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Last Ninja 2
|Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance was an enormous commercial success and the second installment in the Last Ninja series. The game was released by System 3 in 1988 for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC as a sequel to the 1987 game The Last Ninja. The Amiga, Atari ST, DOS and NES versions followed in 1989 while the game also appeared on the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers in 1990.|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
The evil shogun Kunitoki is back and this time he has sought refuge in the sprawling city of New York! Your mission starts on the roof of a warehouse somewhere in this big city controlling Armakuni in his attempt to avenge the massacre of his clan by the evil shogun. The action takes place through various locations within the NY city and the game's concept follows the first episode, granting us with a nice adventure beat 'em up experience! As a martial arts specialist, you may use your fighting techniques (kicks and punches) and your physical skills as you leap in the air as a well-trained ninja! Your health bar is crucial when fighting with opponents and the opponents are too many, from ninjas to cops, who may also carry weapons rather than their bare fists and kicks! But once they are defeated, you can collect their weapons and use them for your own sake! The game's controls are a bit awkward. Playing in a pseudo-3D environment and, in order to fight, you must hold the fire button while choosing a particular direction to kick or punch your opponent (or even collect an object!) This can be frustrating at times since your ninja has to stay still on screen rather than moving around to avoid the enemy hits. Last Ninja 2 is divided into six different sections. After leaving Central Park, you will wander around the streets of New York and you'll finally find yourself down the dark depths of the city's sewers investigating until the opium factory is reached. At the top of this factory, a helicopter will be awaiting to whisk you to the final battle in Kunitoki's secret island!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Technically the CPC version offers detailed isometric graphics, great character animations but unfortunately all in...black and white! It runs in mode 1 (a large 320x200 pixels screen) but still, I really wonder why they did that on the CPC, as it could manage much better than this (i.e. by running in its normal low resolution 160x200 and using 16 colors on screen)! It is a shame to ignore the CPC's nice color palette anyway! The BBC Micro and C64 versions are way better in terms of coloring while the varied sprites are well animated on this version. To the game's sound, things are getting...worse (!) since the only sound you'll listen to is an awful tune at the main menu and no other sound during gameplay! Comparably, the C64 version offers a wonderful intro and in-game soundtrack, while the BBC Micro version has sound effects (only). Ok, other than these cons on the CPC (and ZX) version, the game is a unique mixture of action adventure and beat 'em up elements and it's fun to play!
Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128
|CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ|
MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards)
GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported
SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.
|RGB 27-colors palette (16 on screen)|
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