Review by easyeman
"One great action/adventure game that sadly never got the attention it deserved"
Ninja Taro is a fun action/adventure type game with some RPG elements. You assume the role of a Ninja that has to help the good Lord Nobu find and defeat his arch-rival, the evil Lord Shin. You explore through many areas and the story will lead you to many different things. You find out new things and battle evil monsters along the way, all to find more about the enemy, and what else may be going on.
Gameplay - 9
The controls for this game are very simple, and make this game easy to just pick up and start playing. You have an inventory with not a huge variety of items, which makes it easy to know what does what and to select what you need. You can equip two items and can choose the same item for both slots if you desire. You simply equip two things you want or need, and then go about the game and use it. It's that simple to control the game, and fight. Mostly of what you do is explore around and go from place to place to accomplish something. If you need to fight an enemy, you just attack it with a weapon you have equipped, and use items by having them equipped. Overall it's that simple to equip and do what you need to do, so you figure out what's going on quickly and have no trouble doing something. This is one of the easiest games to just dive into and start playing. The gameplay is a strong point of this game for that reason. You don't need someone to tell you how to do things, since you figure it out easily on your own. And then playing the game becomes second nature and you can focus more on what to do next and just have fun.
Story - 9
Surprisingly, this game has a great storyline. It is labeled an action/adventure, but it does play like a role playing game in some areas, and it has a story like an RPG, which makes the game better. The story is simple and easy to follow, and it expands as you go about the game. You start out by not knowing much, but the more you explore and advance to new areas and talk to people, the more will be revealed in what you need to do. It flows nicely and you always have something to do. It also has a lot of backtracking, so you are going back and forth to a few areas to uncover something and it ties it all together well. It can be annoying to do some things, but overall the story flows and is easy to get into, and for a game that's mostly action based, the story is a lot better than you'd expect. It keeps you involved in the game and draws you in, so the storyline plays a big part in the game.
Graphics/Sound - 8
For GameBoy, this game has great graphics. It isn't incredibly detailed, but it's easy to distinguish enemies and characters, and also overall it's nicely done. The environments and layout are nice as well, and for back in the day, these graphics look really nice, even today. People won't talk about the graphical greatness in the game, but the graphics are definitely pleasant and fit the game nicely.
As for music and sound, that's the stronger part of the game. For being a GameBoy game, this game has great music and some tunes are quite catchy, like the music when you are at Geko Castle. The sounds are decent and are about what you'd expect for a handheld game, but still don't take anything away from the action. Overall it's nice and fits with the game, and the music overall is pleasant to listen to, and nothing starts to get on your nerves like some games tend to do.
Play Time/Replayability - 8
As mentioned, this game is a mixture of a few things. It's mostly an action/adventure type game, but it has the feel of an RPG as well. You go to different towns and have to battle many enemies and explore caves, and also discover many chests which can upgrade your character and weapons. It also has a nice story which makes it feel like a role playing game that plays like an action/adventure game. Either way it's nicely done and overall is a fun game. It is very easy to get into and is easy to get addicted on. You can play for hours and not grow tired of playing.
The replayability and such is quite high for this game. It is somewhat like an RPG which can bring it down, but since it is mostly action and you are constantly doing something, then it helps it have a high level of replayability. Of course once you beat the game then there will be nothing new to play it again, but it's simple yet fun action and figuring out things makes it fun to play over and over. I have played it many times an not get bored of it. And when you do play it, it's easy to get drawn in and play it for many hours at a time.
I would definitely get this game if you can find it. It is sadly underrated and not well known, but it was and is one of my favorite games on GameBoy. I never get tired of it, and it is quite addicting. The story and action make it fun and easy to get involved in, and it's also simple to get the hang of. This is definitely one game that you'll play and wonder why it was never bigger than it was. Overall, this game is a lot of fun and if you can find it, you should definitely pick this title up.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/13/04
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