First Look: Ninja Assault

Namco's arcade hit comes to the PlayStation 2.


Ninja Assault was first seen in arcades roughly two years ago and was the first Namco game to be developed on Sega's Naomi arcade hardware. A ninja-themed light-gun game, Ninja Assault offered solid action for a rail shooter. Given the ease of porting from the Naomi hardware to the Dreamcast, it was always assumed the game would come to the DC. Unfortunately, with the DC's rapid death following Ninja Assault's arcade release, it looked as though the game would never come home. Fortunately, Namco has opted to bring the title to the PlayStation 2 for ninja and light-gun fetishists alike.

Namco will continue its fine tradition of cramming the home ports of its arcade titles chock-full of extras with the PS2 version of Ninja Assault. The arcade mode will be just one of the games available in story mode. You'll also find an original mode featuring new levels and two new ninja characters that will use new weapons. In addition, the game will feature an extras mode that will offer a mission mode with 33 missions and a training mode. On top of everything you find readily available, the game will feature quite a few unlockable items and features as well.

The game has been redone with new graphics, new voices, and the aforementioned new levels. The Naomi game's clean graphics have made the trip over to the PlayStation 2 with some nips, tucks, and additions, which all work well together. The various locations are nicely detailed, enemies animate well, and areas are appropriately spooky. The game's speed matches the arcade's and is pleasantly fast.

While the game supports the PS2 controller, you'll want to play it with a GunCon or GunCon 2. The game will support up to two players for dual ninja shooting action, although it's best not to think too hard on just how or why ninjas need guns.

Ninja Assault is set to ship this September for the PS2. Look for more on the game at E3.

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