Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance
Developer: Hudson Soft
Submitted by: Martin Dodd
What do you get if you cross Shinobi with Bionic Commando and add a pinch of Rolling Thunder. Probably one of the most overlooked games released for the Gameboy Advance – Ninja Cop or better known in Japan – Ninja Five-0.
The action takes place over several locations the first being a bank and then moving onto a harbour. Each level looks great and flows really well with fluid animation. I'm sure from playing it any retro gamer will instantly recognise the influences that are brought together to make this gem of a GBA game.
Influences from Shinobi are; rescuing a number of people to complete a level from terrorists, throwing shuriken stars, killing other ninjas that also block your shurikens, fire power upgrades, casting magic that kills enemies and wears down bosses. The main influence from Bionic Commando is that to reach upper platforms you are equipped with a grappling hook that lets you swing around until you let it go and hopefully have you landing on your designated spot. The Rolling Thunder influences are doors that you can enter. These let you access other levels/areas via keys that you need to get by doing a little ninja killing work.
All in all this makes one very playable game that could well have been designed to play in your local arcade from the late 80's and yet is available to play on your handheld though this retro goodness doesn’t come cheap.