Ninja JaJaMaru: The Lost RPG’s is a stand-alone set of games released to coincide with the release of Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great Yokai Battle + Hell, available now from ININ games and Ratalaika Games S.L..
The Lost RPG’s are a couple of Ninja JaJaMaru games that have been lost to annals of time. Previously, the titles were only available in Japanese. Thankfully, ININ Games has unearthed these games, translated them, and made them available in North America. Let’s dive in and take a look at the lost games.
Ninja JaJaMaru: The Ninja Skill Book
Ninja JaJaMaru: The Ninja Skill Book is the first game in the set. Brave ninja JaJaMaru is must investigate some serious incidents. Monsters are all over the country, and the people of Edo town are turning into yokais. In addition, the Book of Shinobi that carries the knowledge of Ninjas was stolen. The dragon Ryujin has taken villagers and has stopped the rain from falling. Only Ninja JaJaMaru can save the day! With the aid of Princess Sakura, he sets out to banish evil from the land.
This game gives off strong Dragon Warrior vibes. If you are familiar with the NES entries of Dragon Warrior, you are going to feel right at home here. Combat is a simple turn-based affair with nothing notably different from other RPG’s of the time. You will wander around an overworld, moving from town to town. Along the way you will stumble into random encounters with enemies and engage in turn-based combat.
I found this one enjoyable in a simple, 8-bit role-playing kind of way. Nothing here is revolutionary, but it is a solid game. It is a bit of a grind, and you will have to wander around and fight to gain levels to progress. Luckily, the developers have seen fit to give you a little help in that regard.
A small blessing couldn’t hurt
Playing these older RPG’s can be quite the uphill climb. Luckily, the developers have given you a little help in your quest. Again, you can enter the blessings menu and restore health and jutsu at any time to give yourself an easier path. Also, the ability to save state at any time is a real boon. Not having to slog all the way back to the inn to restore yourself and save is a real help.
All told, there is some fun to be had here if you’re in the mood for some old school RPG action. It won’t change the world, but you could do a lot worse too.
Ninja JaJaMaru: Legend of the Golden Castle
In the fourth Famicom game, our brave ninja sets out to save Sakura and Tono-Sama. JaJaMaru must fight his way through multiple chapters in the classic Top-Down Action RPG style, reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda. Therefore, he’ll need to defeat demons and collect spirits to preform powerful jutsu techniques.
If the first game is inspired by Dragon Warrior, this one is The Legend of Zelda through and through. Top-down action is with an extendable spiked ball on a chain as your primary weapon. The story starts with some really well-done cinematic graphics. While it may not be mind-blowing great, it’s very solid and you can have a lot of fun here.
In Legend of the Golden Castle, you can expect a considerable challenge, but once again, the blessing system is here to help you get your way through it. Again, these are 8-bit RPG’s. So, don’t expect anything more than that. Still, if you go into this with the correct expectations, you won’ be disappointed.
In conclusion, I can’t believe that someone didn’t try to port this collection earlier than this. There is a considerable challenge here, but once again there is a blessing system. Even as a curiosity, I think you will find something here to appreciate.
If you are a fan of NES era RPG's you won't be disappointed with these games. The developers have even sought way to make them more palatable to modern audiences.