Game Review #442: The Ninja Saviors - Return of the Warriors (Nintendo Switch)
  • Chad Myers

Game Review #442: The Ninja Saviors - Return of the Warriors (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: NatsumeAtari

Publisher: ININ Games

Category: Action, Arcade, Fighting

Release Date: 10.15.2019

Price: $19.99



Buy The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


Tell Me about The Good Ole Days

It is no secret that I absolutely love the beat ‘em up genre and have a love like no other for classics on the SNES, like the late-but-oh-so-great Final Fight. Capcom shouldn’t be the only guys getting to have fun though, right? Taito thought so, as the publisher took their 1987 arcade game The Ninja Warriors, which utilized three screens to give the game an immersive feel. They then brought it to the SNES in 1994, with updated graphics in this version by the same name. Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard the old saying, “Third time’s a charm”; well, in this case it damn sure is, as they’re bringing it to the Nintendo Switch in a sort-of-remastered version, calling it The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Ninja Warriors.



Terminator Ninjas? Yes, Please!

The story was never one that wowed me as a kid, and now being a super sophisticated adult, I still feel the same. The story places you in a dystopian future where you must wage a war against the tyrant, Banglar, who has assembled an army of henchmen and aliens who won’t go quietly into the night. It’s your job to help them meet their fate and restore balance.


A small resistance outfit is led by Mulk, the scientist who has created terminator-like cyborg ninjas that will be your strong, wielding hand of justice. You can choose one of three cybernetic shinobi: a large, hulking character, named Ninja—who reminded me of Haggard from Final Fight—who’s strong, but slow; a female ninja, named Kunoichi, who is quick and nimble; or Kamaitachi, who is equipped with blades on his arms, and looks like an actual robot over a terminator-type cyborg. Two more characters can be unlocked as you play through; I unlocked the first character, original music, and hard mode after finishing the game the first time.



Metal On Flesh Kind of Affair

The gameplay is a straightforward brawler! It’s a 2-D, side-scrolling, action beat ‘em up where you clear the screen of baddies and proceed until reaching a level boss, then rinse and repeat until the end. My first playthrough took me about 3 hours, and may leave some players feeling like it’s on the short side and wanting more. Of course, there are things to encourage replaying, such as high scores for each level. You have unlimited continues, but if you die, it will stop scoring for the leaderboards. You can also unlock goodies, as mentioned before.


The reason I came back to it over and over—besides the nostalgia dripping from the seam—is the fact that it now offers multiplayer. Being able to play through the game with a friend made it even more fun than before. While playing, you have the Armour Meter, which acts as a life bar, and a Battery Meter that builds up to unleash special moves, which is a nice change from being penalized for using the abilities. You’re instead encouraged to use them, and also manage the battery meter. The controls are also something I need to mention, as the game may look like a standard beat ‘em up, and in most ways it is, but the fighting and controls give it an arcade fighter feel, like Fatal Fury.



Hasta La Vista, Ninjas!

The synth pop soundtrack fits perfect in this cybernetic future, with sound effects that pop off the screen with crunchy hits, screams, and explosions. The visuals have been equally updated to fit widescreen displays, and everything has been smoothed out and updated. The little touches are nice, with the explosions when you die, revealing your inner cyborg body a la Terminator, or the slow-motion effect when you defeat a level. Altogether, I was pleasantly surprised, as I knew I’d like this reboot, but didn’t expect to love it. Sure, you can gripe that it’s short and needs more levels, but the online leaderboards and couch co-op put it over the top for me. I’d highly recommend picking it up physically, as there are multiple releases on Switch, or go digital if you must, but play it now!


Score: 9/10


Buy The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


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*A review code was provided for review purposes.

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