Zen: Intergalactic Ninjaa game by Konami
Zen: Intergalactic Ninja DownloadsZen: Intergalactic Ninja download
How do you breathe new life into the already familiar NES side-scrolling game genre? Konami's answer is to pack horizontal, vertical, and diagonal 3-D views into a 12-stage action/adventure game with more outer space ninja action than you can shake a Photon Stick at. Toss in an ecology-minded bent, and base the game on an up-and-coming comic book character. A surefire winner, right?
Maybe. The true judge of a game is how it makes you feel, and Zen Intergalactic Ninja is so darned tough that it will make some gamers feel frustrated.
The Pollution Solution
In the not so distant future, the third planet from the Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy is not having a good day. Lord Contaminous has emerged from a toxic waste dump to trash Earth's biosphere. The environmental watchdogs of the galaxy, the Gordons, have hired Zen, the intergalactic ninja, to teach ole Contaminous that Grime doesn't pay.
As Zen, you've studied a futuristic form of meditation and ninjitsu, achieving superior mental ability and unsurpassed fighting skills. Armed only with your mind and a spaceage staff called the Photon Stick, you must save Earth from the brink of ecological disaster and rescue a young boy who has accidentally discovered a gem with the power to save the world.
The Many Stages of Zen
Zen Intergalactic Ninja is a single-player game, which follows in the tradition of tough NES ninja, hack 'n' slash, action/ adventure games like Ninja Gaiden, Shadow of the Ninja, and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
To begin the game, you can choose from zero to four continues. You also have the option to turn off the music or sound effects. This game's oldie moldie NES tunes will distract you from your intense meditation, so you'll probably want them turned off.
Hit Start and you can begin on any of four opening Stages: the Acid Rain Forest, the Slixxon Oil Rig, the Biggs Toxic Factory, or the Runaway Rail Car. After you choose a stage, the Gordons explain your mission's objective. Each of these stages has a unique objective and an odious boss. All the missions must be completed before you can move on.
In between stages, you enter a bonus round where you use a behind- Zen view to knock falling recyclable materials into the Recyclotron. You can score bonus points, extra lives, shields, and 1-ups.
If you survive the first four stages, you're on a rescue mission to save Jeremy, the boy who unknowingly has the world-saving Geocrystal gem. If you successfully recover the Geocrystal and rescue Jeremy, you graduate to the five Houses of the Most Hideous, which are inhabited by terrible beasts who fight dirty.
ProTip: To beat Sulfura, the boss of the Acid Rain Forest stage toss her with the Photon Stick. Get close, hit B to jab Sulfura, hold down B, then press the control pad in a direction away from Sulfura to throw her. When she gets back up, be ready to jump over her as she lunges at you. Repeat this move until you defeat the queen of contamination.
Zen and the Art of Video Barnes
Zen's graphics paint a pretty NES picture that offers a variety of entertaining game play perspectives. The animations for Zen's moves, especially during the diagonal view stages, are totally slick. However, sometimes the characters blur into ambiguity, making it hard to see Zen or one of the bad guys. The 3-D, diagonal view looks the most impressive, although you'll have to get used to moving at an angle. The game's artists pushed the NES' graphic capabilities, but they left the final animated product a bit unpolished.
In the Acid Rain Forest, jump on the springboard plants at the base of the tree trunk to quickly locomote to any of its branches.
Zen Can Cook
Zen does have some top-notch NES ninjitsu moves, though. He can jump and hang, plus climb laterally to avoid obstacles in his path. He's also got a cool, rebound-jump move that enables him to bounce off walls for more height. Moreover, Zen can use the Photon Stick to jab, whack, and throw the nasty baddies into a compost heap -- where they belong.
You'll need the responsive controls and all of Zen's slick moves to make it through this thumb-blistering game. Noxious enemies and hazardous wastes constantly dig into him, which quickly whittles down his life gauge. For example, in the Forest, the acid rain clouds are impossible to avoid. The same goes for the burning embers on the Oil Rig.
- In the Biggs Toxic Factory, use your shadow to target a landing spot when you jump.
- On the Slixxon Oil Ring don't waste time double-hitting the slick oil creatures. You can defeat them with only one hit.
Like ninjas, Zen's players will be an elite core, who live to take on any challenge, even against seemingly hopeless odds.
In fact, this NES adventure ought to pull a few SNES and Genesis martial artists back to their old face-stomping grounds. You'd best be a gonzo gamer, though, because this game's not for beginners or players with a low frustration level! If you think you're up to this battle, then Zen's multitude of murderous levels should keep you busy for some time. It's a tough game, but somebody's got to play it!
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