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Caveman Ninja - June 25, '00 by Dorsola
Game:Caveman NinjaCompany:Data East
Type:PlatformPlayers:1/2

When Data East was getting into the arcade game industry, they started with more adult-oriented games such as Pocket Gal and Super Pool - the former of which was basically a Strip-Pool game. It took them until 1991 to come out with a concept that would appeal to all audiences (not to mention could be shown to them), and one of these games was Caveman Ninja - a truly original idea. While the idea of a side-scrolling beat-em-up wasn't particularly new, Caveman Ninja basically breathes a different life into this genre.
The story goes something like this: A bunch of cavemen from a rival tribe have invaded yours and stolen your women. You, the lone soldier of the tribe, must set out on a quest to recover the women. You travel across many different lands, battling inventive cavemen, dinosaurs (and their remains), man-eating plants, electric fish and flying beasts, all intent on stopping you. At your disposal are an unlimited supply of various weapons, from your basic rock on a stick to fireballs, rock-wheels, and even a spirit attack. You can wind up your throwing arm for a more powerful shot, too!
Throughout this game are very detailed graphics, brilliantly drawn characters, a variety of humorous items - it's obvious that this was meant to be a fun, non-serious game - and a few detailed maps here and there as well. Sound, too, is quite nice - music that stays relatively out of the way in the background, although it tends to be kinda repetitive, and sound effects that make a lot of sense given what's going on on the screen. Overall, a pretty good visual experience.
As far as play controls go, this game is decent. Your joystick makes you run around, look up and crouch, and you have a jump button and a fire button. Pretty basic, but definitely enough to get you through the game. There are some moves that would be nice to be able to do, but are either difficult or impossible with the way they programmed the stick, so ya hafta make do. :P Overall, it's a pretty challenging game, with enough going on that you can come back for more (and spend a lot of quarters continuing from where you left off).
Unfortunately, this is one of those machines that requires more processor power to emulate fully - you'll need a P2-300 or better to play this game at full speed. (I can get about 150% average performance out of it by telling MAME to go as fast as possible at 0 frameskip, on my Celeron 500.) But if you do have a fast enough computer and/or a lot of patience with a slow game, then have at it! Just remember... way back then, ninjas looked just like everybody else. :-)
Graphics
10
9
Sound
Play Control
7
9
Challenge
Replay Value
7
5
Performance

Screen Shots

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2000 EmuViews