Monday, 22 April 2019

Ninja Savior (MSX)

The first thing you notice about Ninja Savior, and the first thing I'll tell you about it, is that despite being made in Europe in 2015, it manages to look, sound, and feel like a Japanese MSX game from the mid-1980s with incredible authenticity. Considering how fake a lot of similar endeavors end up feeling, I think this is something worth mentioning and applauding. So well done on that front, Revelo! But authenticity aside, is the game actually good?

The answer is a resounding "yeah it's alright I guess". It's a very simple game in which you play as a ninja, jumping from one tower to the the other, while trying to exorcise a series of demons. You do this by collecting the talismans and scrolls hanging in the air between the two towers. At the same time, there'll be one or two smaller demons in the gap too, who hurt you if you touch them. Every time you jump, the talismans, scrolls and lesser demons change position.

 Your jumping arc is always the same, and when you're not jumping, you're sliding down the tower. So it's an action game controlled with one button and no directions, based entirely around timing. Also of note is that rather than a traiditonal health bar there's a kind of momentum bar with an X at one end, an O at the other, and a square moving along it. When you collect a talisman or scroll, it moves towards the O. When you land after a jump or when you hit a lesser demon, it moves towards the X. If it reaches the X, you lose a life, if it reaches the O, you go to the next stage. And that's pretty much all there is to know about this game.

Ninja Savior's a game that's very OK. It's not bad and the one-button controls and momentum meter are interesting, but it's not particularly exciting, and it's way too easy. Maybe if later stages had moving enemies or something that would have spiced things up a bit? Anyway, it wouldn't hurt to give the game a try, but it won't change your life either.

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