Retro Revisit: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is an action-adventure game released back in 1991, which makes me feel incredibly old. The aim is pretty typical of the era in which it was made, you have to beat the bad guys because... "reasons", sure there is slightly more to it than that but this game really isn't about the story. This game is about the stupidly enjoyable, and highly varied, gameplay. Gameplay which has you switching from 2D platforming, to isometric adventuring around various towns, in both of these you can hit people with your pipe/yo-yo/flute and pick up the items they drop, you can use any money you get to do a few different things.
You can of course always use it to buy items, whether to heal you, attack enemies or upgrade your character with armour or better speed. Alternatively, you can use the money to play one of the many mini-games strewn throughout the game, there are classics like whack-a-mole or there are more specific ones like a recreation of the first level of Gradius.
The bosses are a huge standout too, ranging from ghosts to giant faces, each one has their own mechanics and rules to figure out and then conquer and all of them are completely different. Perhaps the best thing about the game, aside from the crazy sense of humour, is that you can play the entire thing in co-op, you can team up with a friend and piggyback your way (literally) through the entire game. It was the first co-op game I ever played and is to this day one of my favourites for it's wonderful gameplay and the sheer volume of things to do in it. Being able to take on a friend in the mini-games and compete for the best score or directly compete against each other meant that there was always more to do.
All of this mixed together made for one of the best games on the SNES, and will always be one of my favourites. The most up to date way you can play it is on Wii U eShop so we can all just hope it ends up on Switch when we finally get virtual console. Oh, one more amazing thing about the game, it has ninja cats, I think I've made my case.
Retro Revisited is our semi-regular look back at forgotten and under-appreciated retro classics.