Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
Developer: Chris Kerry, Shaun Hollingworth, Peter M Harrap and Marco Duroe.
Submitted by: Crispian Driver
Released in the mid 80's when Bruce Lee and Karate Kid films had us all wanting to be like our movie heroes, i went for the lazy option. Yes, I chose to be a martial arts expert on my spectrum.
Set in some far away mystical world, Grandmaster Naijishi wants you to become a ninja, to do this you must pass three tests, if you succeed, you get to fight the main man himself, defeat him and you become a true ninja, enter if you dare… The Way Of The Tiger.
The three tests you had to pass were Unarmed Combat, Pole Fighting and Sword Fighting. You fought a variety of foes from Skeletons and Goblins to Ninjas. Your health came in the form of Endurance and Inner Force, as you got hit, you lost Endurance, once you lost a full circle of Endurance, you lost a point of Inner Force. The less Inner Force you have, the lest powerful your hits are. You gained strength by defeating enemies. You have sixteen moves, the eight directions and your fire button. Your player can also change direction, quite new at the time.
This really is one of the best beat 'em ups on the Spectrum, it really did push the rubber keyed beauty, some people might of missed out on this game, those that did have truly missed out. The most striking thing about it, is the animation, for the time, it's incredible. In the background as you fight, fish jump out of water, ducks swim, logs float down the river, people work and owls fly, this came at a time when most beat em' ups came set against stationary landmarks. The animation was almost distracting. There are fairly decent sound effects and nice enough tune, it is also pretty playable.
There is however one downside, the game came on two cassettes and had to be loaded in different parts, this was certainly a pain, i'm sure emulation can get round this now, so there's no excuse not to experience this classic. We've all wanted to be Bruce Lee, haven't we?
Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Developer: Gremlin Graphics
Submitted by: Ash H
The Grand Master, Naijisji, has trained you to become a ninja. Before your training is complete, you have three tasks to complete, unarmed combat, pole fighting and samurai sword fighting. You will be tested in these against a variety of enemy. Both you and your enemy have levels of endurance and inner force. Every level of endurance used will deduct a point of inner force. The less inner force you have, the less effective the blow to your opponent is. Loose all of your inner force and you have failed in your test, but defeating enemy can improve your strength.
This game on it's original release came on two tapes, choosing one of the tests meant loading the level in. You had ninja, skeletons and larger beasts to face and you had a ton of moves at your disposal. Without weapons you had various kicks and punches. With either a pole or sword, you could jab, sweep, block and do a head splitter. For a game from 1986, the animation is pretty good, the game itself does lack a little colour. With each task you have a different background. Unarmed combat takes place in a desert, pole fighting is on a log and sword fighting is in a temple.
The way of the tiger is a good challenge, if you are good enough, you face the grand master himself, i never have. Only then will you have earned the right to be a ninja.