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It’s to Capcom’s credit that Yo! Noid kept my interest throughout, despite my hatred for the main character’s design and the occasionally cheap gameplay. I still wish us Americans would have received Ninja Hanamaru in its rightful form; perhaps the cheap spots that so troubled me with the Noid would have been more tolerable controlling a ninja. Hanimaru and his Hawk of Justice may not have successfully made the voyage across the Pacific, but the spirit of their adventure lived on. Even if it took a two-bit pizza-loving psycho to make it happen.
Even though extra lives and continues can be earned in
the game, there are many spots in the game that require absolute
perfect playing in order to get through, which will frustrate even
the most hardened 8-bit gamer.
Finally, I personally prefer the original Japanese version - backgrounds look a lot cleaner, the soundtrack is better and the bosses are a lot more varied than different colored 'Noids' (well, I hate the Noid, what a creepy mascot that goblin was). All in all, Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru is a decent platform game with some nice (and unique) touches and is definitively worth picking.
Noid is a strange game. It seems more for the younger player but it is too difficult for them. Experienced players will like the challenging game play but not the character. It is going to be one of the 'sleepers' which just won't get the attention it deserves.
According to my sources, the game Yo! Noid is a hacked version of "Kamen no Ninja - Hanamaru", a Japanese game involving, surprise, surprise, a masked ninja. Domino's took this game that was never released in the states, possibly paid for the rights, and edited its marketing in. Basically, the game is entirely the same as the Japanese original, but with the Noid character and other pizza-related propaganda pasted over the top. This doesn't surprise me. Companies releasing simple video games featuring their mascots is not unheard of. 7Up's Cool Spot for the Genesis comes immediately to mind, but that was a pretty good game. Domino's Yo! Noid, is not.
Yep, Capcom blew it with that decision. Then again, the company blew it with the gameplay too. Could this horrible representation of a great ad icon be the reason for the retirement of his campaign, which followed very soon after the game's release? Well, probably not. But one thing's for sure. Avoid Yo! Noid.