Kasumi Ninja (Jaguar)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Jan 08, 2014
Rating  :  1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars1.8 Stars
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Digitized Uber-violence with poor control mechanics

The Good

"Kasumi Ninja" has many of the earmarks of a successful, fighting game; i.e. a fantasy good vs. evil storyline, digitized characters and a healthy serving of good-old fashion graphic violence, blood and gore.

On paper, this is the type of game that could have propelled its developers and the struggling Atari Jaguar game system into video game fame, fortune and glory.

The Bad

Much of what is wrong with the game can be blamed on the Atari Jaguar itself.

As cool as it was for Atari, a legend in the industry, to jump back into the hardware side of video games, the Atari Jaguar's fate was nearly sealed from the get-go.

While the system was well-marketed as the world's first 64-bit home console system, the graphic capabilities of the games being released was, at best, what was already being done with the early 32-bit home console systems.

To be successful, the Jaguar needed a series of popular titles, which demonstrated the full hardware capabilities of the new system.

"Aliens versus Predator" was one such title for the Jaguar, and"Kasumi Ninja" could have been another one of those titles, except for one major flaw; it is not fun to play.

Part of the problem was that the originally Atari Jaguar controller was horribly designed. The shape and numerous buttons was too much like something Atari did in its 4-bit era. It was not well designed for the type of games that were popular in the 16-bit, 32-bit or, for that matter, 64-bit video game era.

However, even if the Atari Jaguar controller had been designed better, the game play mechanics in "Kasumi Ninja" would still not be nearly as responsive or as smooth as in "Mortal Kombat" "Super Street Fighter 2" or even "Eternal Champions".

The game's graphics, sound effects and music are hardly groundbreaking, but, at least, they demonstrate some of the hardware capability of the Atari Jaguar.

What kills the game is the simple fact that the controls are all wrong for how successful fighting games of that era were designed.

The Bottom Line

"Kasumi Ninja" could have been another gem in the Atari Jaguar library, such as "Aliens versus Predator". Instead this game became another nail in the Atari Jaguar's coffin. No matter how much graphic violence, blood and gore you offer, a fighting game with poor game play design and poor game play mechanics is not going to be successful.