Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance was an enormous commercial success and the second installment in the Last Ninja series. The game was released by System 3 in 1988 for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC as a sequel to the 1987 game The Last Ninja. The Amiga, Atari ST, DOS and NES versions followed in 1989 while the game also appeared on the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers in 1990.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The evil shogun Kunitoki is back and this time he has sought refuge in the sprawling city of New York! Your mission starts on the roof of a warehouse somewhere in this big city controlling Armakuni in his attempt to avenge the massacre of his clan by the evil shogun. The action takes place through various locations within the NY city and the game's concept follows the first episode, granting us with a nice adventure beat 'em up experience! As a martial arts specialist, you may use your fighting techniques (kicks and punches) and your physical skills as you leap in the air as a well-trained ninja! Your health bar is crucial when fighting with opponents and the opponents are too many, from ninjas to cops, who may also carry weapons rather than their bare fists and kicks! But once they are defeated, you can collect their weapons and use them for your own sake! The game's controls are a bit awkward. Playing in a pseudo-3D environment and, in order to fight, you must hold the fire button while choosing a particular direction to kick or punch your opponent (or even collect an object!) This can be frustrating at times since your ninja has to stay still on screen rather than moving around to avoid the enemy hits. Last Ninja 2 is divided into six different sections. After leaving Central Park, you will wander around the streets of New York and you'll finally find yourself down the dark depths of the city's sewers investigating until the opium factory is reached. At the top of this factory, a helicopter will be awaiting to whisk you to the final battle in Kunitoki's secret island!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics are very impressive on all 8bit versions and even more impressive on the Commodore 64. The Commodore version is superior in terms of coloring while the varied sprites are smoothly animated. The landscapes have lots of colors while retaining great details to make convincing scenes (animated boats, trees, indoor rooms, lakes etc)! Note that the game looks way better than any other 8bit counterpart. To the game's sound, the C64 version offers a great intro tune and 13 different in-game tunes (although most of them are repetitive). There are no sound effects though(!)