written and screenshots by nruva

US Title: Ninja Commando 
Japanese Title: Ninja Commando 
Year: 1992
Size: 54 Megs
Home Release? Yes
MVS Release? Yes
CD Release? Yes


Ninja Commando is ADK's answer to Ikari Warriors on the Neo Geo. Coming years before Shock Troopers, this game was actually quite good for its time. Combining old school graphics with retro Ikari Warriors type shooting action, ADK made a fun Ninja themed shooter that is still a blast to play today.


- Old School Retro Graphics

The first thing I noticed about Ninja Commando was the very nice retro arcade graphics. This game looks a lot older than 1992, but that is not really a bad thing. There is a classic feel to it. Characters are small, but colorful. Animation is lacking, but the game play never let's up long enough for you to notice. The game has an old school charm that really appealed to me. Fans of mid to late 80's video games should check this title out.

 - Fun Ikari Warriors Like Game Play

Having played Ikari Warriors to death in the arcade and on the NES, I quickly saw the similarities between that SNK classic and this game. This is an overhead shooter closely resembling Ikari Warriors. There are three Commando's, each with their own weapon and special attack. The faster you jam on the fire button, the bigger your attack becomes. The game play is pretty straight forward, blow up anything and everything in front of you to reach an end boss. Items such as food and power ups, as well as a few weapons, can be found along the way. Also, collecting coins will replenish some life at the end of a stage as well as add to your score.

 - Excellent Cut Scenes

The cut scenes in between levels were great in Ninja Commando, and really brought me back to the Genesis days. The story line is the standard evil corporation must be stopped from destroying all time. As you travel to the different eras, the Commando's have a few quirky 16bit-Japanese-Video-Game things to say which are usually quite humorous.

 - Cheap Price on MVS

The MVS game can be found around $20, a small price to pay for a trip back to the 16-bit glory days.



- No Directional Shooting

One major flaw in Ninja Commando is that you can only shoot straight ahead, even though your enemies can shoot in all directions. You also can not back up once you have scrolled the screen forward. Although pressing backwards will let you do a limited sideways attack, the move is awkward and usually gets you killed. This means that if you have attackers on either side of you, you can not turn sideways and shoot them. Likewise, you also can not go backwards and shoot them from the front. This puts you in a bad situation, and usually it is best to just run forward, sometimes into danger. Making this a directional shooter would have really improved the game.

 - Poor Sound Effects

The sound effects are really poor, and do not always play. To tell you the truth, while playing through the game I only heard my character make his death scream about four times, although I died many, many more times than that. It doesn't really take away from the game, but it doesn't add anything either.

 - Limited Replay Value

Ninja Commando is a lot of fun for a limited amount of time. This type of game went the way of the dinosaurs, and it is no big mystery why. Ninja Commando is mindless fun. The main goal is to blow up everything and make a mad dash to the end boss. This is a blast to pull out once in a while, but it will probably sit on the shelf more than it is ever played.

 - Not Worth The High AES Price

As much as I like this game, if you own an AES and do not have a MVS converter, it is not worth the asking price. The home cart will set you back about $100, and it really is not worth the cash. Stick to the MVS version for some dirty pleasure, and only pick it up on AES if you are collecting.

Final Word

I really enjoyed Ninja Commando. This is simply a very fun to play old school game that really brings me back to my former days spent in arcades. I am sure if I ever saw a Ninja Commando machine back in the day I would have pumped it full of quarters trying to take out the last boss. It is still fun today, and is a great little title to add to your MVS collection. Sure Shock Troopers does the Ikari Warriors rip-off better, but this was first and is a great game if you can get passed its flaws.

 -Nick Ruva


More Reviews of This Game:

by SonGohanX - Courtesy of Kazuya's


Forums  |  Neo Collection  |  Master List  |  AES Price Guide  |  MVS Price Guide
CD Price Guide  |  Neo Store  |  Screenshots  |  Reviews  |  Home  |  Email