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Kaze Kiri: Ninja Action
  opened by paleface at 20:04:38 06/29/04  
  last modified by paleface at 04:11:56 07/05/04  
  paleface [sys=PCE; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=JPN]
The kanji for "Kaze Kiri" translate into something like "Wind Fog." I guess that's a good ninja type name?
Another superb production from Naxat Soft, and really a very simple game at its heart: run along slicing bad ninjas until you've killed a certain number of them, fight the boss, then on to the next level and repeat the process. Even the sprites are on the tiny side, though very detailed.
The secret is in the gameplay: though you really only face the same three or four dudes over and over as you work toward your quota of kills for each stage, your character's attacks, and the AI defense, provides good action that doesn't really get old. Let's see, you can throw knives (high, low, and jumping), jump, dash-kick forward, jump-kick, jump and swing your sword, sword attack, sword attack low, sword chain combo, flip forward, flip backward... and I think that covers it. All executed with just the two buttons and the stick, the motions become intuitive very quickly, and your ninja turns in to a dancing ball of death-dealing fun.
The badguys can do most of those moves too (and the bosses have super attacks all their own), and you can get in to some epic confrontations as they parry your sword thrusts both high and low, you flip back, throw some knives, they block with their own knives in midair, you flip forward (flipping is nice because you're invulnerable while doing it), sword combo, they block, you flip back, slide kick attack, they didn't see that one coming and go down. And you do this a couple dozen times per stage, taking them on one, two, three or four at a time.
Once in a while there's some variation, such as guys with pikes, or ninjas riding on kites--just enough to keep you guessing. Bosses, as mentioned, always have a few surprises up their sleeve, although many are quite weak and go down very quickly. Some are... quite a bit tougher, however.
While not huge and spectacular, the detailed graphics convey the ancient urban Japanese setting quite well, as does the music. The sound effects are particularly well done--all the clangs of swords, rustling of clothing, footsteps and so forth are spot-on. The attention to minute detail really makes the whole production feel involving and deep, with a very rich atmosphere. The game is simultaneously simple and subtle, and altogether some very nice ninja-slicing action.

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