Ocean France are fast emerging as one of the leading development houses in the 16-bit arcade field. Although, as Ocean France, the team is new to the scene, they are already showing off a unique, unrivalled style of graphics in their forthcoming games, which I can honestly say are the best I have yet seen on the Amiga! For their current release, the coin-op tie-in restricts their artists to the high standards of Data East's Dragon Ninja visuals.
Set in the recent past, the game opens with the shock announcement that President Ronnie has been kidnapped by the Dragon Ninja. A couple of bad dudes step forward for the job of freeing the president, experts in the martial arts who plan to beat the ninja at their own game.
The road to the ninja's lair is long; eight horizontally scrolling levels long in fact. In two player mode, both bad dudes take on the enemy simultaneously, identical but for a strange choice of colour scheme for the second player. Both have a full complement of moves, including a few rather more spectacular attacks among the usual kicks and punches. Karate's answer to R-Type's beam weapon is the super-punch. Hold down fire for a few seconds, and an inner-strength is called upon as the player's torso flames before letting rip. Weapons dropped by enemies can be picked up, adding a couple more methods of defence. Level one climaxes with a bald fire-breather, whose ample rolls of blubber absorb a good deal of punishment from fists and feet.
Level two introduces the game's first original idea. Here the rumble continues atop an artic HGV. Jumping the gap between the two trailers can be tricky, and falling from a speeding juggernaut does nothing for a man's health. Through forests and sewers, across trains, the gameplay remains constant but for the guardians. Level four's armoured giant, like most of the earlier guardians, is not too much trouble if you keep him at bay, not giving an inch. Allow him free roam of the screen and it's curtains for all but the most agile of bad dudes.
Technically, Dragon Ninja is way ahead of its main rival Vigilante, and plays a lot better for it. Like Operation Wolf, its graphics (when static) are virtually indistinguishable from the arcade machine. At times, the screen can be full of ninjas, scampering along like a West End chorus line. It works both ways though, and you can often find yourself with no-one to bruise, as usually is the case at the end of the second level. Considering the size and often large amount of sprites on the screen, they move fairly speedily. Scrolling is not what I would call smooth, but is a lot better than the majority of coin-op conversions. All the same, no-one has yet matched the speed and fluidity of Soren Gronbench's Sword of Sodan. Maybe in time...
Sound could have been put to better use. The optional music sounds like a cross between Operation Wolf and Miami Vice, with most of the voices borrowed from the former. The effects are halfway there, with constant grunts from the fighters, but where are all the sounds of knuckles connecting with noses and nunchukas breaking ribs?
The impressive graphics and generous supply of levels will keep you playing through to the end, but it's unlikely you will return once you've completed it. The accuracy of the conversion will go down well with the orginal's fans. Another classy product from Ocean, but that £24.95 pricing could do with a review.
This is a kick ass ninja kickin' game. Basically, it's a 2D arcade conversion where you play as a ninja who has to beat up loads of other ninjas.
This is a really good example of this type of game, as i'm sure many of you have seen, and still can probably see on a few old arcade machines today. The game has got medicore graphics, and on each level the scenary changes. There is a big boss guy at the end of each stage, which must be defeated. I can't really write very much on this game, but nevermind... It's still a cool game :)
I usually don't like this type of game, but this was one of the first I played, so this review is probably bias... :) This is the 'trainer' version.
A simple beat 'em up game, where you can control two Van-Damme styled guys, who can beat a whole Ninja army :) The graphics is very simple, but the game gives a little arcade feeling, which is nice. It's similar to Double Dragon.
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