Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance logo

SYSTEM 3 £24.99 * Joystick

This mere idea of a Last Ninja Two is a strange and wonderful paradox, but it does give hope to the Dodo. IT could mean two things; either the Last Ninja One was a downright fibber or it was in fact the penultimate ninja. The game itself is a shuriken-em-up outing combined with an element of puzzle solving. To add to the interest, and to give that real coin-op feel, there is also a clock to play against.

Not surprisingly, you get to play a highly-trained yet caring and pyjama-clad Ninja of the first water. You even have a name - Armakuni - possibly you were descended from a race of French fashion designers versed in Ninjitsu..

Certainly this is the way you look until the rather eccentric joystick controls have been mastered. Best advice here is not to bother with finding things or beating people up - nope, you should really spend some time working out a way to move from one place to another without walking into invisible walls. Although the isometric pseudo three-dimensional movement is a pain in the jim-jams, it does fit quite happily with the scenario.

This, Norman 'Ninja' Wisdom script sees you standing around with the rest of the chaps a few centuries back in time, when suddenly you are wizzed into the future and find yourself standing on a bandstand. Willing suspension of disbelief or what!?

At the outset, the idea is to explore locations and pick up the odd weapon (rather absent-mindedly, you neglected to come tooled up). The further you get into the game, the more places there are to explore and the more people there are to amaze with your deft fighting skills.

Once you're really into the game... there are hundreds of places to explore and... you get the idea, I'm sure. The idea is to get home in one piece so that you and the rest of the lads can design some really neat French clothes or defeat the evil Shogun, Kunitoki.


The graphics have that pleasant blocky form along with the smoothness of movement only found in gazelles - with lumbago. Little Armakuni does a great Michael Jackson moonwalking backwards if you forget to press J on the keyboard to alter the joystick orientation (so handy for those fight scenes when timing is of the utmost importance). As for the sound, there is very little to speak of aside from the soundtrack, which is nice enough but does leave you wishing that they'd never invented that bloody flute voice on the synth. This really is quite a disappointment because the possibilities for some sickening thuds and whistling leaps are endless.


The one saving grace is that it is not mreley a 'kick the shoot out of everyone' session and neither is it a ;my brain hurts' exploration game. If you really commit yourself to it, there is a chance that some enjoyment can be extracted from the playing time. In true terms of lasting interest, however, you have to give the game more than it gives you.


The sad thing is that the ideas are all there; the 3D movement is a step up from the run-of-the-mill vertical or horizontal stuff. The attempt to mesh intelligent puzzle solving with brute force has merits... it's just that none of these elements really come close to working together. The feel is wrong purely because you have to work so hard to communicate with the game that you lose the interest in the scenario, and, as for poor old Armani, you couldn't really care less about him. That said, if you were committed enough to want to pit your game-playing skills against the game then it might see you through those long autumn afternoons.

Starker Name - schwaches Spiel!

Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance logo

Der erste Teil dieses Klassikers aus seligen C64-Tagen wurde leider nie für die "Freundin" umgesetzt, umso höher waren die Erwartungen für die Fortsetzung. Was jetzt tatsächlich dabei herausgekommen ist, kann man allerdings bestenfalls als Trauer-Spiel bezeichnen...

Der böse Kunitoki hat sich ins moderne Manhattan gebeamt, um dort ein Reich des Schreckens zu errichten. Die Götter hetzen ihm deshalb Armakuni, den letzten Ninja, auf die Fersen. Der Schlägt sich nun kreuz und quer durch New York, vom Central Park über Abwasserkanäle, eine Opiumfabrik und Bürogebäude bis zum Versteck des Obermotzes.

Sechs Level lang sammelt er Nunchukas, Shurikens, einen Kampfstab, ein Schwert, aber auch Hamburger und eine Kreditkarte. Sechs Level lang muß er alle mögliche Rätseln lösen und begegnet den grausigsten Gegnern (Spinnern, Krokodile, Polizisten und noch Schlimmeres). Und sechs Level lang zeigt er nur zu deutlich, wie man ein ausgezeichnetes C64-Game durch eine mißglückte Konvertierung total verhunzen kann!

Hier ist praktisch alles schlechter als beim Original: Die Grafik hat stark gelitten, selbst die Animationen sind nicht mehr so gut. Beim Sound gibt es nur wenige, dafür aber ausgesprochen mieser Effekte - Musik läuft erst ab 1 MB.

Die Steuerung war zwar schon ehedem recht kompliziert, aber jetzt läuft der arme Kerl wie behindert durch die Gegend und läßt sich kaum noch vernünftig kontrollieren. Ein "Glück", daß auch seine Gegner inzwischen alles verlernt haben, was sie auf dem 64er konnten... (mm)