When I saw Ninja Mission on the Atari ST I thought to myself "It's a nice little game, a bit hard, but nice". Unfortunately, on the Amiga it's a case of "Nice graphics, but where's the game?". Yep, Ninja Mission is one of those strange Amiga games with pleasing backdrops, smooth sprites, vivid colour and no gameplay. Well it has got gameplay, but it's so easy that you could clock it twice without loading it!
The idea of the game is very simple. A nasty, evil, son of a prawn cracker named Akuma has invaded the tiny village of Tambo Machi and stolen seven magical idols. In desperation, the villagers have asked you, a mighty Ninja warrior, to go and ask for them back. And so the game begins with you strolling up to the front entrance ready to tackle anybody who tries it on. As the first screen is empty, you must move to the left or right in order to find someone to talk to. It is at this point you will notice that Mastertronic haven't really got to grips with the Amiga's graphics blitter. The speed at which the locations are displayed is so amazingly slow that you could have your dinner, telephone a friend, take the dog for a walk and feed the budgie before it eventually shows itself.
Using the joystick you can perform 16 moves ranging from high kicks to low punches. There are also a few moves which are unique to NM, like death star throwing and a sword thrust. When you beat an opponent who is guarding an idol, collecting it gives your score a boost and restores any energy lost during the battle. Once you have completed the first five screens of the game, you must go to the screen called 'Shio Entrance'. Here you will see a small hole in the roof which is the entrance to Akuma's temple. Seems like a silly place to put a door, but there you go.
Each screen inside the temple has a strange name. These range from 'Green Door' through to things like 'Takiraki', 'mikeyrooni' and various other film stars. While you tackle Akuma's hordes, you get to listen to a piece of music which, although catchy, has to be amongst the shortest tunes ever heard on a micro. When will we get full blown Rob Hubbard classics on the Amiga? After a few more battles you should have collected six idols and are now ready to collect the seventh from Akuma's chamber. If you don't have all six when you reach this point, go back and find the ones you missed. Once in the chamber, you must destroy five assorted guards before capturing the final idol. When this has been achieved make your way back through the screens to 'Tori and the Sea' where you started. And this it, end of game.
I can't for the life of me figure out why Mastertronic made the game so easy. This is in fact the only part of the game which beats the hell out of me!
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