Review: Ninja Five-O (GBA)

by Travis Woodside on

Everyone loves ninjas, but not everyone loves police. Logically, a ninja police officer is going to be disliked by some individuals. How did developer Konami restore approval in the main character of ‘Ninja Five-O’? By giving the ninja an awesome grappling hook, of course. Everyone likes grappling hooks. You’d swear you were playing Bionic Commando, but this game stars a ninja cop and that makes a world of difference. For example, instead of shooting a gun you can throw ninja stars. World of difference between the two games, I tell you. Heck, this one is on the GameBoy Advance. Not that stupid out of date Nintendo Entertainment System.

inja Five-O is a modern day “old school” 2D action sidescroller. Across five different levels (with multiple stages each) you, the daring ninja police officer, kill everyone that dares to go against the law. There are no protocols to follow here, no paperwork to worry about. You’re just a ninja on a mission; to act as a vigilante and later tell the Chief back at the station that there was no way to avoid shoving your sword through the lightly armed thug at the bank. Needless to say, the “five-o” theme doesn’t figure into the gameplay whatsoever. What you’re getting here is a faster paced Bionic Commando mixed in with some good old fashioned Ninja Gaiden difficulty. This game is a merciless gauntlet and it will not let you forget it. Whether you’re breaking up a bank robbery, saving a hijacked jetliner, or killing bats in some random cave you’ll be pushed to the brink of sanity and awesome in your attempt to save the day.

While quite short (you can blow through the game with a few days of devotion if you so choose) you’ll find enough to appreciate if difficult games are your forte. The title is based around the old fashioned “trial and error” mechanics from the ’80s. All enemies fit a specific pattern of movement, as do the environments which feature them. On some levels your only goal will be to get to the end, but on most you’ll search for keys to locked doors in an attempt to find and rescue hostages. This adds a fresh bit of exploration to the title, keeping it from feeling completely like a Bionic Commando rip off. Furthermore, there are very few games where you can watch a ninja have a nervous breakdown if he accidentally kills a hostage because he thought it’d make sense to throw a fireball at the enemy that was holding them at gunpoint.

eplayability is non-existent unless you want to go through again on hard mode, but the game’s short length actually works as a positive here. This is a quick game to whip out every now and then when you feel the need for a nice action platformer. Playing through the game multiple times gives it more of an art house quality you can experience quickly before shelving like that copy of ‘Schindler’s List’ you really think is amazing but you’re never in the mood to actually watch because it’s too depressing. ‘Ninja Five-O’ is a relic of the past you’d be hard pressed to hate unless you’re a pansy that can’t stand a challenge.

This is one of those games you’re either going to love or hate. There’s no in between here. For what it is it’s incredibly well made. So the question is; do you love what it is?

Mr. Face say this game **good**.<br/> Mr. Face never wrong! face
Mr. Face say this game **good**.
Mr. Face never wrong!