Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Below the Cut: Ninja Taro (Game Boy)

(Source: GameFAQs)
Ninja Taro - Rating(7 RPP)
1) 0 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 0 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 0 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 0 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 0 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

Rather than bank everything on the next installment of Rolan's Curse, NMK leveraged their Game Boy engine of the first game with their Ninja-kun franchise. Judging by the front cover though, it seems the localization team thought the American audience wouldn't be interested in cutesy ninjas. In kind, Sammy marketed this one as an RPG as well. I'm going to guess that it wasn't well known as it's not even in MobyGames' database. I might add it myself, but dislike having to write up the description.

There are stat increases, but they're found in chests, so no experience or gold. Combat is action based with monsters running around a top-down world map. There is a selection of weapons to choose from, but I couldn't determine if items ever came into play. The story is minimal, but there are towns and NPCs. As for everything else, it's non-existent. I give this a very generous C for effort.

I appreciate what Sammy tried, and as a publisher for games that pushed boundaries I'm glad they took chances like this. However, this and Rolan's Curse definitely fall more into the realm of action-adventure. With Might and Magic done, we actually don't see the name Sammy again until Rolan's Curse 2. No other RPGs were published by them in the US as far as I can tell.

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