2 comments on “The Last Ninja, a quiet retrospective

  1. think this sums up the The Last Ninja games very well. I still play them occasionally, and I totally agree with you: It all comes down to the atmosphere in the games. And yes, that jumping, which had to be done with pixel like precision, still annoys me to this day. But this was in the days when a gamer liked to be challenged. Today everything is laid out for you. In a lot of games today it\’s even almost impossible to die. Either game developers don\’t think players like to be challenged, or gamers of today really haven\’t got any patience.

    As for Ninja 3, it was widely regarded as inferior to the two games it followed. A new development team who didn\’t quite grasp the concept as well as the team that made the two first games made levels that were illogically mapped. And the game was bug ridden as hell. Also: The graphics were even more detailed and colorful, but while Last Ninja 2 had the right amount of detail in its graphics, the graphics of Ninja 3 got in the way of themselves.

    As for a trip down memory lane, I\’ll direct you to -> http://lastninja.lemon64.com/main.php

    • I think that the pixel-precise jumping requirement probably is the biggest reason why we have the current game market where games are either so overwhelmingly difficult as to become repetitious or so hand-holding as to be on rails. Programmers today do not want to take a risk that they might alienate potential players. And given how games are expected to sell millions and millions of copies, who can blame them a lot of the time?

      From my experience playing World Of Warcraft, just as an example, I can tell you that it is a little of both. Players do not have any patience or desire to be challenged, and the programmers try as hard as they can to accommodate that. But the thing is, when people are telling players who do not quite “get” it that they must be lazy and stupid and so on, it hurts the game in terms of profitability.

      Oddly enough, what you describe also happens a lot in films. One or two really good ones get made, and the money people decide to bring in people that do not understand what made those two work. I remember one game published by System 3 that came out between The Last Ninja 2 and 3 titled Vendetta. Vendetta was basically The Last Ninja, but with the theme changed to a more Commando-like plot, where one ran around gunning people down and rescuing somebody. Whilst the puzzle element was still good, the fights mainly consisted of two people running at each other firing their weapons until one died. That might well have been the same team that did The Last Ninja 3.

      I will have a look-see in due course. Finishing another writing at this point, so I may be a while.

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