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Overall, 3 Ninjas Kick Back is a mediocre game. In its defense, it at least isn't entirely bad, but there's no appeal to continue or finish whatsoever. If you look into an image search engine, whether it's Google or Yahoo or whatever, and you type in its name, you will only get upwards of about two to seven results. Just another one of those late 16-bit era games that have faded from memory and were overshadowed by the Saturn, Playstation, N64, and all the secondary minor consoles like the 3DO, CD-i, Apple Pippen, Sega 32X, and etc. If you find this in a pawn shop bargain bin for $3 or less, pick it up. It's fun for a weekend, but then it'll gather dust and be pushed to the back of your game collection, next to your copy of Shaq-Fu and Bubsy 3D.
Difficulty, control, and sound quirks aside, when I came into this I was expecting pure, unadulterated crap, but what I got was something that I can only describe as unexpectedly acceptable. After reading comments on the movie, I can honestly say that this is one of those rare cases when the game is better than the movie, though not by much.
This is exactly the same game as the SNES counterpart and that means that it's still fairly weak. You play as one of three ninja brats from that awful movie who run around, jump around and fool around. It's a fairly standard platform game: fight the enemies, break their backs, collect power-ups and so on and so forth. Go save yourself some time and move on to better things unless your absolutely loved the film. Homework can be more exciting: Have you ever studied the Civil War? Or better yet, try watching gladiator movies.
Fans of the film might like it, but others should avoid these new ninja kids on the block.
This sort of game is an insult to the intelligence of all thinking beings, but it must be reviewed. Does anybody actually care about a game adapted from a dismal movie like 3 Ninja's Kick Back? Hopefully not. That said, the game is your standard platform action with cutesy graphics that revolve around a trio of suburban ninja-kids who say witty things like, "Lets kick butt!" Been there, done that. Ho-hum. So when is that Sony Playstation coming out?
What it all cumulates to is a game that managed to outbid my expectations, but not by much. Twenty-six people are still smug that I was stuck reviewing this game, but I can happily increase that number. Should you be reading this review should be glad that I suffered 3 Ninjas and you didn't. Not because it was awful, not because the thin veneer of promise was marred by flaws that a little bit of thought could have demolished, and not because of the strange and disturbing cry of "YEAH!" that each mini-ninja yells every damn time he is injured. Good reasons all, perhaps, but none of them are as relevant as the moralistic taboo I had to put aside. I had to place innocent minors in direct danger in as unamusing and flaccid way as can be imagined.