忍者君:魔城の冒険 Ninja Kun : The Demon Castle Adventure

Ninja Kun titleHoly shit, where do I start with this one. I found this cart while browsing around a local second hand shop. It was about 80 yen (still less than a dollar) so I thought “fuck it” and added it to the already sizable pile of carts that my wife would no doubt grill me over once I got home. Seriously, I’m a simple man, as long as I have my whiskey and my vidya games I’m happy. And being a Friday night with no work the next day, the door to an all night bender was wide open, but really, not even alcohol could help me enjoy this game. Well, maybe it helped a little. Oh who am I kidding, whiskey makes everything awesome.

The first thing I noticed was the god awful music. It’s fucking horrible. It’s like if a cat ate a cellphone and it got run over by an ambulance and then some dude rammed his dick in your ear. If you play this game I am am pretty sure you will hit the mute button. They have tried to do the whole “classical Chinese” theme and failed miserably. Sweet mother of god if I ever find the guy who did the music on this game I am going to set a road cone on fire and make him sit on it.

The game itself is nothing amazing. While it is kind of original, the entire game repeats the same concept. ninja-kun-majou-no-boukenYou play as a little ninja who must take out all the bad ninja on the screen (note screen: it’s not a side scrolling platform game, more of a stationary one). All the screens seem to be constructed in a similar way. You start on the ground and can jump up to the platforms above you until you reach the top platform. The scenery of the screens change, for example there the first level is a cliff face and the second is Pagoda, but the mechanics stay the same. The graphics are actually not too bad for an early 8 bit title (remembering that is around the mid eighties). It kind of pissed me off a little though, looking at the cutesy and colorful graphics, I couldn’t help but wish this was a better game. I’m probably being a little too harsh on this game, but it honestly pissed me off. Maybe it was the whiskey, or the fact that I suck at it but it just rubbed me wrong way. Oh and the music made me want to put a brick through my TV.

There are a lot of frustrating aspects to this game. For one, you can only jump up on an angle. Why in the blue fuck can you only jump up on an angle? I just don’t fucking understand it. Hitting the jump button without also pressing diagonally on the D pad will cause your little Ninja kun to fall through the platform to the one underneath it. Yep, jumping makes you fall down. Isn’t that just fucking brilliant? Your only attack in this game are little ninja stars which you use to kill other ninja, and when you do they leave behind a scroll. Collect all the scrolls and you get a bonus at the end of the level. One thing I found useful is if you jump up directly into a bad ninja that is above you, you will stun them for a few seconds which gives you a chance to ninja star them in the face. Be warned though, they can do the same thing to you. Also, all the enemies have projectile weapons which they seem to fire at random. I cannot tell you how many times I have jumped up or down right into someones randomly projected projectile.

I found the game to be quite difficult. I made it to the 5th maybe 6th level before calling it a drunken day. You get hit once and you are dead, there are no power ups at all and every level is the same fucking thing. The cart itself is an odd shape, it has the brand name “Jaleco” forged into it. Why anyone would want there name on this piece of shit is beyond me. Jaleco were well known for porting arcade games to various consoles, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an arcade game to begin with. Also, and I’m not 100% sure of this either, but I think this crappy game is the predecessor to Super Ninja Kun, a fantastic game for the Super Nintendo.

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