#447 – Ninja Crusaders

Not yet a budget-priced toy line.
Those are some real Harry and Lloyd color choices there, boys.
Totally not related to Ninja Gaiden!

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous

PUBLISHER: Sammy Studios


GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: December 1990

Crusaders for the Ninja Way are few and far between in our modern society, but thank God Sammy knuckled down twenty years ago and produced a tribute to them with the quirky Ninja Crusaders. In this particular title, you as the Ninja Crusader, must save the entire Planet Earth from conquering aliens. The aliens are out for blood, and you’re a relatively weak vessel. Be prepared for a number of one-hit kills, and towards the middle of the game, an almost dizzying onslaught of enemies. Make wise use of the four weapons the game provides, then, as all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Shuriken are your starting weapon; they’re weak, but have long range. The whip was my personal favorite. It has excellent range, and is slightly stronger than the shuriken. The bo and the sword are both strong, but short on range. Given that your stalwart Crusader only takes one hit before death, I strongly recommend longer range weapons. It might take a few more hits to kill the stronger enemies, but it’s worth it. Also, two-player co-op that works! Games should always be praised for such a feature.

I try not to write game comparisons anymore. It’s a cop-out to just explaining the game on its own terms. That being said, Ninja Crusaders really is the bastard child of Contra and Ninja Gaiden. It combines obvious traits from both parents, while lacking the polish that made its parents successful. But hey! Just because Ninja Crusaders isn’t as loved as those triple-A titles doesn’t mean it lacks merit. Its non-stop action livened up my rainy afternoon, and I love it for that.


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6 replies on “#447 – Ninja Crusaders”

Did you know that you can turn into different animals in this game??

I didn’t see you mention it in your review.

The ability to change into animals makes this go from a generic clone to a spectacular clone. Heh.

My bro and I couldn’t make it very far at all and then, BANG, out of nowhere he is a scorpion… Game changer.


Yeah, you hold down “B” and you start to flash. Ninja stars turn you into a tiger that punches. The whip turns you into a scorpion with a whip tail. The bow turns you into an eagle, while the swords turns you into a dragon.

The tiger is fast and jumps well, but his range is low. The scorpion has great range, and can swim well underwater (just like all scorpions, am I right?) but is very slow on land. The eagle can fly quickly above everything, but cannot attack. The dragon is invincible and does one hit kills, but disappears after a limited amount of time, and disappears for good after one use (you go back to ninja stars).

Just played this with a friend all last night: it was tough, but we beat it.

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