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  •  Developer: Natsume
  •  Publisher: TAITO
  •  Platformer: Nintendo Switch & PlayStation 4
  •  Release Date: August 30th
  •  Price: $29.99
  •  Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
  •  Review Code Provided: Yes

The 1990s were home to a lot of franchises that people nowadays remember fondly. Beat-em ups are no exception whether on arcades or on consoles. Taito released Ninja Warriors in 1987, a beat-em up that is unique for its time. It would follow up with a sequel seven years later and after that, nothing but silence. Until last year when Taito announced that they would be working on a remake of the 1994 sequel. It would be known as The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Ninja Warriors. Being a remaster, does this game do the original SNES game justice?

Taking place in a dystopian future, the world is ruled by a mutant dwarf named Banglar the Tyrant. Commanding an army of brainwashed soldiers, mutant and combat robots, he brings the world and its civilians to its knees. In order to prevent any more destruction, a resistance group rises up to stop Banglar. Led by Mulk, he designs three specialized combat robots and orders them to fight against Banglar’s forces and save the world.

Being a remaster of the original, it’s faithfu to a fault. It fits things to a T but at the same time, it’s what you expect for a game like this. I honestly have no complaints with it.

As for the gameplay, The Ninja Saviors is a beat-em-up side-scroller where you go from point A to point B. You choose from one of three different characters, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. There are also two more unlockable characters but getting them will put your skills to the test. On the bottom of the screen details your health and a battery. The battery serves as your special gauge and each of the characters can perform flashy moves that let them deal pain to all foes. Along the way, you take on rounds of enemy mooks that will get in your way. Not to mention every level also has hazards as well as challenging bosses. Bosses are aplenty and it isn’t just beating them up over and over. Some boss fights require strategy. Plus it also makes the game feel unique and fresh. Being that this is a remaster of an SNES game, it’s to be expected.

Ninja Warriors can be played with up to 2-players. You have the choice of either single-player or co-op. Not only that but the game also has a time attack mechanic where you will be timed for how fast and skilled you do in every stage. There is a catch to this. Should your player go down, you are allowed to continue but the time attack gimmick is completely gone. It’s a double-edged sword where players can either try to get the fastest time in a string or just reach the end without restrictions. The good news is that you can replay any of the levels at any time and get a time attack score for them. With two difficulties, gamers are going to have some fun. As for controls, they are solid. Solid and easy to get into. In fact, it’s a game that’s easy to pick up and play. Length-wise, the game is rather short and can take 2-3 hours to complete. Plus the added time attack, two difficulties and five characters extend the length further. Overall you are getting a game that’s on the short side but has much to provide.

The game looks great. It captures the feel of 90s beat-em-ups and then some. It also runs at a solid 60fps and since it’s a remaster, TAITO took the liberty of taking it up a notch when it came to the backgrounds and character models. They are a big step-up compared to the originals. Music is great too. Not only that but in addition to the arranged music, you also have access to the original arcade music and the SNES versions. Though you may have to unlock them so you can give them a listen.

For as much as I praise the game, there are some faults. The game is a challenging one and unless you have an understanding of how the game works, you are going to get beaten down. From my experience, it took a while before I got the idea of how it works and since then, I had a blast. Considering that this game carries the feel of 1990s beat-em ups, expect a challenging time.

In conclusion, this remaster brings a beat-em-up from the 90s into the 21st century and it does it well. The game is a challenge, don’t get me wrong but it’s also a fun ride. A big step up from the original in terms of its presentation and the music is great. For a $30 game, you are getting plenty and then some but it makes you wonder if it had more. Regardless TAITO did justice to the game and I can’t say enough how much you should give it a chance. Ninja robots are awesome after all.

I give Ninja Saviors: Return of the Ninja Warriors an 8 out of 10.

8/10

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