Review by whoseya

Reviewed: 10/15/02 | Updated: 10/15/02

Jacquio! Prepare to die! What? Back to level 6-2? AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Back in the olden times of the Nintendo Entertainment System, developers wanted to make there games popular. One way was to make a good main character, another a good plot, a good villain, make the game fun to play, and finally make it a challenge. Tecmo does all of these right, although they vastly overdid the last one, creating a game that will probably give me premature baldness.

Story 10/10: Two ninjas square off on a moonlit night, and one is defeated. That one turns out to be Ryu Hayabusa's father, and his quest for revenge gets him mixed up with the government, countless street thugs, and ancient evil beyond imagining. Great plot, especially for an NES game. Ryu is cool, Jacquio is badass, Irene is a great supporting lady for Ryu.

Graphics 9/10: Great for its time. Large, detailed, multipart levels and Ryu is well animated. Detailed cutscenes also tell the story well. The only complaint is repetitive enemy animations and lots of palate swaps, but otherwise great graphics with little slowdown.

Sound 6/10: Mixed bag, some of the music tracks are catchy, while some just grow annoying after a time, especially the death music after your countless deaths, but more on that later. Sound effects aren't very varied, but are fine as they are, simply nothing interesting.

Gameplay 7/10: Ahh... the gameplay. Basically you run through each Act, jumping cliffs, scaling walls, and killing enemies with either your sword or the many special weapons you are able to find throughout the level. At the end of the final section of an Act you will fight a boss. There will then be a cutscene that will further along the game's plot. Not too bad, sounds simple right. The problem is, as I've hinted at several times throughout the review, this game is damn hard. First of all, Tecmo strategically placed every enemy in the perfect position to knock you off of a cliff when you meet them. Many enemies hurt you a lot, and healing items are few and far between. Not only must you survive the level, but you must still beat the boss at the end! And if you run out of lives, you go back a few sections, the most inconvenient being Act six, where you go through two juggernauts of enemies and platforms before you fight a pretty tough boss. Odds are you will have only one life left by then. Lose, and you must brave the Juggernaut again. And just when you think you are beyond it, lose to Jacquio in the next Act and you STILL go back to 6-2. Only sheer determination will allow you to attain victory.

Replay Value 5/10: You probably won't want to see this game again after you finally beat it, but as the memories start to fade, you will probably pick it up to gray the remainder of the hair on your head.

Rent? Buy? Burn? Steal? Whoseya tells all! You will probably want to burn this game before long, but definitely buy, this game can(and must)be beaten in one sitting, so buy if it is cheap. You can then buy the sequel in hopes that is might be easier. (Yeah Right!)

Whoseyadaddy gives it a 7/10.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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