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SummaryGood, but painful
The GoodThe Last Ninja 2 is one of the most impressive-looking C64 games I've ever seen. The graphics are simply amazing. There are a great number of little graphical gimmicks. Animation is great as well.
Also, the music is one of the best C64 soundtracks that I've heard - quite clearly this thing has the most impressive-sounding synthetic electric guitars I've heard. It's even better than the music for all other platforms the game was released for. Clearly a testament to whatever SID chip is capable of. This game is worth getting even for the amazingly cool first level music.
The game concept holds water. Isometric action adventure format is a fun one, and combining it to simple beat 'em up controls is a good idea.
I've watched the whole game playthrough (from C64 Longplays, highly recommended), and it seems that this game is far less of a maze than The Last Ninja or The Last Ninja 3. The other two videos left me impression that those two games are gigantic mazes that are impossible to follow (well, LN3 doesn't suffer from this as much as LN1, but still), but LN2 looks like it'd be memorizable.
And hey, "you're that Ninja..." Ninja games are always cool. =)
The BadI have to admit I've *almost* passed the first level myself. This game is staggeringly hard! The controls are acceptable, even when they clearly need some getting used to.
Jumping puzzles suck, especially if failure means instant death.
In conclusion, fire up VICE and arm yourself with a handful of free hard disk space for snapshots. You'll end up suffering far less than I did back in the day with the real thing.
The Bottom LineArmakuni, the last ninja of his clan, travels through the time to revenge the murder of his clan to the evil shogun. Travelling through time, this time, means that we're in modern New York City. As a ninja, your job is to ninja some bad guys (street thugs, mafia guys, who knows?), as well as the police who, for some reason, want to kill you with your own weapons.
The environment is divided to screens with each of them having at most one bad guy. Everything is drawn from isometric perspective. Controls are unusually usual: Move with just the stick, use weapons, kick/punch, pick up items, and jump with button pressed.
Along with collectible weapons, there's items that are mostly related to different kinds of puzzles (which appear to be trivial if you just use your head a bit). There are, as mentioned, precise jumping puzzles as well.
Combat is mostly about button-mash... er, mad stick wagging with button pressed, but most of the times it seems to be a better idea to run past the enemies.
It is a relatively short game - without instant deaths, there's apparently less than a hour to play. *With* instant deaths, it will take a while as you need to replay the first levels.
If you ignore the frustrating instant deaths, this game is actually pretty fun, not to even mention beautiful and it has excellent music. Definitely worth playing.