Data East is a large arcade machine company, responsible for such classics as Kung-Fu Master, Express Raider and the current hit Robocop. Another hit credited to it is Dragon Ninja, a highly enjoyable and very popular game in the beat-'em-up mould, which reached our shores about a year ago. It was similar to its other games, horizontal-scrolling fighting action - and the splash it caused in the arcades encouraged many companies to rip it off. Now Ocean has converted it to the Amstrad - and the job is amazing.
The plot is very simple. You are a bad dude. You are so bad you do not even wear flares and you have heard a rumour that the President of the United States has been kidnapped. Like the good citizen you are, you have set out on the impossible task of rescuing him, which is probably the worst decision you ever made.
The person behind the terrible deed is the Dragon Ninja; he is big and nasty, and is likely to have bad breath too. He is also guarded by several other big nasties who you must defeat to get to fight DN. Control of the bad dude is all yours, and so are the moves he has to offer. As in all games of this ilk, joystick directions correspond to different actions but generally only three are used.
The screen scrolls horizontally as you move, and there is no option to return; when you have waded your way through all the menial ninjas you meet an end-of-level baddie which you must kill to progress.
There are seven levels like this, with Dragon Ninja to defeat at the end. When this is completed, the President will buy you a hamburger and you will be on your way - like a good bad dude.
There are various weapons, time bonuses and energy cans to be collected, which makes for a very enjoyable and addictive game. Graphics are very colourful and are very good, and it is possibly the best conversion I have seen on the Amstrad.