Ninja Master
Copyright/Publisher: Firebird, Release Year: 1986,
Genre: Mixed Sports, Number Of Players: 1

Anyone who has ever played one of many fighting games available must know what a Ninja is by now. You don't? Well not to worry, it's just that one particular Ninja has entered the local Ninja Olympics (one big ego trip really) with the Elders and becoming a Ninja Master. He must prove his worth by partaking in four different events which test his speed of reaction and stamina.

ARROW QUEST
In this event you have to defend yourself from nasty pointy arrows which are 'thrown' from off-screen. Your task is to punch or kick them aside - failure to do results in them flying straight into you. Ouch. Points are awarded for each arrow kicked aside, and to qualify you have to score above 1500 Ninja points.
KARATE CHOPPING
Here you have to waggle the joystick left and right - a la Decathlon - to build up enough power to chop a plank in half. You are given three chances to qualify, and doing so launches you into the next deadly challenge.
SHURIKEN STARS
This is a variation of the first event, except instead of arrows flying towards you there is a shower of Shuriken stars which have to be hit away with your trusty Ninja sword. This time you need 1200 points to qualify.
BLOW PIPE
Armed only with a blow pipe you must shoot - down ten canisters which fly across the screen from right to left. Points are awarded for accuracy, and completing this event takes you back to the first, only this time everything is faster.
Julian Rignall
This is a sort of oriental Decathlon, a nice idea which unfortunelately doesn't come off. The graphics are very poor, with hardly any animation on the ninja bloke - when there is any it's pretty sub-standard. The sound is also dire. The game itself is pretty dull and gets repetitive after a very short while - after all, it's all been done before. For two quid I suppose it's not exactly a rip-off, but there are many games better than this in the range.
R.E.
Fighting games are not my particular forte, but I actually enjoyed this cheapy smash em up from Firebird. Unfortunelately, I can see all you experienced bashers being none too impressed with it. But for us less able in the art of bashing, it's rather a good game. The graphics and the sound are not really outstanding, although the speech synthesis is neat. Overall a super, cheap introduction for those of you who have not yet dared get involved with smash em ups, but fancy a quick go.
Gary Penn
Firebird have certainly released some naff games recenlty, and this is one of them. The idea is novel, but the events aren't. A shame really, since a decent oriental pentathlon would have been great fun. Oh well, back to the drawing board...

INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 68%
Pretty straightforward.
GRAPHICS 29%
Large, chunky and lacking in detail.
SOUND 39%
Poor speech', music and spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 30%
Not a lot to inspire.
LASTABILITY 26%
The four events have little to hold interest.
VALUE FOR MONEY 32%
Cheap...and nasty.
OVERALL 28%
Pull your socks up, Firebird.


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