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|Genre||Beat em Up|
|Shadow Warriors (also known as Ninja Gaiden in America) follows the same side-scrolling beat 'em up style as many other similar games like Ninja Spirit and Double Dragon. There's no exception in the scenario, so a couple of gameplay twists have been added instead, in such the backgrounds are slightly more interactive than the normal. The game was originally released for the arcades in 1988 by Tecmo, and later converted to the Amstrad CPC, Commodore C64, ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST/E, PC (DOS) and Atari Lynx.|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
In the concrete jungle of an American metropolis chaos has broken loose, an Oriental demon has possessed the strength of the greatest Warrior and has summoned forth a squad of ghoulish assassins who must be stopped. This duty falls to you, a true Ninja, the last of the legendary Shadow Warrior combatants and the only saviors of a threatened city. Your mission is to fight your way through six of the toughest neighborhoods in America as you collect items (such as extra time or energy) appearing from within trash cans, signs and telephone booths. You will progress through each level and fight with various enemies along the way, such as assassination squads, to the final conflict with the evil demon. As a true Ninja, not only can use punches, kicks and sword on to the enemies, but you can also jump over enemies and hitting them from behind. Once again, the usual end-of-level guardian will make his appearance, packed with a mighty punch and stand over twice the height of your Ninja. The game is relatively hard, due to its rather slow and a bit unresponsive controls especially on the 8 bit conversions, that isolates the player from the action somewhat. If the nasties make the first attacking move, then it's rare that you recover in time to avoid the big KO.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The 16-colors graphics are fine and keep enough, for its limited hardware, details from the original. The characters are greatly animated and can interact with some of the backgrounds, such as swinging from lamp posts, all well implemented and look superb. It is frustratingly hard to actually avoid any hit when it comes to tight situations though due to its a bit of jerky controls on the CPC version, while gameplay runs in flip screen scrolling. In comparison with its C64 counterpart, the Commodore has way smoother gameplay, the sprites move faster and the screen scrolls fluently. The sound effects are on the weak side though, and they are limited consisting only of crude 'hitting' noises and no music.
|Arcades (original version)|
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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