The Last Ninja (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

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The Last Ninja
By Superior/Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

Published in Electron User 6.06

The Last Ninja is a sort of jealousy, power and revenge - of good versus evil and one man's struggle against overwhelming odds. Oh yes, I almost forgot, it is easily the best martial arts-cum-adventure game on the market.

For many years the evil Shogun has envied the closely guarded skills and secrets of the Ninja. Executing a dastardly plot he slaughtered the Ninja community on its once-a-decade visit to the sacred island of Lin Fen.

Unbeknown to the Shogun, a solitary Ninja - Armakuni - had been left behind to guard the shrine, feed the cat and perform other such tasks. Now he has sworn to avenge the deaths of his comrades and re-build the Ninja empire.

You play Armakuni as he begins his assault on the island of Lin Fen. There are sixteen separate locations on the island and you must kill every guard and collect all available objects on each level before advancing to the next.

Control is achieved using the keyboard only - this may sound restrictive for a martial arts game, but it works well in practice. In addition to the direction keys there are also three separate jump buttons - each providing increasing distance. As if to demonstrate his supreme athleticism, Armakuni insists upon performing a forward somersault when prompted to jump.

Level one is set in the wilderness, a barren wasteland of rocks, bushes and thoughtfully provided paths for you to walk on, but it is patrolled by the Shogun's warriors. Inexperienced in the way of the Ninja, they do not yet possess your skills, but they are still capable of giving you a good thumping if you become careless.

Initially unarmed, you must pummel your opponents using only fists and feet. Things become a little easier as you round the first corner and find an abandoned sword - the first of five weapons available to you on level one. By pressing the spacebar, you can quickly switch between any of the weapons currently in your possession. The instructions advise you to use the same weapon as your opponent, but I found the sword to be effective against most adversaries.

Unlike many games, you are not restricted to travelling in one direction, but are free to wander where you wish within the confines of the location. Another very welcome feature is the way the guards stay dead after you have dealt with them - there is nothing worse than returning to a location and having to fight the same guard that you killed five minutes earlier.

Once you have mastered the human opponents, why not try your hand with the flaming dragon that guards the exit to level two?

The Last Ninja is quite a departure from Peter Scott's traditional style - the prolific author of countless cute platform games has really come up with the goods this time. Ninja is fast, furious and totally addictive.

* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *

From the title and packaging I expected this to be just another ordinary martial arts beat-'em-up game. However, although it does have a fair proportion of combat, there is also an adventure element in that you have to explore your surroundings and discover weapons to take on the enemies. I like it, and can thoroughly recommend it.

Jon Revis

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