april 24, 2014

Kamen no Ninja & Fudou Myououden, Famicom

Full title is Kamen no Ninja: Akakage, and Fudou Myououden is also known as Demon Sword in the US. None of the games were released in Europe. I've played and written about a game called Ninja Crusaders for Famicom earlier. It was a lot of fun so I hoped these two ninja games would be fun, too.

Kamen no Ninja
Here is some information about Kamen No Ninja from a GameFAQs walkthrough:

Kamen no Ninja: Akakage is a relatively straightforward platformer for the Famicom. The enemies are pretty simple, the stages are short, and to top it off, you have a wide variety of great weapons/items to use! The game is quite linear with the exception of one point late in the game, so you really only need to keep moving right to beat it. Even the boss enemies (the ones with health meters) can all be defeated with the same strategy or the same couple of weapons in your arsenal. Nonetheless, this really isn't a bad game, so I would recommend it to any 2D platformer fan.
-- http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/578587-kamen-no-ninja-akakage/faqs/58865

Personally, I don't like this kind of simplistic platformers. The graphics are simple, just walking from left to right doesn't really do it for me. The music becomes annoying after a while and the game doesn't feel very well thought-out. But as the article says, it's a decent game if you like this kind of games. You can currently buy it in our webshop, link here. When I played, I got tired of it pretty quickly. Here's a YouTube clip I recorded:

Fudou Myououden

The second game was much more exciting! Fudou Myououden is an extremely challanging game, with significant inspiration from Ninja Gaiden. The enemies are thrown at you from every direction. The game is also 3M big and the stages are long. You have unlimited continues and collected magic is saved after you die. With a password you can also keep everything you've collected.

The game is still really hard. For this reason, the game was remade for the american audience. Instead of dying after just one hit, you got a health bar. The stages are made shorter and six stages were removed. The game felt somewhat slower though, and some enemies were easier to beat. My guess is the US version couldn't store as much data, so some had to be removed.

To use magic, press Start and then Down button. Unfortunately, I didn't understand this until stage 1-3, after desperately fighting my way ahead for two hours. After I discovered this, things got easier. By then, I had learned a lot of timing, as you can see in the beginning of the following video:

I made it all through stage 1-4 without any problem but at 2-1, I gave up. I've seen that walkthroughs on YouTube are about 55 minutes long, and that is probably the time spent without dying. For a Famicom game, it's a really long game.

To compare it with Ninja Crusaders, which can be completed in 20 minutes without dying, a more realistic time is about 6-10 hours. So I guess Fudou Myououden therefor would take at least 30-40 hours, and getting enemies thrown at you all the time becomes exhausting. You will need luck and good powerups to complete the stages.

It is a good game in many ways, it has nice graphics, good sound, great controls, fun powerups and the magic adds a strategic element. Reading other reviews, I notice people saying a combinaion between the easier US version and the more good-looking, longer japanese version would be better.

It's funny how I made it to the end of the stage during my last attempt seen in the video, but died when I went back.

To complete the Japanese version you really need to improve your ninja-skills. You'll have to learn exact timing, be an expert at collecting powerups, struggle with mini bosses to get higher magic. But what's most important is to play, play play, and die, die, die. I think people who enjoy Ninja Gaiden might enjoy this. This game was recently sold, but keep an eye out in our Webshop or make a request.

Fudou Myououden is kind of a sequel to another game called Legend of Kage which is much shorter and easier. So if you enjoy ninja games, that is also a game I can recommend.

External links:
* http://lvls.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/cultural-anxiety-demon-swordfudou-myououden-nesfamicom/
* http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/legendofkage/legendofkage.htm

originally posted by Japanspel at swedish blog japanspel.wordpress.com, translated by Kristin Loman.

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