It’s not too long since we offered you the review of Vampire Night and now we bring you the review of Namco’s latest lightgun shooter: Ninja Assault.
As always I want to speak out a warning: never ever play a lightgun shooter with a normal control pad. Simply put playing a shooter with a pad is terrible and you won’t enjoy the game you bought. If you don’t have a lightgun yet buy one in your local store or acquire one online at lik-sang before thinking about buying the game. To learn more about lightguns you might want to visit the review we did of several different models here. But now back to the game.
All lightgun shooters have a story. Some are short (Time Crisis 2) and some are even shorter (Vampire Night). In Ninja Assault you take on the role of a loyal Ninja in feudal Japan who is trying to free the Princess he owes loyalty to from the hands of a very, very, very evil Shogun. This Shogun is planning to sacrifice the Princess to the Lords of the Underworld to assure his own resurrection (did I mention he is an evil, evil and UNDEAD Shogun?). To protect his preparations he assured himself of the help of some demons to protect his castle. Now it’s your turn: take your gun (or two if you have a co-player) butcher a few thousand demons, make your way to the castle, defeat the evil Shogun, free the Princess, finish the game then go back to the store and buy another game. As you can see the story is quiet complex. Why complex you ask? Well it still has to be explained how semi-automatic hand guns came into the hands of some feudal Ninjas, but well that’s perhaps just my evil (not undead by the way) sarcastic side of mine.
“You know the rules”
If you like gun shooters this game is for you. You have to be fast, accurate and need a lot of concentration to finish this game successfully. Wave after wave of enemies is thrown at you with barely enough time to reload your gun (to do so you have to point the gun away from the screen and pull the trigger). Advancing through the levels is done for you by the game so you only have to concentrate on shooting as many enemies, obstacles and preferably bonus objects as possible.
Speaking about an AI in a lightgun shooter is senseless since there isn’t any to speak off. Enemies appear always on the same place in every scene and the challenge for the player is not thinking but fighting against the sheer amount of enemies-
Besides the two Arcade modes of the game (differing a little in the story line and level design) Namco has of course added some Bonus games for us again. Shooting Galleries, Time and highscore challenges – you name it, Ninja Assault likely has it. Some options and levels will of course only get available once you successfully finished other challenges or the main game.
A lightgun shooter is about fast action and like in most games of this kind you can neglect Ninja Assault’s story line. The cut-scenes normally are just a thrown in few sentences to tell the player what and where he is shooting next (and give you the player a short brake too).
The graphics in Ninja Assault are fast and fluent, the most important thing in a shooter. With the camera glued to static movements and the enemies able of only two or three movements each its not up to you to look around the levels very much but that’s not the point of the game after all and busy with shooting the ever present enemies you will have no problem with that.
The about twelve different types of enemies are adequately designed but the bosses are the graphical highlight of the game. Especially the boss of level 2 in Arcade mode, a hellhound set on fire (the real meaning of “Hot Dog”) was well done by the developers. Music is an addition to the ever present gun shooting and the screams of the demons (they scream when they jump at you, they scream when they hit you and they scream once they die – I think you get the point) and not to forget the (almost) ever present friendly male voice that warns you that you yet once again emptied a clip and have to “Reload” is everything one can say about the sounds.
Ninja Assault is yet another gun shooter from Namco: fast but short fun and a great time killer if you have one or more friends with you who have lightguns as well.