Ninjas, eh? They blimming well get everywhere! And not least into compilation boxes calling themselves Fists Of Fury and featuring 4 chestnut beat-'em-ups like Shinobi and Double Dragon 2. So let's strap on our shurikens and first say hello to...
You play a boxing duck and bash cute meanie menials like puppies and moles in order to rescue your kidnapped sweetheart. Along the horizontally-scrolling way you get to grab extra weapons (including a water cannon and guided missiles) but watch out for the big boss baddies! Not to mention the overdetailed backgrounds and jerky scrolling, which help to kill off the fun (and point) of the original. It's less of a conversion, more a disappointing imitation - a sort of Lazarus And Dingwall to the arcade's Police Squad. (Eh? Ed)
'91 Verdict: 59
A Sega shuriken-'em up, this challenges you to free a load of baby ninjas (as if there weren't enough around already) from the clutches of a notorious villain and part-time sneeze called Bwah Foo. Face the legions of Oriental minions hurling boomerangs, shurikens and sometimes even themselves at you, and battle through to pick off the end-of-level bosses. Add colourful 4-way scrolling and sprites that are more poorly animated than a Saturday morning cartoon and you might think that Shinobi's a bit of a recipe for blandness. It is however jolly addictive and playable. There's quite a funky little smart bomb that pops up once a level, the long levels mean you're getting your multiload's worth, and there's always a little surprise hiding round the corner (or on the wall, or in the water, or behind that crate...). Tastier than my Nan's sponge cakes and the prize of the pack.
'91 Verdict: 85
THE NINJA WARRIORS
A horizontally-scrolling multiload which not only boasts all the beat-'em-up genre's standard features but also has quite a nice line in rather average gameplay. The nicely-shaded graphics, 2-player option and choice of weapons (poke people with your sword and throw a few ubiquitous shurikens around) contribute to solid, enjoyable play, but what could have been "oh wow!" is just "oh well".
'91 Verdict: 67
DOUBLE DRAGON 2
Grab a pal and repeat more or less exactly the same kind of stuff you did in the first Double Dragon. Use a wide range of moves in conjunction with a load of stolen weapons and climb up onto the scenery to drop down on top of the opposition. All this is depicted in very attractive graphics but, sadly, these suffer from fatal clutter-clash. Also the gameplay's pretty similar throughout, there's a very irritating multiload and the most radically different 48:/28 versions I've seen since Road Blasters. It's only a short time before words like 'that' 'not, 'that' and 'good' start coming to mind.
'91 Rating: 65
So, all told, it's a surprisingly weak compilation from Virgin (especially after Edition One).
One goodie, 2 humdrums and a duffer. The Fury would come after buying it!
Saturday night in sunny Swindon courtesy of Dub Drag 2.
A couple of Castro lookalikes throw bananas at Mr Ninja Warrior.
Shinobi bumbs into a couple of baddies on his way to the shops.
Here's old Shinny again trying to hide behind a stack of boxes.