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November 13 2019

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Thread Author: Kazuya_UK
Thread ID: 885
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There are 24 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 15713 times.
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Ninja Master's - Game of the Week
Please Note: This was a previous game of the week post!

Ninja Master's:
^ Click for full version

Genre: One on One Fighter
Meg Count: 330 MB
Players: 1 or 2 player
Released on: Home/MVS/CD

Brief Description:

Ninja Master's Haou Ninpou-ko, to give the game it's full name, is a weapons based fighter, which pre-dates The Last Blade. It was made by ADK (published by SNK), and many feel that it is the best game that ADK ever made. Others however, do not like it due to its combo system - it features a chain combo system, similar to some 3D fighters (see the videos below), which definitely brings a mixed response from many gamers. It is said that some of the team that worked on this title went on to work on The Last Blade, so even if you are not a fan then you have to at least respect it for paving the way for that game.

This is also one of the few Neo Geo games that has never been ported to another system, it's a Neo exclusive. It's also very expensive on home cart format, so if you want to own Ninja Master's then for most people the CD and MVS versions are the only way. However, I'd say that out of the Neo Geo exclusives games, this one really is an absolute must try.





Match Video: Kasumi vs Sasuke


Combo Video:


Other media:

Music from Ninja Master's (Neo CD Version) is available in the Jukebox:

Link -->

Are you a fan of Ninja Master's, or is it one that you dislike? If you haven't played this game then I highly recommend trying it, as it's a great alternative to Last Blade and Samurai Shodown as far as weapons based fighters go, so you might be surprised!

Let us know below how you feel about the game!
Edited by Kazuya_UK on 09. April 2008 23:08
Ninja Master's was a game that I really disliked the first couple of times I played it. The sprites were quite small and the background seemed very empty and uninspired to me at first. It almost felt like a cheaper feeling Samurai Spirits. The music on the other hand I thought was great as well as the character art and intro.
However after a couple of plays the game grew on me and the longer I would look at the background the more I began to appreciate them as they have a lot more detail than I thought they had when I played the game the first time. The backgrounds are in fact really detailed with lots of subtle animations and they are also very atmospheric.
The sprites are still quite small, but I don't mind anymore except I think they might have been better if they were animated a bit better, still there's a lot of variation between characters.
The game's controls feels very responsive and making a combo is pretty easy (even for me).
This game is really underrated and for those who have played this game only a couple of times and didn't like it...just play it some more, and maybe it'll grow on you as it did on me and you'll find out how excellent this game really is.
Someday I have to buy this's a shame it's so damn expensive, it was the most expensive game I found in Japan apart from the first Metal Slug.
Edited by cthulhu on 30. March 2008 12:24
My arcade stuff

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!"
Ninja Masters is a good game but I'm not really a big fan of it to be honest. I do like the character designs however. The graphics are perfectly adequate but I feel they could have been a bit better. They don't really have the 'wow' factor like the graphics in SS3 and SS4. One thing that is quite a nice idea in this game is having the choice to fight with or without a weapon.

The gameplay is enjoyable and the so-called 'dial-a-combo' thing doesn't bother me personally but I just find the Samurai Shodown series much more enjoyable. When it comes to ADK I also prefer the World Heroes series over this game. To be honest I've not really put a huge amount of time into this game so I will definitely give it another try. It's possible it might grow on me in the future.
Edited by merlin on 30. March 2008 13:23
One of my favourite games for the Neo. The atmosphere in the game makes me enjoy every second of it. Such wonderful combination of the right colors and design. Music is perfect and the controlls are both unique and responsive. A wonderful example of how a weapon based figher can be.
Ninja Masters? Yawn... Paralax scrolling? What's that? C'mon, it looks like a bloody SNES game!! Except, if it were a SNES game there'd probably be paralax scrolling...

The most overrated Neo game there is imo. Uninspired characters, boring, bland backgrounds, run-of-the-mill in every sense. It's not especially bad, nor is it particularly good. Middle of the road in every way. :|
Edited by Shiny on 31. March 2008 00:52
Fuck yeah! Where can i start... Superb cover art, apt character designs that feel like they fit together perfectly, memorable music, (one of my fav. Neo soundtracks) beautifully animated sprites, with great color compositions as Mikoto mentioned; most importantly, a fun combat system.

I couldn't argue that this game has one of the most complex combat systems (by far) on the Neo, but it blends the basic SF 2 system, with Tekken style "dial up combos" perfecty. In fact, when i think of a game that gets dial up combos just right, i think of NM rather than Tekken.

Kaz might remember our long chat on MSN about this game, and i still listen to that great OST sometimes that he shared with me Smile Thanks again Kaz!

Unfortunately i can't even play this game untill later this week, but good news, i should be getting my new video card by the end of the week so i can get back to my proper pc. (emulation + laptop keyboard = fail)
Edited by Goemon on 31. March 2008 04:33
Man is this game underated.

Ninja Masters is Alpha Denshi's TRIUMPH. It is a deep involving fighter that has so many moves, I still find occasional new ones when I play today. Simply badass.
Fight Like A Robot!
Really need to play this and that Intro looks kick ass.
Looks kinda crappy, from an outside view I see nothing apealing about it. Well I guess this is another game I'll have to try out eventually.

shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ass...
As others have mentioned, it doesn't look too hot initially... that's how I saw it when I first loaded it up. Other than the brilliant intro and excellent/atmospheric character select screen, it has small sprites compared to most Neo Geo games, and what look like very bland backgrounds... but after a while playing it you come to appreciate them for what they are and also notice details that you didn't see at first.

Then the gameplay... again, at first it doesn't seem to spectacular, but dig a little deeper and master the combo system and you'll see how deep it actually is. There's a lot of variety and it kept me playing my MVS cart for a LOOOONG time, and I still fire up the game from time to time now. Read my review for more info and give the game a try, but don't give up after a few minutes... give it a little while and it will grow on you.

Also, it's been said before by me and many others countless times... but the soundtrack is incredible. Very atmospheric and suits the game perfectly!

broken harbours
lets face it, the graphics were pretty much on par with kof '94 (albeit with smoother animation), the in game artwork is by no means the best on the neo even in 1996 and the sprites are no bigger than those on your average snes beat em up. but in spite of its faults, or maybe because of them, i love this like i love my cats. the option to fight with or sans weapons is great and the dial a combo system is one of my favourites as well as being one that still stands up today.

this game knows it isn't perfect and is totally honest about it. they're no silly gimmicks like the fmv in double dragon, no horrendous inconsistencies with some characters and backgrounds looking good enough to fuck while others thrashed out to boost the meg count (a la, kof 99-02, svc chaos & sam sho v.

in short, this game is one that keeps it head down, out of trouble and just does its best with an air of calm quiet confidence and dignity. and by successfully doing that it is perhaps a lesson for us all.
Meh. I've been playing it some more and, I'm sorry, I still don't get it. The music's ok, but the graphics are really poor, especially the backgrounds. It plays pretty well but no better than your average 2D brawler, I suppose the combo system is what sets it apart but even there it's just not enough to raise it up too high. At least, not for me. looks like I'm alone on this one but imo if it were a SNES game (and I believe the SNES could handle it without sweating) then I'm sure I'd be singing it's praises, but on the Neo in '96? It's just not good enough.
I like the flow of combos in this one especially. Don't seem all that hard to do.
i beg to differ... it doesnt look like an SNES game...

more like a PC-ENGINE game, but with better palettes and bg's

either way, i'd say this would have been great if the combos' weren't that "masher friendly"

the weapon system should have been implemented in other games, because it quite unique... well, imo.
my artworks/doodles ->
I think the animations of things like the water in some bg's, the cherry blossoms on the balcony bg; most of the character animations come off, distinctly, as Neo-Geo technology.
Played a little bit yesterday and the music was refreshing as always. I personally feel the backgrounds are pretty excellent and among the best you can find on the neo geo. It's weird though, I feel I'd have to really experience this game with another player to decide whether or not I like it or not.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
word can't express how great this game is . its just perfect .
Loris Biaggi
Ninja Master's is really a great game! A Great combo system and great characters.
I've bought the mvs recently and i'm really loving it!!!
sure is a top game ! breakers not bad either
STE C...
started a thread over a year ago about Ninja Masters, after I inadvertently convinced him to get a hold of it. Robotron made the following comment and my reply (and subsequent opinion) followed. And, from my perspective, it still stands...


Ninja Masters is quite probably one of the best fighters ever.

NeoGeoNinja wrote:
Hmmm... I'm liking this comment.

I'm glad after a few hours play that your enjoying the game! Playability is TOP NOTCH and doesn't feel SNK to be honest. It feels better to me really. Super responsive! It's odd to think that ADK (WHeroes etc) made this game. It's so dark and the BKGD's, whilst not 'technically' fantastic, certainly set the mood and the scene. Moody indeed! The music is great too, again, a very dark Strack matching the game perfectly. I like the majority of the characters in this too. They all feel great. The combo system gives added depth and there's nothing quite like mastering some super cool combo's whereby only CERTAIN animations can be seen for the combo moves, that aren't standard specials or attacks. Rewarding if you will. Obviously the ability to draw and sheathe weapons at will is genius and also the EX attacks, activated by having a full super bar. Nice touch and an interesting trade off. I know ppl have gripes about sprite size etc and the fact that it doesn't look as pretty as a lot on the Neo... but when a game is this good! Well, you get the point.

NinjaMasters is easily one of the best fighters I've played, let alone one of the best on the NeoGeo. If you've never played it AND you love the NeoGeo and fighters in general you DO need to play it. Like STE has said, it's true. I'm NO AUTHORITY in fighters or anything, but I do play them an awful lot, both Neo and not and YEAH I do think that this is a better game than the Last Blades and SShodowns. Not graphically, not in terms of size of roster etc BUT as a game.



There we go. And, for anyone wanting the original source, here's that old thread. However, can we try and keep the discussions to this original GOTW thread? Thanks guys! Thumbs Up

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