with 30 shurikens to throw and two razor sharp knives to slice and dice. Bangler isn't one to make life easy and the army is sent in to put paid to the intruders. A well placed knife or shuriken normally deals with these, but watch out for dogs, riflemen and grenade launcher-equipped infantry. Android energy is swiftly drained by hits, and on the Amiga bits of clothing fall off to reveal the metal beneath.

Taking on the military is easy enough but they're only the start of things. Bangler has his bizarre combatants to call up, including the hunchbacked Ground Spider (aim for that hump!), a Ninja lady with deadly swordplay, Iron Arm the ball swinger, Shape Shifting Ninjas with breath problems, not-so-friendly robots with a nasty line in laser fire, and a massive tank which blasts shells at the Ninja Warriors before coming on to greet them with a hail of machine gun fire.

Making it through the onslaught sees a big scrap with one of Bangler's Orient cronies at level's end. And the scenery for the carnage includes a well defended military base, a storage depot, night-time city streets, murky sewers, and finally the plush mansion where Bangler finally cowers in fair.

Zzap, Issue 57, January 1990, p.67

Stuart Wynne Unlike Robin I haven't played the arcade game, and was disappointed by the lack of innovation - why does every beat-'em-up game have to start in a city inhabited only by crazy ninjas? Having said that it's certainly very playable, and the robotic touch works well on the Amiga. In short, fans of both the arcade and beat-'em-ups are generally well served but there's little for anyone else to get excited about.

Robin Hogg I really enjoyed playing the Taito arcade original when it came out in early '88, three monitors joined together, and robotic Ninjas livening up the gameplay. The home computer versions have replicated the three screens approach which hasn't affected gameplay. The 64 Ninja sprite is excellently shaded with some well detailed enemies to hack, but it's a shame the backdrops weren't a little more varied, and there's no two-player mode. The Amiga game retains near all of the arcade game's graphics and the soundtrack is lifted straight from the coin-op with no changes. A very close conversion indeed with a great ending.

64

PRESENTATION 60%
Pretty basic attract mode with a one player option only.
GRAPHICS 80%
Very nicely constructed sprites throughout.
SOUND 79%
Good lengthy renditions of the coin-op tunes.
HOOKABILITY 82%
Instantly and easily playable in the best of Ninja game traditions.
LASTABILITY 73%
Not too difficult to get quite far but the action doesn't slow down at all.

OVERALL
79%
One of the better Ninja games around although not overly original.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 80%
Adequate attract mode accompanied by lengthy arcade-perfect intro music.
GRAPHICS 86%
Direct from the coin-op with great backdrops to fight across.
SOUND 86%
No in-game tunes but clear effects with some great speech.
HOOKABILITY 85%
As instantly hookable as any Ninja game with the action starting off thick and fast.
LASTABILITY 80%
Four continue-plays don't make it any easier, especially with six long levels to hack through.

OVERALL
82%
A top notch conversion of a somewhat unoriginal coin-op.