So...what do we have here?

Little Ninja Brothers [Action/RPG Game]

One of the fairly popular Ninja Brothers games!

U.S. Game Box Front

It is time for the field meeting!

Choose The Games You Wish
To Compete In.


And Jack Wins! Glory To The Winner!!

-General Information-
Version: U.S.
Year: 1990
Publisher: Culture Brain
Developer(s) and Others: Culture Brain
# of Players: 1 or 2
# of Saves: None (Utilizes the password feature)
Estimated Market Value as of 08/20/2007: $25 - $35 (U.S. Dollars, USD)
Other Info: The game plays similarly to Kung Fu Heroes (also by Culture Brain) but with RPG elements. The NES games are called "Super Chinese" and Kung Fu Heroes was Super Chinese 1 while Little Ninja Brothers was Super Chinese 2. The "Chinese" series was popular in Japan and there is a third Super Chinese game for NES that was never released stateside. There is also an arcade game for Super Chinese too. Culture Brain USA no longer exists, though the Japanese division of Culture Brain is still around.

I don't know what it is with the "Chinese" series...I have a strange fascination with all of them. Strangely enough, my fascination started on the SNES game "Super Ninja Boy" (in the U.S.). It was sometime later that I discovered that there was a game on the good old NES, and I began to keep an eye out for it. After a few years, I stumble across it and you know what? I like Little Ninja Brothers more than Super Ninja Boy! Maybe it has to do with the classic feel of the game...I felt nostalgic when I played Little Ninja Brothers despite never having played or owned the game previously. In the end, the game wins me over again with its simplistic ways and goofy and likable characters.

The simple plot deals with two young heroes, Jack and Ryu, who go to save Chinaland after watching an emergency broadcast that aired on television one day. The broadcast showed Blu Boltar, General of the Yoma Clan, a ruthless fellow who bullies the emperor of Chinaland and has taken over in his place! Anyone who goes against the Yoma Clan is looking for trouble! Do not fear, for the two young heroes are ready for the task! Their wise mentor trained them long and hard to save Chinaland in times of crisis. You receive money as well as a "Red Bell of Prism" from your mentor. He tells you that if you gather all seven bells together, you will be able to save Chinaland. So it is up to you to find the bells!

As far as action RPGs go, the game looks decent enough. It may not possess the same "wow factor" that Crystalis had, but the game looks fair. The game has a whole lot of black screens...even during the status screen. It would be nice if Culture Brain at least made the status screen a different color or did something else to eliminate all the black space that is present. The world looks simple and the enemies are also relatively simple as well. Some foes, like the minotaur that randomly appears to fight you during combat, look fairly detailed. However, the animation of most things within the game fail to push the NES in any way. As a whole, the game looks average, but tolerable. For an action RPG that I never hear about, I was surprised that the graphics weren't crap-in-a-bag! I like the audio for this game though. The variety isn't the greatest, the sound effects are average, but the game has some catchy tunes. The music and settings do come off as "Chinese" rather than Japanese so I suppose Super Chinese 2 is a more appropriate title than Super Japanese 2...even if the game was made in Japan. The graphics and sound are acceptable.

The game plays a lot like Kung Fu Heroes, which isn't surprising since KFH was known as Super Chinese (1) in Japan. Little Ninja Brothers is the sequel to KFH and has RPG elements thrown in for good measure. You travel the world and you can visit shops to buy weapons and armor as well as various items. You can heal, instantly go from one place to another, escape from combat, and more with the aid of items. While the game has random encounters, the cool thing about this game is that it is two players at once! On top of this, battles are fought in real-time and you can move across the battlefield. Certain enemies can only be defeated certain ways. Some require a simple punch or kick. Others have to be jumped on. You can also use a sword to battle enemies as well as throwing stars. By pressing both buttons (A + B) at the same time, you can access the item menu to use various items to help you in tough fights. You gain level-ups like a traditional RPG by defeating a certain number of enemies per battle and you learn various abilities as you progress through the game. The game also has a couple of boss fights that function like turn-based RPGs where you select commands to use on a "per turn" basis.

The game lacks diversity as far as enemies, the encounter rate is relatively frequent, and combat can get somewhat repetitive...not to mention that punch and jump attacks are effective against most enemies and limit the usefulness of other methods of attack. Considering this, the game is still fairly fun. It incorporates mild humor and a friendly atmosphere that provides a fair challenge. The game is more fun with a friend, but the game is competent enough to stand on its own two feet.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

Title Screen You know the game is silly looking just by looking at the sun! Nevermind what this bell can do for you! Just take it! You'll get pummeled on hard mode, so you will see the hotel often. This screen shows you the kinds of foes you will meet in battle. Fists of fury!!!

This review has 22 extra images.

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