Friday, July 23, 2010

3 Ninjas Kick Back

Because we're going through these games in alphabetical order, first up is 3 Ninjas Kick Back. Because this is the first game being reviewed, I'll layout a format to use now. First I'll give a short history of the game (probably culled from wikipedia) next, a short history of my first exposure to the game, a review complete with photos, and a 1 to 10 'SNES Controller' ranking. So let's get on with it.

3 Ninjas Kick Back
Malibu Interactive/Sony Imagesoft
Genre: Action

This game is based on the sequel to the original 3 Ninjas film. The plot is about 3 young ninja brothers who are trying to retrieve a mystical ninja dagger from Japan.

I have never played this one before today, although I do remember being a fan of the 3 Ninjas series of movies when they first came out. Just reading the plot of this game now seems pretty incredibly clich├ęd and lame now that I'm not a child in the mid 90s though.

The game starts with this kindly Mr Miyagi-esque character (I can't seem to remember his name and it isn't stated in-game) telling us about a mystical dagger that was given to ninja warriors of great honor. he then proceeded to refer to me as "grasshopper" and made me wash is car, worst game ever...

So actually he talks for a couple of screens like the one above, and then the game begins.

Next we get to choose our player. TUM-TUM is the only character that I remember from the movies, he was a pseudo-fat kid who would constantly eat, thus his lightly insulting nickname. ROCKY and COLT I don't remember whatsoever, but I'm pretty sure they have the same stock 90s personalities as the main character kid, and the kid that was really really good and into hockey in Mighty Ducks. It seems that although the game gives a difficulty choice in the options screen. Choosing your character is another chance to choose a difficulty with ROCKY being easiest, then COLT, then TUM-TUM (very similar to choosing your character in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for NES, you could call ROCKY Don, Colt Leo, and TUM-TUM Raph) After choosing your character an audio clip plays saying: "Let's Murderlize 'Em!!!" this gets VERY old VERY quickly. Plus the audio clip is the same regardless of which character you choose, you'd think the developers could have included a unique audio clip for each character.

This is what gameplay looks like. Graphics are OKAY, not great, not horrible but what's up with that HUD across the top of the screen? there are entirely too many icons up there and it's not really easy to notice the information while playing. I have absolutely no clue what the '8' in the lower right is supposed to mean, it would appear and disappear seemingly at random while playing. See that "vine" coming down from the tree branch? My main complaint about this game is the unwieldy method of having to grab these vines, you'd expect that either jumping into any point on the vine, or jumping towards the vine and pressing the action button as you pass it would cause you to grab it, not so. The only way to grab the vine is to make sure that your character jumps so that his hands pass directly over the very bottom of the vine. Jumping in this game has fairly clean physics, but precision jumping sections are pretty rare and far between. Overall, difficulty is relatively high for what was a children's game based on a children's movie. You will see plenty of this screen:

The game's audio can only be described as repetitive and slightly annoying. Overall this game feels pretty bland. It has that "just another platform game based on a popular movie" feel to it. While this game looked decent graphically and had a decent physics engine, there was nothing that really pulled me into it, making gameplay feel somewhat like a chore.


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There were 720 games released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Read one man's quest to play and critique each one.