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Ninja Spirit: What Did the Critics Say in 1990?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 02, 2014   |   Episode 24 (Show Archive)  


Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafx-16)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Ninja games were a dime a dozen in the early 1990s. But even with so much competition, Ninja Spirit managed to stand out from the crowd. It's not just that this TurboGrafx-16 title was a perfect port of the hit arcade game, but also that it snagged some of the best reviews of 1990. Find out what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment thought of Ninja Spirit in this brand new episode of Review Crew!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Ninja Spirit
[ Company: Irem | Console: TurboGrafx ]

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
10 out of 10

"Simply the BEST ninja game ever! The movement of the ninja is unique and the weapons awesome! The music is perfect and the weapons immediately use-ful [sic] from the first moment. Get lost in the spirit of battle!" -Sushi X

90% out of 100%

"Ninja Spirit suits the PC Engine down to the ground. All the action is arcade perfect, and the difficulty is pushed right up. More playable than any other version -- even the C64 one." - Mark Caswell

GAMEPRO (November 1990)
4 out of 5

"Ninja Spirit is one of the finer TurboGrafx-16 games to hit the streets this year. As always, the graphics are incredibly detailed, colorful, and pleasing to the eye. The Spirits add a unique dimension to the game, but although they're easy to maneuver, it can get confusing when all three ninjas are jumping around at once. In the overall picture, however, the great gameplay easily overcomes the minor drawbacks." -Abby Normal

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
9 out of 10

"Forget Budokan, this is true martial arts action. Awesome weapons and power-ups and intese ninja action. Excellent graphics and authentic Japanese BGM. Great game play and cool Bosses. Best Turbo card yet." -Martin

(December 1990)
8 out of 10

"If you want an idea of how the NEC version looks and plays, check out the arcade version. The translation to the TurboGrafx-16 is practically flawless. The graphics are excellent, as are the sound effects and music. The animation is smooth, and flicker is evident only when the screen is really packed. Don't expect any cartoonish graphics and action here. Ninja Spirit is a great example of the TurboGrafx-16's abilities." -Brent Walker

(1991 Video Game Buyer's Guide)
Best Game of the Year (TurboGrafx-16)

"This action title is set to become the standard by which all ninja games are based in the future. The level of intensity is unmatched, with multiple weapons, options and shadows all coming into play. The Bosses animate and fill the screen and truly provide a testament to what this system can do when motivated properly. Ninja Spirit stands out from the pack of lackluster slash-em-up yarns, and, in the process, earns our Turbo Game of the Year award."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 89% - If you were to only read GamePro and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, you might think Ninja Spirit as a good, but not must-own action game for the TurboGrafx-16. Electronic Gaming Monthly readers were treated to a lot more enthusiasm for the arcade port. Not only did Ninja Spirit pick up a rare 10 out of 10 from EGM, but it also snagged the Game of the Year (TurboGrafx-16) award. I tend to agree with EGM, as Ninja Spirit holds up better than most ninja games of the era. No matter who you side with, this is clearly a TurboGrafx-16 game worth playing.



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