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Ocean Software Ltd
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

Hi there - Rich here again, this time with a round up of Ninja Collection from OCean. So what are we waiting for then? Oh yeah - me.

Dragon Ninja
This first ninja game came out positively ages ago (1989) and even back them it wasn't especially outstanding. This one plays in what I'd term as the familiar Kung Fu Master style. If you're not familiar then this means that you can only move left and right and not in and out of the screen. This means that the gameplay is, in my opinion at least, immediately reduced by about half. There is no choice of which order to pick off the baddies and only a mere smattering of attacking moves available.

Games with this type of over-simplistic gameplay tend to rely heavily on large 'interesting' levels to disguise their flimsiness, and, quel suprise, Dragon Ninja is of no exception. Levels One to Si take place on a street, on top of a huge truck, in a sewer, in another sewer, on top of a train, in some caverns and in the warehouse respectively. Different scenery to explore and different baddies and end of level baddies to face there may be, but the repetitive walk/jump/punch/kick routine is far too boring. I'm afraid at the end of the day, Dragon Ninja gets classed as a nothing more than boring, unadventurous, not-really-worth-the-time-of-day (one player which I forgot to mention) crappy beat-em-up romp.

Double Dragon
Oo-er, this one's so old that it's even been been sequelled and re-sequelled again! Double Dragon reared its head for the first time in the arcade where it gained a cult following mainly as it was a two-player and pretty easy to beat. However, they cocked it up a bit converting it to the Speccy, and by today's standards and especially the standards of its two follow-ups, the graphics seem undeniably dodgy, the sound mysteriously lacking, the gameplay slightly repetitive and worse still, there's a strange kind of multi-load.

However, it is far more interactive than Dragonn Ninja (you can climb scenery and pick up weapons) and it requires a lot more skill than Shadow Warriors. Waggling the joystick inanely will be of little use until you've mastered which of the eight attacking moves to use where. All in all Double Dragon is good fun but heavily dated.

Shadow Warriors
Ah yes, Shadow Warriors, an average beat-'em-up served with a side order of large levels and lavish graphics, also appears on the 2 Hot 2 Handle compilation reviewed elsewhere by yours truly. So why not read the review of it there?

And as by way of an outroduction, I'd suggest that this Ninja collection is not the supposed bargain you people deserve. As opposed to laying your hands on three of the best beat-'em-ups ever, two average and one non-eventful games are all you getting for your money which frankly, Mr Shankly, I'd say is a bit of a disappointment really.
Overall 70'


Screenshot Text

Luckily, as the title screen says it all, I don't have to waste time captioning this picture.

Frank and the hamsters were the talk of the town.

Ebbersley fell dramatically to the floor. In the meantime, Colin looked down and chortled.

Wilson, Kepple and Betty returned triumphantly after several years.