ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

14 Apr 2010

Spectrum Games - Dragon Ninja - ZX Spectrum Classic Game

ZX Spectrum Dragon Ninja
Well what can I say about this conversion of the famous arcade game by Data East?

Imagine developed a lot of good arcade conversions for the ZX Spectrum (with the likes of Green Beret and Hypersports) - but this was about as far from a good conversion as you could get.

Anyway - let's have a look at a 'classic game' that actually turned out to be pretty crap.

"I'm bad" is just about right.

Dragon Ninja - ZX Spectrum
Just like in the arcade game president 'Ronnie' had been kidnapped by a bunch of ninja's (yes really!) and in stepped the bad dudes (you) to save him, and the day I suppose. So - here we were with another 'right-to-left scrolling, fight the bad guys and recue someone type deal'.

The game took inspiration from another classic arcade game, Shinobi. This inspiration was the fact that you could fight on the upper or lower area of the screen, jumping up and down between the upper and lower portion of the screen at will.

This feature worked pretty well in the arcade game but on the Speccy the controls are sticky and your 'bad dude' doesn't really react well to your keypresses.

The graphics are pretty poor; the game characters are pretty small and not well animated, the backgrounds bland and the scrolling is average at best.

Throwing kicks and punches in the relative direction of the bad guys seems to take them out - and jumping over a gap is a lottery in itself.

By 1988 games of this quality (and especially arcade conversions) were not acceptable - we all knew the Spectrum was capable of so much more.

If you want to complete this game take the following steps: Crouch, leg sweep, walk. Crouch, leg sweep, walk. Crouch, leg sweep, walk. Repeat until you either complete the game or you're brain freezes with boredom.

Dragon Ninja on the ZX Spectrum - It's bad!Give this one a miss - worth it for the comedy value only. Like the bad dudes say - 'It's bad'.

On Release:
On release this game was generally regarded as crap.

The Test Of Time:
After more than 20 years this game is still crap.

GENRE: Arcade Game (Beat em up)
RELEASED BY: Imagine Software
DEVELOPER(S): Bill Harbison, Paul Owens, Mark R Jones
PRICE: £8.95 (About £8.85 too expensive)

I beat the first boss then die of boredom...

Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games


CaptainD said...

Ah... awful, but still brings back memories!

I loved the arcade versiono of Dragon Ninja, even though I was terrible at it...

The Retro Brothers said...

Yep Captain - the arcade game was pretty good - but this version for the Speccy really was awful.

So bad it's funny.

Rich said...

The best thing about this game was the menu screen music, that music is MADE OF WIN!

Alessandro Grussu said...

I strongly disagree. It's a nice conversion actually - it's the coin-op itself that's not so hot.

Garry G. said...

I completely disagree with the previous post!

This was/is one of my favourite arcade-cabinet games, and I still occasionally play it on MAME.
I didn’t get the Specy version at the time though, because even then it had a reputation as a stinker!

I haven’t played the Specy version, but had heard it was ‘bad…’ and not in a good way!

One of my other favourite arcade-cabinets was Bomb-jack, and I spent many, many nights playing that one on the Specy.

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