#736 – Wrath of the Black Manta

 

                                                                  The Black Manta looks… less than intimidating here.

 

                                           

                                                                                          “Here I go again ON MY OWN!”

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Taito

DEVELOPER: AI

GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: April 1990

 

The Black Manta’s wrath burns for El Toro, the mysterious ringleader of a kidnapping cartel. You’re armed with a never ending supply of shuriken and an assortment of Magic Arts to deal with the deluge of his hired goons and ninja assassins. Your Magic Arts range from fire bombs to expanding shields to meteors that fall from the sky, and their power is dictated by the POW meter at the bottom of the screen. The longer the POW meter (which can be upgraded as you go along), the more powerful your magic attacks will be. The Black Manta spends the majority of his time on ground, huckin’ throwing stars at anything he sees. On occasion, he’ll take to the air with a carpet on his back (seriously), and the game will turn into the slowest moving vertical shooter of all time. Aside from the Manta’s “Flying Nun” moments and the occasional secret corridor, Wrath of the Black Manta is a linear action platformer that will more than remind you of games you’ve already played. Traces of Ninja Gaiden (cutscenes), Rolling Thunder (enemy movements, doors, level outline) and Shinobi (Black Manta’s slow gait) can be seen throughout. Manta doesn’t reach the heights of the aforementioned games, but their influence mixed with the unique Magic Arts system makes for a compelling, challenging title in its own right.

 

B+

 

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  • matthewconway83

    Protip for newer collectors: This game goes for dirt cheap. If you're looking to experience some slightly less well known NES gems without spending a fortune, this is a good place to start.

  • stevo

    I miss the days when everything was ninja movies, games, books, etc etc.

  • J. Parish

    Oh, huh. I always thought this box art was a photo. I've never looked at it closely enough to see it's actually a really weird painting with surprisingly excellent lighting.

    It's too bad they changed the name for the U.S. from the original Japanese name. “Ninja Cop Saizo” is the most '80s title that ever '80s'd.

  • Picked this one up after your review Dylan, for $5 Not a bad grab for a game! Plays pretty well, and I found it pretty fun.

    • DylanCornelius

      It's definitely worth $5.

  • Craig

    I bought this myself last week. Not a bad game for the 70p it cost me (Over here in Northern Ireland), even if I can't shake the feeling that it is an imitation of Ninja Gaiden, Rolling Thunder and Shinobi. I guess if you're gonna imitate some action games, it may as well be those three! Bottom line, I could do a lot worse with 70p!