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This is a game with nearly everything a reviewer should baulk at. It is a conversion and it has more Ninja per screen than you could ever begin to imagine. But it is not just a clichéd beat em up - Ninja Spirit is actually pretty nice.
As usual, the plot does not hold much water. Run around killing Ninjas, bump off the end-of-level guardian. All pretty simple, but fun…
The Games Machine (UK)
Identical to the Atari ST but with improved music which adds atmosphere.
The Last Warlock is once again haunting helpless Japanese villagers, and only Tsukikage, the spirit of the white wolf, can save them. However, wielding a samurai sword with a pair of paws ain't easy so our hero has taken human form to be the ultimate ninja in this fiendishly difficult coin-op conversion.
I have never understood the fascination that hackneyed plot writers have for all things animal like. This predilection borders on the obsessive when the authors are Japanese, and becomes almost a fetish when the turgid prose acts as a guideline for a leapy leapy, jumpy jumpy ninja game.
Ninja Spirit is the latest follower of this path, casting you as Tsukikage, the spirit of the great white wolf. Why, is what I want to know? Don’t they realise that wolves are horribly smelly, moult all over the place, have fetid breath and slobber continuously? Is this a good role model for a ninja? Or anyone bar a Millwall supporter? No, I think not. Yet in Ninja Spirit you are the spirit of this wolf, intent on slicing and dicing the beasts in the bowels of the Earth. And their masters, too.
Very laudable, I am sure. Right, just a mo while put my brain in a jar for half an hour and play the game.
Computer and Video Games (CVG)
On the downside the collision detection is dodgy and the controls are a tad on the sluggish side. It all adds up to a fairly standard ninja slicer which some people might find just a touch too hard.
What is all this Ninja Spirit? Well, it allows the summoning of long-dead ancestors to see off present-day foes. Dealing with ancient magic, though, requires balls! Childish innuendo aside, the sphere in question are ‘spirit balls’ that give the living warrior power-ups on his sword, shuriken, rice scythes and ‘lasson ropes’- a bit of string with a blender on.
All very handy, as from the word go Ninjitsu’s most unpopular man is set upon by horde after horde of blood-crazed nutters. The guy’s task is to fight his way through seven lvels of death, destruction and other distractions for no good reason whatsoever.
Coin-op manufacturers, Irem, are better known for their two R-Type shoot'em-ups. However, in the past, they have also been responsible for the cutesy Mr. Heli and the scrolling martial arts romp, Ninja Spirits – the subject for this latest Activision conversion.
Last Ninja, Dragon Ninja, Ninja Warriors – und jetzt ein bißchen Ninja-Geist mit Ninja Spirit. Der Titel ist jedoch das einzige Geistreiche an diesem Programm. Das simple Metzelspiel erreicht die Schwierigkeitsstufe "verursacht graue Haare".
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)
All das hat man schon zur Genüge gesehen - hundertmal, tausendmal. Wenn also ein Programm in puncto Spielkonzept so gar nichts Neues zu bieten hat, so sollte wenigstens die technische Ausführung in Ordnung sein, will man es noch reinen Gewissens dem Verbraucher anbieten. Doch gerade in dieser Hinsicht hat ACTIVISION kläglich versagt.
Ninja Spirit bietet sauber programmierte Durchschnittskost mit weichem Scrolling, mittelprächtiger Grafik, Düdel-Sound und einem gepfefferten Schwierigkeitsgrad. Die Frage ist nur: Wer hat nicht schon ein Dutzend solcher Games daheim?
Fast and varied arcade conversion. Original was a production-line job, no imagination or sparkle. Awful disk accessing problems. Tedious crap.