Thursday, March 11, 2010

Canon Video Game Review: Ninja Kid (NES)

It's a sad day here at The Canon Review, as Merlin Olsen, the man that played Benton the butler in Mitchell, has passed away. Sure, Olsen was a Hall of Fame defensive lineman in the NFL, who went on to have some success acting, but to me, he'll always be the butler that served cold coffee to his boss and got impaled on a boat hook by Joe Don Baker. RIP Merlin, you were not a lousy butler.

But while we mourn the loss of Benton, we must move on. Perhaps later today I will watch Mitchell, but I'm not sure yet. However, I did have the pleasure of playing the 1986 video game classic known as Ninja Kid. Released in 1986 for the Nintendo, Ninja Kid was developed and produced by Bandai. According to Wikipedia, Ninja Kid was based on a popular Japanese manga series at the time called GeGeGe No Kitaro, which is about a boy born in a graveyard who has one eye and has lived over 350 years, fighting the forces of evil with many weapons and powers. However, the developers decided to make this game more generic, as the game's main character is nameless and the levels are pretty generic. Here is the cover for Ninja Kid, courtesy of

That kid has some interesting looking cheeks. Also, his shoes don't match, and he is shooting lightning. In the game, he doesn't shoot lightning so I think that's false advertising. It would have been a whole different ballgame if I could zap my opponents with a bolt of electricity, that's for sure, but I digress. The game starts with the lead character on a map, there are a few buildings up, but he can only go to the one closest to him, which is where the action begins. There are four different levels, and each level is random. The levels are each side scrolling affairs, and depending on the levels, you must complete a certain task in order to advance. For example, there's one level where you must collect 10 ghosts, and another level where you have to kill 10 enemies. The controls are rather simple, A jumps, B fires your weapon, and you move using the d-pad.

This game is rather difficult, because only one hit by any of your enemies will cause you to lose a life, and you only have three lives. Also, whereas your character can only shoot horizontally, your enemies can shoot vertically, horizontally, and diagonally, putting you at a great disadvantage. It would have helped if I had done some research on this game before playing it, as I just dove right in without any clue, and oftentimes I kept running around like a headless chicken because I was unaware of the different objectives required by the game. Also, this game cheats. At one point I was on an upper platform, when a skeleton comes from the ground, somehow flies up to right where I was standing and killed me. I didn't know ground dwelling skeletons could soar through the air like a bald eagle. Stupid game.

The graphics are what you would expect from a 1986 Nintendo side-scrolling platform game, they're not great, but I'd say the graphics were pretty good considering the game's timeframe. The audio kind of stinks, as they play this annoying song non-stop throughout the game, unless you get to a boss level, in which the music becomes only slightly less annoying.

Overall, this game is better than the last game I reviewed, but there's not a whole lot that makes me want to play it again. The story is bland, the levels change slightly, but not a whole lot, and the only real variety is the tasks you have to do to pass the levels. Plus, from what I read, this game never ends, as once you pass all the levels and bosses, it just starts over at a harder level. That kind of stinks. I'll give this a 4.12 out of 10, as the game is inoffensive enough (if a little difficult) but to me, it doesn't seem to have a lot of replay value. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews or posts, or you would like to review something for The Canon Review (it can literally be anything you want to talk about), than e-mail me your ideas and or complaints at I'll try to post something later tonight, to make up for yesterday's activity, so for the 4 to 7 people that read this blog, be prepared.


  1. I've got a suggestion for a video game review.

    Play WCW Superbrawl for the SNES. Complete one match with at least half of the roster and give us your take on the game.

    It's gotta be better than Nitro...right??

  2. Will do, hopefully by the end of the weekend.

  3. I think it IS better than Nitro... but not by much. And Ninja Kid is sort of OK, but not the greatest.

    The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja is a much better Japanese video game about a ninja kid. Or Kid Nikki.

    Kid Nikki is fucking rad.

  4. I might have to try one of those games out sometimes. I'm sure they are also better than Nitro, but then again most games could make that claim.