Ninja Saviours: Return
Switch version tested
Review code provided
The Ninja Warriors Are BACK!
Way back in 1994, TAITO released a game on the SNES/Super Famicom titled The Ninja Warriors (developed by Natsume). In the game, you played as 1 of 3 cyborg ninjas sent to kill a tyrannical dictator by the name of Banglar. The game was absolutely fantastic and I spent several hours of my childhood playing it. Some 25 years later, The Ninja Warriors has been remastered under the name The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors (The Ninja Warriors Once Again in Japan).
The graphics are, of course, enhanced from the original, but NatsumeAtari has also added new gameplay elements and a couple other things. The controls are just as tight as they were in the original SNES game. The music is wonderful and you even have the option of unlocking the original arcade soundtrack which is a nice addition. After finishing each stage, you unlock a time attack mode for that stage in that particular difficulty (Normal or Hard).
The 3 original characters are still playable, as to be expected. Ninja is a hulking male cyborg in typical ninja garb who uses a pair of nunchaku as a weapon. Kunoichi is a female cyborg armed with kunai and shurikens. And Kamaitachi is a thinner, faster cyborg with blades attached to his arms. In addition, you can unlock 2 brand new characters. Finish the game on Normal difficulty to unlock Yaksha, a shorter female cyborg with extendable arms. Finish the game on Hard and you’ll unlock Raiden who is a HUGE tank of a cyborg the same size as the boss of Stage 1.
Each character has their own unique attacks and feel to them, so it leaves the game feeling fresh with each playthrough. I, myself, found myself defaulting to Ninja for the most part, but it really depends on your play style. You can SWITCH (see what I did there?) between characters any time you lose and continue, but the game no longer records your time once you do so, so if you’re looking to secure a spot on the newly added online leaderboards, you’ll need to start the game over from the beginning.
Speaking of the online rankings, each stage also has its own individual rankings, including with any character, each individual character, and both difficulty modes, so there’s a lot to shoot for if you’re a rankings chaser. Another great addition is the inclusion of multiplayer which the original SNES version was sorely lacking.
The Ninja Saviors (much like NatsumeAtari’s Wild Guns Reloaded) is exactly what an enhanced remaster should be. Same core gameplay but with extra features (new characters, new modes, etc). I can’t recommend this game enough, especially to fans of the original. The Ninja Warriors have returned and in spectacular fashion.
TBG Score: 9/10
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 30/08/2019
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Action, Arcade
Publisher: Softdistribution GmbH
Download link: eShop