Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ninja Boy (1990)

Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Developer: Culture Brain

Ninja Boy is the first handheld game of the Super Chinese series that follows a ninja named Jack to save some princess from some evil lizard guy. I don't know the details. Since I only had the cartridge, I had to glean what I know from the game itself which doesn't offer much storywise. This being a 1990 game, they probably expected players to read the manual which is of little use nowadays without it.

Jack will battle various enemies from rival ninjas to badgers to some other stuff that I couldn't tell what they were because of the old graphics. Jack can punch enemies, kick them or use a sword you can find later. Defeating a set number of enemies unlocks a door at the top of the stage to advance to the next with a little racist Asian victory jingle. There are 8 levels each with 4 stages. Some enemies can only be defeated certain ways which makes gameplay a tedious trial and error because one hit and you die. When Jack dies he spawns immediately at the start of the stage which isn't always a clear area. I had one ninja AI actually spawn camp me to death. Extra annoying since you only start with 3 lives and they can drain pretty fast.

There are various power-ups, hidden bonus stages and even a few warps scattered in the rocks and other environments Jack can break open, but it is not clear what they do or how Jack can use them. The warps are useless since it just leaves you underpowered for the stronger enemies. Through dumb luck I figured out players can do a super kick by jumping and then pressing a direction after, rather than at the same time. Only with the right power-up though which I'm not sure which one did it. Pulling out the sword was also dumb luck which is done by holding attack and pressing a direction with the right power-up. Very unintuitive and retarded since the select button goes entirely unused. If players can get past the non story, muddled graphics, gameplay that hates players and shit controls (and I wouldn't hold it against them if they didn't) then Ninja Boy is at least functional.

Buyer's Guide:
I saw a few copies online for between $6 and $12, but probably only necessary if you are a fan of the series and want a complete collection or something.

1 Engrish victory screen with fireworks out of 5
Was that a bit spoilerish? Too bad, fuck you and Jack.

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