Ninja Remix (Second Review)

Title		Ninja Remix (Second Review)
Game Type	Action Adventure
Compatibility	ECS, Tested upto 060 via HD patches.
Publisher	System 3
HD Installable	Patches available
Players		1
Submission	Glen Lambert

The Amiga release 'Ninja Remix', is simply a 16-bit version of the 8-bit
game, The Last Ninja. Its' maps, screens, objects, puzzles and controls
are almost identical to the original. So faithful is this conversion that
anyone able to complete it on the C64 will have little trouble with this
one. If you're unfamiliar with the visual format of the Ninja games, they
are viewed in an isometric perspective with room around the bottom and
right of the main screen to show your stats etc.

The object of the game is to journey to the palace of the evil Shogun
Kunitoki to destroy him and retrieve the sacred scrolls. A standard game
plot with the difference that in this game the levels truly represent such
a journey.

You begin your quest in The Wastelands then through The Wilderness to the
Palace Gardens. You walk though the gardens and enter The Dungeons and
progress upwards into The Palace itself before breeching the Inner Sanctum
where the Shogun and scrolls await. The closer you get to the palace and
the deeper inside you roam, the nastier the guards become and the more
often they appear.

The levels themselves vary in size and complexity, the puzzles, likewise.
The game is a little easier than it's C64 predecessor due largely to the
fighting practices of the guards. On the C64 version they were quite good
at beating you to a pulp inside of 30 seconds whereas on the Amiga version
it's a little too easy to gain the upper hand and once you have it, well
timed hits mean you can sink most opponents without taking a blow
yourself. With the exception of The Dungeons level where the skeletons
attack with a ferocity not seen in the C64 version.

The graphics may let some people down, they're by no means bad, I quite
like them but I've heard a couple of people remark they look a little too
8-bit. I think this is harsh but, I'm an old school gamer and graphics are
not a top priority for me. At any rate I'd say they were superior to most
games so certainly above average, though never breathtaking.

The sound is a real winner. As with the C64 version the game is played to
oriental style tunes. This may sound a bad idea but it seriously works.
This is mainly due to the quality of the themes (one per level) which,
with only one or two exceptions are superb. The tunes are catchy, the
samples are crisp and they represent some of the best Amiga game music I
have heard, certainly up with the best. I have since heard a commercially
released rendition of one of them so other people must agree.

The gameplay shines, the controls are superb and I would go so far as to
say the 'feel' of the control and the movement is better in this version
than the C64 one. An added bonus is the ability to save your game, useful
for those not familiar with its solution. One aspect some people will find
problematic are the parts of the game where rivers must be crossed by
somersaulting from log/stone to log/stone. Pixel perfect accuracy is
required for the jumps which, until you know exactly where to stand will
frustrate the hell out of even the most patient gamer. Some reprise is
granted here in that it is a little easier to calculate than it was on the
C64 which was a bit hit & miss, trial & error. Thankfully these
life-wasting screens of tedium are limited in number and to the first 3
levels only.

In conclusion this is a fine, faithful Amiga version, highly playable and
incorporating a great soundtrack. Desire to hear the next theme will
probably help keep you glued to it trying to finish the levels. If you are
new to Last Ninja games then it may take you some time to complete, the
puzzles seem easy to me now but when I was younger, they were, less easy.
Once you know where everything is and how to finish the game, it could
be done inside 20 minutes and, to be honest, it's such a joy to play
you'll probably keep coming back despite having beaten it.

8.5/10 - I've taken away 1 point because the graphics could have been
spectacular without detracting from the gameplay at all. The game makes no
use of demanding scrolling or multiple sprites so, 64 colour or even 256
colour AGA screens in a later update could have been implemented without
slowing action or detracting from the gameplay.

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