Kaze Kiri Ninja Action (1994)


At first I thought this would be another Ninja Gaiden-like game for the PC-Engine, but it’s a different kind of animal. KKNA is a Beat’n Run where you have to defeat a fixed number of enemies each level and then have to face a boss. You play a ninja who has to retake a princess who was hijacked by another ninja clan.

My favorite aspect of the game is the excellent mood the game conveys through the scenery and the enemy designs (especially the bosses). I really like games where all details fit well together and create a style of a piece. The game does have a big weak spot: each level you only meet two different types of enemies and most of them are only differently colored enemies of the same type. That combined with the number of enemies each level makes the gameplay very repetitive.

Typically for a Beat’n Run the number of moves at your control far exceeds those of a typical action platformer and you really have to master them to beat the game. It’s far from Beat’em Up complexity, but you do need some skill beyond merely pressing the attack button to win the day.

While the game certainly isn’t perfect, I really enjoyed it.