Last Ninja 2 is the second game of the series which was originally designed for the C64. After the huge success of the first release, System 3 had to improve an already great game if they wanted another hit. The sequel may not be revolutionary compared to its predecessor, but is still considered better and remains one of the best C64 games ever. Even the graphics were improved in Last Ninja 2, and frustrating gameplay was kept to a minimum.
The DOS version came out two years after the original and the port was done properly. The game is now more colorful, with much better controls and movement than the DOS version of the first game and (almost) without levels that drive you mad. Gameplay is basically the same as with its predecessor.
Armakuni finds himself in twentieth century New York without a clue as to how he got there. Feeling that his old enemy Kunitoki has something to do with it, Armakuni isn't planning on taking it easy. But he must be careful, for different times bring different dangers.
The designers tried very hard (and were mostly successful) to make every level interesting to play. There are now a greater number and variety of puzzles, most of which involve manipulating the environment, although some require items and the use of a few brain cells. Nothing too complicated, but enough for a little research and a lot of amusement.
As already mentioned, the PC version of the sequel has smooth animation and simplified controls, so now you can easily maneuver with the cursor keys, jump precisely, and pick up objects without having a headache. Don't think the game is easy, but you shouldn't be frustrated with the control system. The only serious flaw would be slower gameplay than the C64 version, and anyone that has played the original will surely notice the difference. More precisely, running and moving is slower than it should be. Jumping becomes too fast compared to running, and may be used to quickly avoid enemies if there is enough space.
Fighting is mostly alright. Perhaps blocking could be implemented a little better, but there is always the "hit-and-run" technique that is easy to perform with your Bo or Katana. Also, don't forget to grab burgers on your way, those are extra lives.
Although this is a solid game, it failed to attract much attention on the PC. This is a real shame considering the quality of the game. Probably due to this lack of success with earlier DOS versions, System 3 never converted the third and final game of the series to DOS.
My advice is to try the game. It's a great mixture of action and fighting platforms, along with puzzles that will probably please most of the gamers. And if you like ninjas too, what are you waiting for?
Part of The Last Ninja games Series
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