This review is for the bonus games included if you buy Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great Yokai Wars +Hell Wars aka the Retro Collection from ININ Games and Ratalaika Games S.L. Most of this collection consists of 8-bit games from the Famicom that were never brought to the West. Though, there is one 16-bit entry and a couple Gameboy titles to evaluate. So, let’s dive in.
8-bit Bonus Games: Ninja JaJaMaru-Kun
The game that started it all, the original Famicom adventure. This one plays a lot like Popeye for the NES. Simply defeat enemies and climb to the top game play. It does play a little slow, but you can easily adjust with some play time. There are a few cheap hits and some questionable hit detection. Nothing revolutionary, but not terrible either.
Ninja JaJaMaru’s Big Adventure
This one is more like a traditional NES platform game. Scroll left to right, attacking enemies and facing bosses. It is a more advanced game than the first to be sure. You attack enemies with ninja stars that cause their souls to leave their body, which you try to catch. Repeat until you face a boss at the end of the stage. Again, this is nothing revolutionary, but still playable. It reminds me of Kid Nikki for some reason.
Ninja JaJaMaru: Operation Milky Way
The final 8-bit game of the bonus games, Operation Milky Way looks a little like a Super Mario Bros. 3 clone and JaJaMaru gains a cosmic suit. The cosmic suit gives him special abilities like a double jump. It tends to be more difficult than you would expect a game of its time to be. Still, Operation Milky Way is a surprisingly solid game. If you are a fan of the Mario games, I’d recommend checking this one out.
16- bit Bonus Game: Super Ninja Kid
The first 16-bit entry to the series and the only one on this collection of bonus games, Super Ninja Kid has some vertical scroll to it with some decent effect like scaling and rotation going on. Super Ninja Kid reminds me of a launch SNES game. While not mind-blowing by any stretch, there is some solid entertainment here.
Gameboy Bonus Games: Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure
The first Gameboy entry in the series is largely an adaptation of the second Famicom game, except in black and white. This was released in the West as Maru’s Mission for the Nintendo Gameboy. Still, if you’ve played the Famicom version, there is really no need to dive into this one. Play some of the others instead, unless you’re a huge Gameboy fan.
Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure DX
This is a colored version of the Gameboy entry, which itself was an adaption of the second Famicom game. A nice inclusion, but entirely not necessary to play. This is much more of a curiosity than anything else. It’s nice they included this version, but they could have just put The Lost RPG‘s here instead.
My biggest knock against the whole collection is the lack of a way to go back to the menu without exiting the entire game. It is criminal to give a collection of games and no way to go back and select a different game in the collection.
Most of what’s here is middling. There are a lot of NES era games that play like these or better. Still, as a pack into a deluxe set, there is an okay time to be had here. Just don’t expect to be wowed.
The entire collection of retro games is available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Review code provided by Ratalaika Games S.L.