Ninja Warriors is a little known game on the SNES just waiting to be found. The game is your classic Beat 'em up but this one does things right. I'm not normally a huge beat 'em up fan opting to spend most my time on strategy games and RPGs, but this game had me from the start.
The game takes place in a sci fi styled future where an evil Dictator named Banglar controls the world with evil oppression. The people can only hope on rumors that their is a resistance group who will fight and defeat the evil Banglar. This resistance group lies its hopes on the creation of 3 cyborg Ninja Warriors who they will deploy in a last desperation move to assassinate Banglar.
It is up to you to take control of the Ninja Warriors and fight for all of the people of the world and save them from their misery! The game allows you to choose between one of the 3 Ninja Warriors and you will notice right off the bat how their play styles will vary. You will see one big, one medium sized and one smaller one (the girl!). The 3 Ninjas styles of play are as you would expect for their sizes. The largest Ninja Warrior named Ninja has the most defense and attack power but is the slowest and least mobile. The medium sized Ninja is known as Kamaitachi and is the jack of all trades Ninja with in-between ability's. Lastly is Kunoichi the smallest Ninja and also the female one! She is the fastest and most mobile but also has the least armor and doesn't deal as much damage.
The controls for the game are a huge seller, being crisp and responsive. Left and right on the Dpad controls your characters movement in those directions. Down will allow your Warrior to crouch. Up is used when you grab an opponent which is done by getting close to them. Only the Ninja and Kunoichi are allowed to grab enemy's and the Ninja even allowed to move while holding an enemy. Once you grab an enemy you can use Up on the Dpad + the Y button to do a throw. Y is used as your basic attack button while B is used to jump. At the bottom of the screen it says Player and then an energy meter and then it says under that Blaster and an Energy meter. The energy meter next to the word Player is your health meter. The Meter next to the one that says blaster is like a 'special' meter. You charge the meter by defeating enemy's without being attacked. Once the meter is full you can use the X button to release your blaster. This move is your most devastating attack and should be saved for large mobs of enemy's or bosses. There is also another vital attack that you should learn and practice aiming right off the bat. It is a crouching attack used by pushing down and then the B button. I find this move is ideal for defeating most enemy's of the game. The combos in the game are incredibly easy being only pressing Y repeatedly. Along the course of the game you will also see items that you are able to pick up which is used with the Y button. The Y button is also used to block attacks which can only be performed while crouching (down).GRAPHICS: 8
The graphics in this game are good, the vibrant colors are especially appealing to the eye. The special effects also look fantastic especially the explosions which add a sense of urgency and suspense. Their is a large amount of unique character sprites that all have a sense of individuality. The only possible down side I can find for Ninja Warriors graphics is the games backgrounds which are somewhat dull.SOUND: 6
The soundtrack for this game is kind of just your average. It is not particularly memorable but the music is also not annoying either. The games special effects sounds are also somewhat dull and bland. The sound for the game is definitely one of the only things that hold this game back from greatness.ADDICTIVENESS: 9
This game had me coming back for more from the time that I started it all the way until I finished it. This game had me wanting to play it so much that it surprised me because normally beat 'em ups just don't attract my interest this much. The game play is extremely fun and gives you a great sense of power as you destroy your enemy's controlling the mighty Ninja Warriors.STORY: 7
The games story is reminiscent of the Terminator movies. It is somewhat of a cliche and overused video game story but it is one that works. The story is a classic and beat 'em ups are usually not known for their story's anyways.DEPTH: 8
The game contains a total of 9 stages in all each with an end boss. This may not seem like very much but some of the stages are pretty long. Since there are 3 Ninja Warriors to play this makes the game 3 times as long if you want to complete it with each character. The game also has a score system adding that competitive edge allowing players to compete on vizzed for highscore! I would say this game offers at least 10 hours to complete with your first characters run and maybe a few hours for each consecutive run once you have the game mastered. DIFFICULTY: 8
Like most beat 'em ups I find this game to be pretty hard. It took me quite a few runs of practice before I was ever to get very far in the game. Some of the games bosses also require unique strategy's in defeating them, which require a few trys to figure out. The stages are also timed which adds a sense of urgency and forces you to fight quickly or risk running out of time. New players shouldn't expect to beat the game right away unless you cheat or use save states but the game isn't so difficult that its impossible or frustratingly hard.OVERALL: 8
Overall I rank this game a solid 8 rating. Although not the best game of the SNES I think it is definitely worth a try. Don't let the games low Sound and Story category's fool you as these are just not elements necessary to make a good beat 'em up. From the very first day I began playing this game I was hooked and wanted to share my interest with other gamers. Normally not being a fan of this genre of games I can admit this game was a surprise. I never heard of this game or got to experience Ninja Warriors when it was originally released in 1994 on the SNES and I think there are a lot of other people who may have missed out on this game. Anyone who is a fan of the beat 'em up genre I don't even know what you are doing right now because you should be playing this game! Even for critics of the genre, you might just be surprised what a great beat 'em up done right like this one can offer, so go give it a try.