THE NINJA WARRIORS AGAIN
( Ninja Warriors )
game Cover
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ザ・ニンジャウォーリアーズ アゲイン
©Taito Corp. 1994
Release: 1994-01-28 (¥9300)
Cartridge SHVC-NI
Action/Fighting game

American Version
country
Released in America as
THE NINJA WARRIORS
( SNS-NI-USA )

European Version
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Released in Europe as
THE NINJA WARRIORS
( SNSP-NI-XXX )

The Ninja Warriors Again is a side-scrolling fighting game published by Taito and developed by Natsume. The tyrant Banglar has become a ruler and uses his army and oppressive regime to control the country's population. An obscure underground opposition group still remains and three ninja-androids are built to assassinate the merciless dictator. The player controls one of three cyborgs - Ninja is a large and heavy fighter with powerful fists and metallic nunchakus, Kunoichi is a female Ninja and the most balanced character of the lot and finally, Kamaitachi is a fast and frenetic fighter with expendable blades in its forearms. Our heroes can jump, grab enemies, pick up bikes and large metal containers and throw them in the air with ease. A power meter located at the bottom of the screen slowly fills up and a powerful explosion-attack can be unleashed when maxed out - the gauge however drains down each time the Ninjas get hit. Blaster combinations can also be triggered when the power meter is completely full and each robot has his own set of specific moves - for instance Ninja can use his jet boost to propel himself through the air and Kunoichi can trigger spectacular overhead attacks. The game is vast and features eight long stages.
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The first and original Ninja Warriors arcade game was originally released by Taito in 1988 and featured an unusual game display built around three monitors. This allowed the game to use a fairly large play field and the system was also used for the original Darius developed by the same company. Ninja Warriors was then ported to countless home systems of the time such as the Commodore 64 (1989), CPC (1989), Atari ST (1989), Sinclair Spectrum (1989), PC Engine (1989), Amiga (1990), Sega CD (1993). The sequel The Ninja Warriors Again was released in 1994 for the Super Famicom. It was simply renamed Ninja Warriors in the United States and Ninja Warriors The New Generation in Europe.

The game was also released in the United States and Europe. As expected, some of its original content was slightly modified. Interestingly, the Japanese version features green blood, maybe in an attempt to avoid potential censorship troubles. This was obviously not enough and this effect was completely removed and replaced by an impact effect. All the women fighters were also omitted and replaced by more "suitable" enemies.

Teaser text from the American version:
Three androids, programmed with all the ancient skills of Ninja Warriors, are sent forth, untried, to defeat an army and bring down the tyrant, Banglar. They will attack their foes with fist, sword, knives, curving steel blades, and their own powerful bodies. They have no human emotions to weaken them, and onle one mission -- to destroy all enemies.

Teaser text from the Japanese's introduction sequence:
This once great and opulent nation, is now in the midst of a terrible crisis. Banglar the tyrant, having become the ruler of this nation, uses his powerful army to oppress the population. Having been brainwashed, the people had lost their power to think for themselves. The society was in ruins, and what was once a great economic power lie in darkness. However, there was a ray of light left. A small bue powerful underground opposition force led by Mulk was mounting a great campaing to overthrow Banglar and restore light to the nation. Banglar was to be assassinated by using the force of three androids. An android strong enough to crush Banglar's armed forces would take a long time to develop, and by the time the testing stage had been reached, time had run out. Banglar gathered his forces to crushs the resistance, Here and there, the resistance force was quickly and severely defeated. The resistance force was no match for Banglar's overwhelming force. With no time left, the untested androids had to be used. "Your mission is to overthrow the despotic regime and assassinate Banglar." With this, the final battle had begun.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

Planner
S. Taniguchi
Programmer
T. Miyabe
Game Designer
S. Taniguchi
T. Shinpo
S. Wada
Sound
H. Iwatsuki
N. Tate
Software Support
A. Tanaka
H. Iwatsuki
H. Komuro
Special Thanks
M. Matsumoto
K. Ishihara
H. Autumn
Jim Yajima

(c)Taito 1994
Programmed By Natsume


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The Ninja Warriors Again is nothing short of a masterpiece, an epic sequel to a rather average first installment. It is in the small details that The Ninja Warriors Again really shines - the character design is absolutely breathtaking with intricate structural details. Just look at the way how Ninja plays with his nunchakus or how Kunoichi quickly and stealthy attacks her opponents. Superb. Despite the obvious and unavoidable enemies repetitiveness, the game features some really unusual bosses and special effects rarely seen on the Super Famicom hardware - the 'cloaking ability' used by one of the Boss later in the game is certainly one of the greatest example. The gameplay is also perfect with a well balanced difficulty level and a slick learning curve. A brilliantly atmospheric and solid game.




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