Commodore User


Ninja Master

Author: Ken McMahon
Publisher: Firebird
Machine: Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #35

Ninja Master

They're doing it on purpose. Software houses have picked up on my reputation for being ruthless on rubbish and, it seems are intent on sending the worst dross they can dig up for me to tear to shreds in the pages of Commodore User.

Well Firebird, you asked for it - here goes. Since I bought my C64, way back in Christmas 1983 (an early model) I must have played literally hundreds, possibly thousands of games. Some have been brilliant, a great many have been average, and more than a few not worth the tape they were recorded on.

Ninja Master doesn't fall into any of those categories. Quite simply, it is the biggest load of rubbish it's even been my misfortune to load up. I feel guilty about feeding it to my poor old C64. If it were a dog it would be chewing up grass in the garden, and I'd be explaining my behaviour to the RSPCA.

Ninja Master

And so to the game. Ninja Master can be played using a joystick, or the keyboard, or preferably neither. There are four stages to the game. In the first test you must defend yourself against flying arrows. There are four manoeuvres. You can punch or kick left or right, depending on which side, and at which height the arrows come at you.

Animation is crude. The stationary ninja sprite is simply substituted by one of four others with the appropriate kicking or punching action. It's all very easy and dead boring.

Test two: the karate chop. Stationary ninja sprite stands by the block of wood. You must wiggle the joystick back and forth until the power meter passes the critical level. You have twenty seconds in which to do this, at which point stationary ninja is replaced by chopping ninja. In fact, it only takes about ten seconds to get the power meter up to maximum, a three year old could manage it.

Ninja Master

The blurb says "this is probably the hardest test to complete". Using your "trusty" ninja sword, defend yourself against the deadly Shuriken stars. It is more difficult, but essentially the same as stage one, the graphics are crummy too.

In the final test, the now unrecognisable ninja must shoot cans of diet Pepsi from the air with a blowpipe. I got a crick in my neck just looking at him.

Some of the games in the Firebird Silver range are quite good. This isn't one of them. Don't buy it.

Ken McMahon

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