Press B 147: March Radness - Best Ninja Games
It's time for Press B's March Radness! A month long celebration of salt and tears as each week in March we do bracket tournament style episodes. This week, we're pitting the best ninja video games against each other in a winner-takes-all battle. From classic 8-bit adventures to modern retro inspired titles, we've got a bracket full of games that will test your ninja skills. Join us as we discuss the matchups, share our thoughts, and ultimately crown a champion!
Special thanks to The Last Ancient on SoundCloud for our podcast theme.
Transcript: Jake (A): In the immortal words of the Iceman, go, Ninja. Go, ninja, go. Best ninjas games today on don't you start with that face. Welcome to another episode of Press Be. To cancel actually a very special episode. Why? Because March radness. I almost said madness, but no, it's March.
Chard (B): Ball.
Wulff (C): Yeah, there it is.
Jake (A): We're going to patent this son of a bitch is what we're going to do. March radness. So this is an idea that Walt came up with earlier this year I believe we are going to do because we love doing these. Was it last year? Well, either way, we're going to do the entire month of March. Every episode of Press B will be a bracket tournament episode where we decide through team driven, scientific proven methods, the best or the worst of something by this week. This week it's Ninjas, the best ninja game. And I'm going to tell you right now, this was hard to come up with a list. It wasn't. There's a lot of ninja games. And I'm not talking about games that have a ninja like Merle Combat or Bashida Blade. No games that focus on ninjas. There's a lot of them. But we picked twelve and we're going to go through them and the only way we know how, bracket style. But I can't do this alone. There's no in team. So I got a crew with me to help me. As always, GP, how are you doing this week?
GP (D): Oh, so we're part of your crew. Okay. I'm good. It's good to be here.
Jake (A): We have even five minutes in and you're already trash talking to me. This has been a great episode. Chart, how are you doing?
Chard (B): You ruined our cake sing along earlier today. So go dogs, bow down. We're talking.
Jake (A): How are you doing?
Chard (B): PB two dart.
Jake (A): How are you doing?
Sins (E): I'm doing well. How are you?
Jake (A): I wish I had a mute button. That's what I wish. All right, we need to get right into this for everybody. I'm going to put the spider in charge. I'm just going to throw it up.
Chard (B): We tried to make plans for this month and you said no. We all had to be here. And you're in Loud Voice before you complain about us all being here, you asked us all to fucking be here.
GP (D): Could we do March redness in, like, April 1?
Wulff (C): Who requested we were all here?
Chard (B): All no. You don't say that. Don't say that. This was all Jake's idea.
GP (D): Well, if you will never do anything wrong, ever.
Wulff (C): I'm convincing my wife of that.
Sins (E): Jake these two are mean.
Jake (A): Jake they are. Citizen, thank you for being in my corner.
Chard (B): Does it smell in your room?
Jake (A): Citizen?
Sins (E): Until Circus Charlie comes up. What was that chart?
Chard (B): Is it smell in your room? You got a little something right there. Ground jake, we like you.
Jake (A): No, fuck you guys. First game is Tmnt the arcade game. Oh, hidden Turtles, the Arcade Game. Yeah. It's hidden gem. Nobody's heard of this one.
GP (D): Preempt that one right fucking now versus.
Jake (A): The mystical ninja on the Nintendo 64. That is our matchup. So before collect your thoughts. Collect your thoughts. I don't normally do this, but I'm going to for this one. Hold on. I got buttons to this, right? I do.
Sins (E): This is a genuinely hard decision.
Jake (A): Yes. It's not showing up.
Wulff (C): How do you try to pull us gooey doo ending down there? What's happening?
Chard (B): John kelly my todd.
GP (D): I have a good ranking system on this piece of paper in front of me that I have worked on. I was not prepared to compare these two games right away because I would have liked to see these go much, much further. And I just look at that.
Jake (A): But I am sure I want to start off with something very important. Just I want you to watch this. I want you to watch just the.
Wulff (C): Tell me it's spoiler alert.
Jake (A): This is one of the greatest songs ever done on Nintendo 64.
Chard (B): News team assembled.
Sins (E): Wait, wait. Are you comparing it to the Donkey Kong on and 64 song?
Jake (A): Forget the DK rap. Donkey beats everything on that system.
Wulff (C): You don't understand.
Jake (A): You have to see this.
GP (D): The burning sun.
Wulff (C): The first time I played through this game with a friend of mine was this summer. It came out like the year it came out, and we were dying laughing at this cutscene the first time it happened. And then the song keeps going once you start playing the level where you're in this giant robot skating along the countryside in what, feudal Japan?
Jake (A): Yeah, it's ancient Japan, actually. The game is wild.
Sins (E): I was in your corner until you disparaged the Donkey Kong Rap.
Jake (A): Okay? Nobody likes the Tk rap. Nobody likes that game, but it's not on this list. Let's focus on the ninja games because otherwise we'll be here for 3 hours. Which legend of the mystical ninja on.
GP (D): The if there are any samurai games listed today, they're out. It's over.
Jake (A): Yeah, totally.
GP (D): There are no samurai ninjas.
Sins (E): Yeah, we are a ninja specific today.
Chard (B): Let's talk about last jamari of the game in the movie.
Sins (E): All right, who's going first on this one?
Jake (A): I think Jimmy needs to leave this one because he probably played this more than any of us, so go ahead.
Wulff (C): Okay, so as a kid, I loved Ninja Turtles, the arcade game. I will say I got a lot of time with that. But this is a game that I absolutely love, and I went out of my way to find it when I didn't even have an N 64. I was like, I got to go get this game. So that way, if ever I do have an N 64 and years later, I did get one so I could play this damn game. I love this game so much. It's so easy, and it's like, great zelda. Like, that really throws a lot of Silliness at you, too. The way I like to describe this game to people who are unfamiliar with it, it's The Legend of Zelda with the goofiness from Japanese TV that we've all experienced at some point or another on YouTube.
GP (D): Right?
Wulff (C): That's what this game is, and I love it. It's so much fun. It's actually challenging. It's legitimately hard at points, but not stupid hard. You just have to think about the encounter to overcome it. It's a really well designed game. There's lots of secrets to find, a huge island to explore because it's all over Japan and your characters get tons of upgrades, and there's lots of silly jokes where in the middle of the dialogue boxes, you just hear laugh tracks go off.
Sins (E): Now, again, I was going to say this game has a laugh track, and I didn't remember that until I watched the video today.
Wulff (C): Yeah, it's got plasma medasuma.
GP (D): I got to say, the sky backgrounds are just an entire vibe from that opening. Mech giant fight. I love that. I think they filmed that the same day they filmed the opening for Supercontra or Supersea because the skies and the cloud formation is just exact same thing.
Chard (B): Same set down the other side of the mountain.
GP (D): Yeah.
Wulff (C): I love how off the wall this game is. That robot. That giant robot is Dash, who looks just like Goyman, but he's his own person. He's got his own personality and his own career, and he got summoned from the United States because of his I think he has a Hollywood career in the United States, and he got summoned by going robot. He got summoned to Japan to come and help him with what they're dealing with. Silliness for dealing with this in this game.
GP (D): I love it if two phenotypically identical people with different personalities sorry. Blows your mind. Wait until you hear about twin giant robot dude modeled after Goymond who doesn't love giant robots. I get it. It's great.
Sins (E): Everyone loves giant robots.
GP (D): Yes, it is a staple in every young child's entertainment consumption diet.
Jake (A): Yeah, like Jimmy said or Wolf said. When I rented this as a kid or as a teenager, I guess I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if this was like a marriage 64 platformer or was this Legend of Zelda. It's a mix of both with more platform than Zelda ever had. It's got that sense of humor that just throughout the entire game. It's hilarious. This is a game I rented and I later bought, and I almost never did that as a kid. But there was just so much in this game and so much fun in this. And again in 1064. I feel like there wasn't that many great games to that system as a kid. What there was was very expensive. I got this one fairly cheap. I don't want to call it Hidden Gem, but it might be because I didn't know many other kids who had this game like I did.
GP (D): It's a fluid concept, so nobody really knows.
Sins (E): So wait a minute. Wait a minute. Jimmy, what's your vote? Really quick, what's your vote?
Wulff (C): Oh, this hands down.
Chard (B): Be pretty funny if you went on and on about this game.
Jake (A): And it goes it's trash.
Sins (E): Sorry, Jake. I didn't have clarity either, so I.
Jake (A): Just want to talk more and miss Linga. This is a franchise that has been in Japan long before North America. This is the first my exposure to the character. I didn't play the superintendent versions of this game until much later, but I still go back to this one. This is the graphics. The music is hilarious. Just everything about this game is fantastic. Now, on the flip side, and I'll let you guys talk in a minute about Ninja Turtles, but TMT the arcade game, we knew that we needed to have at least one or two tmnt games on this list. It was hard to pick. I figured we would go with the original arcade one because that's the one that kind of set a standard for some of the home ports later on. Call it a graphics. It's fun multiplayer. It's a really great game. But my vote is going to go to mystical ninja personally. So who wants to talk about Ninja Turtles?
Sins (E): So I can talk about ninja turtles. Sorry, Chard. So I'm going to start with my vote and then give a little bit of a backstory here. I'm going to go with Ninja Turtles as my vote. I watch Jimmy play mystical ninja. I love mystical ninja. I've seen it. The laugh track is great. I was reminded of that today. But I feel like tmnt the arcade game extorted me for enough money that if I don't vote for it, it's going to come and beat up my kids.
Jake (A): That's fair.
Sins (E): Yeah. I have dumped so many coins into that game. And then the real joy is when a couple of your friends join you and maybe some rando at the arcade. And it's just epic. And it's a dump a quarter and continue fast. It's amazing. I love the thing. And the controls are good. Graphics are great. It has all the tie in you want to, the TV show, comic books, whatever you want to, and I mean, shredder. But really I feel like I've spent enough money that it extorted me. And if I don't vote for it, I'm going to have my knee caps broken. So tmnt the arcade game.
Chard (B): It's fair. I'll follow mine up. This is unfair. This is unfair. But this is where this is at. I have to lean on my nostalgia because I did not play a ton of Nintendo 64. I played Zelda's and the Marios, and that's pretty much it. Because I didn't own one. My friend growing up owned one, and I would go to their place, and I would play the games of there, and we never played this one. I played Mystical and Edge on the Super Nintendo and I love watching the videos that I saw of it. It is an awesome game. I would love to try and play 64, but I have so much nostalgia of going to Izzy's Pizza, which was down the street from where I lived. They had this game there every birthday. All of my friends birthdays. My childhood friend, they literally have known since we were born because their parents were best friends growing up. He's born and his birthday was two days ago. Mine is next month, 24 later. So two months we get to go to Izzy's together and coin up this game and play the hell out of it. And I got a lean on my nostalgia and all the fun times that I had to start said, you can come in, drop a couple of quarters in, fire it up, play it and then some rando will come in and it's like an instant friend maker. This was before the days that people told you sucked asset games. This is the people that came in were just as bad as you and you could play together and it was fun. You'd make friends for a little while and then you'd never see them again. It'd be that single serving friend kind of ordeal since we're talking about Fight Club lately. But, yeah, I got to go with ninja turtles. The ark game. And it's not fair because Mystical Ninja is a great franchise and I know that Mystical Ninja 64 is also fantastic. It's just more of the same, but more, you know what I mean? It's the same stuff that you love from the old stuff, but then all the laugh tracks and all the humor and the goofiness and the zaniness gets added and just ticks it up a notch. And I have to go with Tmnt. And I'm upset.
Jake (A): I have to pick that.
Sins (E): Yeah. This is a ruinous choice, really. It really is.
GP (D): Imagine having to be the tiebreaker fellas.
Sins (E): I purposefully wanted to make sure that somebody had a tiebreaker.
Chard (B): I frankly thought I was going to be the only one that picked him and T. So I'm glad I are on the same page.
GP (D): I will say this after my Will say week showing. Last week, I'll volunteer to go fifth. Yes. The rest of this episode, I will be the fifth person. Whether or not it's a tiebreaker, I don't know, but I have enough anger and resentment. What did you say?
Jake (A): Sloppy fifth?
Chard (B): I said floppy fifth.
GP (D): We need to hang out more chard anyway by then I don't think it's floppy. I think it's crusty. Crusty fifth. Doesn't matter, guys.
Chard (B): There's got to be phonetic.
GP (D): I don't know what that means. Here's the thing. Here's where I'm at. The fact that you chose Ninja Turtles to the arcade game at first I thought was the weakness for this particular entry. I think there are better games in the Ninja Turtles franchise, things that certainly did this better than that. But the fact that it's the actual arcade game and not the NES arcade game, I think kind of redeems it. I don't want to be predictable, which would dictate that I would choose Ninja Turtles. God dang it, I love Ninja Turtles. Yeah, that said mystical ninja.
Wulff (C): Yeah.
GP (D): Mystical Ninja is a top five game on the 64. I want to show it some love. It's a travesty that it's not going further, but we're going Ninja Turtles on this one. I don't need to elaborate any further. I got the nostalgia just like everybody else. Torture from the quarters. The great equalizer about the arcade style things is you guys are talking about the Rando friend who would just come in, plop a quarter in for a little while and play. It didn't matter if they sucked. This is what I love about arcade games. If you were the young kid in the family or the one who sucked at video games, even if you sucked at this game, it was your quarter, their quarter, not yours. And at least they were taking bad guys away from you so you could deal with your mess and then go help them out.
Sins (E): The hospital kid is being lifted by his dad and is holding the controllers like this. It's still good.
Chard (B): There'd be times where you'd be playing with somebody, you guys would be on a roll, and that person dies, and they're like, I'm out of quarters. And you'd be like, Take one of mine. You just like, pop it in for him.
GP (D): No, I never did that. Sucks to suck deuces. I was siphoning his quarters. I'm like, all right, cool. He's not paying attention.
Chard (B): The other thing, I'll figure that out.
GP (D): About our games real quick, and then we'll move on to the next disappointment, is I think one of the greatest video game mechanics ever is the blinking bad guy. We don't know their HP. We don't have a mechanic style thing, but the anticipation, the anxiety, and just like, the button mashing, you see them flashing more, you're just like, oh, my God, something's going to happen, and you didn't know where it was going to fall. I love that. And, yeah, I love arcade stuff. So had you gone with the IDs version, I would be saying mystical Ninja.
Chard (B): But more anxiety inducing, flashing bad guy, final boss or sonic drowning music.
Jake (A): Drowning music.
Sins (E): Drowning music is more terrifying. No, the flashing bad guy is exciting. You're like, I'm so fucking close. Just another corner.
GP (D): Before we move on to inducing. Is a lightning and thunderstorm happening when you live in kind of a shanty house?
Wulff (C): That was always before we move on to the second bracket. I know we've got everybody's vote, but had these been sorted differently, this could have been top three.
GP (D): Without a doubt.
Sins (E): I concur. I concur. This is the devil's choice. This is devil's choice.
GP (D): Jake sets up these brackets.
Wulff (C): He randomized them. But you know what? No.
GP (D): He won't let anybody see the process.
Wulff (C): GP, I asked if you guys want.
Jake (A): To witness the process.
Wulff (C): You know what? He uploaded Mystical Ninja with me. The rest of your traders.
Jake (A): Wow. Yeah.
GP (D): You play Mystical Ninja Forever Wolf. Like, it's one of the great joys in life, and I feel like that it's not there.
Chard (B): At least it wasn't like no.
Jake (A): We trust you, Jake. We agree with your judgment. I'm sure what it is.
GP (D): Matter of fact, I wanted to bring that up tonight.
Chard (B): I actually have it on record saying I don't trust you, but do what.
GP (D): You got to do all month.
Jake (A): My wife gives less mixed signals than you. Jesus Christ. All right. That's what makes a good TNT. The Ark game versus Missile. Ninja sadly missed. Ninja loses. Tmnt will move on. That's a tough choice, though.
Chard (B): I'm sorry.
Wulff (C): I get it.
Sins (E): It was literally like that Caesar choice where you're like, damn, if we could.
Chard (B): Save a game and bring it back up, I would rescue it.
GP (D): Yeah.
Sins (E): When I was a wrestler, we referred to that as the losers bracket.
Jake (A): Ouch.
Sins (E): You could take third place from the losers bracket. You could.
Jake (A): Yeah. Okay, well, moving on, because we have to move on. Our next match is the messenger PC and console versus Ninja Kid Two, also known as Red action in North America. But it's Ninja Kid Two.
GP (D): Oh, shit. Back to back ones.
Jake (A): Who wants to talk about have you even played Ninja Kid, too?
GP (D): Look, I'm not on trial here.
Sins (E): I watched the video.
Jake (A): Okay, who wants to start with the messenger first? I guess let's do that one. Go ahead. Gosh.
Wulff (C): You and I have gushed about this game for over an hour on one of our episodes.
Jake (A): Yeah, it's a great deal.
GP (D): It was an episode that had nothing to do with The Messenger.
Wulff (C): No, but the messenger is freaking spectacular. The sense of humor in the game again, the story is actually really freaking epic, despite the silliness that ensues constantly throughout the game. The music, the soundtrack, literally my spotify replay at the end of the year. Last year, the soundtrack for this game was, like, in my top three listen to all year.
Jake (A): Yeah. Same eight bit and 16 bit versions of it. You have the both sides of it, and both are really good. I mean, hell, the music even changes when you go underneath the water. It's just such a great the worst.
Wulff (C): Song in this game is still badass bangers quality. You know what I mean?
Jake (A): Yeah.
Wulff (C): So the soundtrack is great. The art style is great. They really nailed everything about it. The culmination of the game toward the end really feels epic. And you're coming to a close and you're kind of worried about how it's going to play out. It's like, how is this going to go? Because I have no idea. And then after that, you get the DLC, which some people can't stomach. I get it because it adds some new mechanics that weren't present before the DLC, but the DLC just throws things out of left field, and then by the end of the DLC, it's like, bam, here's how this all ties to the main game. And you're like, I did not see that coming. They handled this game so well. This game is why I'm so excited for Sea of Stars. Because the messenger is so good that Sea of Stars has to be at least as good. Right?
Jake (A): Even though Sea of Stars is a different genre, it's the same universe as the messenger. Messenger.
Chard (B): Massuda did the soundtrack. Who did Chrono Trigger and Chronic Cross?
Jake (A): Sounds good. Yeah.
Wulff (C): Did some of it, too, because damn.
Jake (A): No, this game is fantastic in terms of, like, when we look at indie games in the last five to ten years, this has got to be up in the top three for me. It's just everything about the movement, the gameplay, the controls, the music, everything about this game is so fantastic. The only dip the only thing is I barely even want to mention it, is it kind of opens up in the back half of the game. And it was easy to get lost and not know where to go. But there's, like, the shopkeeper character who gives hints and that kind of directs you where to go. So as long as you use those, you can get through the game fast enough. But, yeah, it's it's such a great game. I wish there was a sequel to it. I'm glad for Sea of Stars coming and Cause, which is like a chrome trigger type of game, and that's fine. But I also really like the platforming in this so much. The bosses and everything. I kind of wish they'd do another one of these. That's okay. But I really do love the messenger.
Wulff (C): This is cyberly a game.
Chard (B): Isn't this the same company that did.
Jake (A): No, different company, but it's a platforming ninja game.
Chard (B): I honestly couldn't tell the difference. So they look very much designed the same way to me.
Wulff (C): I believe the messenger was their first outing.
Chard (B): They did a great job.
Wulff (C): And then see if Stars is their second. So the fact that anything else, they've.
Chard (B): Only done so good yet. Really?
Jake (A): This?
Wulff (C): Yeah, and it's astoundingly good it is. You guys discuss. I'll be back. My choice is the messenger.
Jake (A): All right, well, let me do mine then, real quick, because look, Ninja Kid Two so much like your pizza story. Chard. There's a local restaurant I used to go to, and they had a couple of arcade machines. They had Miss Pacman, which was great. And they had ninja. Kid two was there. Ninja Kid One doesn't matter because number two is better in every conceivable way. You're a cute little red ninja kid. You have little Shirkins, and the way look, it came in 1987. The graphics are amazingly cartoony and fun. There's countless different enemies and mid bosses in this game. The music is jamming in every other stage. And the combat itself is why I like it so much. It's kind of like you can move up and down different levels, taking out enemies. Enemies are very easy to kill, but they also shoot shirkins for that. You as well. And when you both are shooting shirkins back and forth, it's kind of like a tug and war mechanic and who can jam out more shirkins first to kind of beat them back. Kind of like Harry Potter Voldemort with the wands feels like that. But with Ninja Stars, it's a really fun feeling. And if a mechanic okay, we don't mention that game. All right, you're right. Thanks, GP. But it's a really fun but there's other moves in it, like you can mall jump. There's other weapon power ups. There's really quite a bit to the game. But what really made this fun for me as a kid is in the Arc. It's an arcade game, but there's branching level selections. Every so often you get to pick a card on the table and that leaves a different set of levels. And the levels could be more different. Some are swimming levels where you're using a knife to get through. Some are like jumping related as you bounce from wall to wall. Others have kind of like larger not bosses, but bigger enemies. It's fantastic. It's a fantastic game. Start to finish. Whenever somebody says Arcade game, this is the one I say, you have to play on Maim. I wish they'd had a copy of it on the Mister. They don't. They have the first game, but it's not nearly as good. But this is a really fun one. I hope nobody sleeps on Ninja Kid, too. I don't want to say hidden gem, but it might be because any time I mentioned this game, everybody's like, this game is great. I've never heard of it. That's ninja kid two. Nobody's ever heard of it.
Sins (E): Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either.
Chard (B): Is this a vertical one or is.
Jake (A): It no, it's a horizontal one, but there's a lot of verticality in the levels. But it's a horizontal one.
Chard (B): Watching the video, it looks like there's a lot of climbing up stages and stuff. It assumed it was going to be a vertical.
Jake (A): And some stages are a single screen, some are a single screen, some are horizontally long, others are high enough. It's a lot of variety in the stages and it's surprising how many stages there are in this game. But that said, my vote is still going to be for The Messenger. Because The Messenger is the best indie game from the last freaking five years, hands down. So I love ninja. Tudor. I'm pissed off with the brackets this way. Wait. This is my evidence that they're randomized. Truly, because I really did not want to have this game loose in the first fucking round. I love Ninja Kid Two, but the messenger is a far better game.
Chard (B): Cross game of the year over Vampire Survivors.
Jake (A): The messenger. Yes. The messenger is definitely better than vampire survivors. You know what? If it came up this year, if it came up this year, it would be Contender. I'm really pumped about Sea of Stars at the point where I don't want to play the demo. I don't want to spoil it. Yeah, I don't know from itself.
Chard (B): I've been waiting for Sea of Stars for literally years. It's been in my wish list on Steam for like three years. I just cannot wait. But I want it because of the Chrono Trigger aspect in it versus the messenger aspect in it.
Jake (A): But the messenger is a fantastic game. So my vote is going to go for the messenger. So what are you guys who wants to talk next? GP, you want to be fifth?
GP (D): Yeah, I'll go fifth.
Sins (E): Mine is going to be short. I watched the videos of both. I haven't played either. And while I want to try Ninja Kidradaction, I think I want to play the messenger and so that's the difference. And so I'm going to have to vote the messenger.
Jake (A): Yeah. That's why I figured to go, all.
GP (D): Right, you and I are free to say whatever the hell we want.
Sins (E): That's right.
Chard (B): I've been watching a video outside of what Jake was showing of Ninja Kid, too, and it reminds me very much of Bubble Bubble, which is a game that I love growing up and was playing as a kid, same art style. I feel like this would be a lot of fun to play. I like the climbing walls aspect. I like the hanging from stuff. He's got the bombs and the boomerangs and all that stuff. Some of the miniboss fights he was doing look really cool. And the messenger. The messenger is ninja guidance on crack. It is a spectacular gameplay. Neither of these I have personally played myself. Or do I own? No, I do own the messenger.
Jake (A): Actually.
Chard (B): I do have the messenger. I got it somewhere. I don't remember where, but I've not played it myself because it looked too damn hard for little old me and my RPG. But I'm not sleeping on it. I'm not sleeping on it. I will go with The Messenger out of the two of these ones because I've watched numerous people play it and it looks cool as hell and I like the platforming puzzles and the different. Like I've watched a lot of people die playing the messenger, trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. And it's really cool to watch it and watch the pieces come together as you're figuring out which platform to jump to and which thing propels you from one to the other and the upgrades you get. And I freaking. Love the store clerk guy. That guy kills.
Jake (A): He's great all the time.
Chard (B): The humor in The Messenger is spot freaking on. And when you actually get somewhere and not knowing this from personal feeling, but watching people successfully get from one point to another in this game makes you feel like a freaking badass. And that's the one thing about these ninja games that I like, is that when you get the flow and you start feeling the mechanics, you feel freaking amazing at these games and you just tear through levels and do all the stuff. I have to go with the messenger. It's incredibly well done. And I'm putting my hat on that one.
GP (D): Yeah, I'll keep mine short. The messenger is going to sweep the category the Flavor of Ninja Guidance with an amazing narrative, a dopass soundtrack, and puzzles. Like, the only way they could have made Ninja Guidance better is if there had been more puzzle aspect to it. So for this to be that so wonderfully balanced and well executed and being their first outing, it's going to be hard to knock this one off the list at all, let alone ninja Kid, too, which I don't have anything bad to say that the game looks fun and interesting and cute. But yeah, it's going to be the messenger for me.
Chard (B): Those boss fights in The Messenger are cool.
Jake (A): They're all fantastic.
Chard (B): Yeah, big Elder fan. Big boss fights are kind of things that I love to watch. So I love to watch the boss fights on the game. It's really cute.
Wulff (C): Get out of here.
Sins (E): Wait, Eldon. I've never heard of this game. Eldon, rung.
Chard (B): Oh, you haven't? It's a hidden gem.
Jake (A): It's a hidden gem? Yeah. Never heard of that one.
GP (D): Do I need to put in my two week notice or how does this work? All right, Goyman down. I'm sorry, Chad.
Jake (A): All right, ninja Kid Two also knows red action. You should play it, but it loses to The Messenger for sure.
Sins (E): It might be rad action.
Jake (A): Oh, boy.
Chard (B): Ninja Kid also okay, who wants to.
GP (D): Vote for Wolf in the next bracket?
Jake (A): He'll be back by then, don't worry. Okay, so the next match up, we knew we needed one of the games from this franchise in this tournament. It was kind of tricky to determine which one, though. But ultimately we went with Shinobi on the master system, the Genesis one. Genesis, the third game, is fantastic. The second game in Genesis has a lot of copyright infringement bosses. They're funny, but the original on the Master system has a lot of writing gameplay. So that's the one we went with and it's up against, we talked about earlier, Cyber Shadow, another indie ninja game. But it could be more different than The Messenger, where the messenger was a puzzley platforming, Wonder. Cyber Shadow is very much for the combat and it's like a challenge. It's a lot harder of a game, but they're both fantastic. So Cybershadow versus Shinobi on the master system. Who wants to start?
Chard (B): Sure, guys.
Sins (E): Sure. So, if I remember right, I watched Wolf play Cyber Shadow, and honestly, I know you say it's about the combat, but it looked like it had a fair amount of puzzles, too, if it's the one that I'm thinking of. But there's a place in my heart, and I know we're saying Shinobi on the Master System, but I played Shinobi on the Genesis, and I love that game. To me, it's like the better version of Ninja Gaiden, and I know that's throwing some shade here. Yeah, but that no, to me, Shinobi was like the Ninja game. When I was growing up, I had to go to my friend's house to play it on his Genesis. And I know we're talking the master system, but I tried the master system one they are basically the same games, right? Same mechanisms or same mechanics, et cetera, just different graphics and whatnot. But I absolutely adore shinobi. I adore throwing ninja stars at people. I'm going with Shinobi.
Jake (A): See?
GP (D): Of ninja stars. There we go.
Jake (A): Fair. Nice one. So we'll prefer talking about Shinobi in the Master System versus Cyber Shadow, the indie game.
Wulff (C): I'm sorry, am I the tiebreaker and I'm coming in not knowing?
Jake (A): No, you just started.
Sins (E): I am number one. I have gone number one.
Wulff (C): Okay. I don't have a whole lot of experience with Shinobi one.
Jake (A): Really? You're the message system guy.
Wulff (C): I've played it a little, but I've mostly played Shinobi's two and three.
Jake (A): Oh, damn. Okay.
Wulff (C): Revenge of Shinobi was the one I played most, and that was on Genesis, but I have fond memories of playing that as a child.
Jake (A): Gosh.
Wulff (C): You know what, though? I feel like Shinobi set a tone for Ninja Games, and Cyber Shadow didn't do enough new stuff for me to lean that way. I think I got to go Shinobi on this one.
Jake (A): Okay. All right, let me go.
Sins (E): Farewell. I spun up Shinobi on the Master System on my mister a couple of days ago, but most of my basis is actually from the Genesis Shinobi games.
Jake (A): For me, when I first played Cyber Shadow, I almost skipped it. I saw the price of it, and I got paid for that. And then game. Pass. It was on Microsoft game pass. Xbox game pass. And as I paint for that anyway, so I got to play this game for free, quote unquote. And I'm so disappointed myself for not giving it a shot earlier, because this game is fantastic. We talked earlier about feeling like a bad ass when you're playing a game with solid tight controls and fun power ups, and you feel like a badass when you get through an encounter. That's cyber shadow. When you beat Cyber Shadow at the end of that game, that final, boss. It may have taken me, like, 20 inch cries because this game is hard, but when I finally beat it, I felt like a freaking god of platforming enough that I went and took out Ninja Guiden and tried to play that and died. But this is a game where it was so good. It felt so good. I'm like if I can beat this, surely I can beat ninja guidance. No, but I beat Cyber Shadow. It's fantastic. I also didn't really appreciate it until I started looking at a few other NES games. Cyber. Shadow, though, wears its influences on sleeve, like Shadow Hand, Power Blade. And then, yes, ninja guidance. But there's a lot of great NES platformers that influence the style and the mechanics of this game. And it wasn't until I played those other NES games that I appreciated Cyber Shadow even more. The other reason I love this game is difficult, but before every boss or every difficult screen, there's like a power up dispenser and you have to unlock the power ups so you can save your currency and not unlock anything. But if you're stuck in an area, you can unlock power ups that are relevant to that area, like a shield that might get you through a tricky part with a lot of bullets or something. So that accessibility to kind of take the help when you need it at the expense of currency was really interesting to me, and I love that quite a bit. This is also the first game of this guy. I think his name is Mitoskull on Twitter. It's a 1 minute operation. He did have some help from yacht club games. The guys are just double night when it came to QA and publishing, but he developed this game on his own. I know he's working another title after this one. I'm curious to see what he does. I do like Show quite a bit. Shinobi. I never played it as a kid. Never played Shinobi as a kid. I think it's interesting with the different power ups you have. I think the variety of enemies is pretty cool. The controls not quite as good as I would like it to be, but it's kind of the same from that franchise, right? Shinobi and the Genesis had that same stiffer controls. Not bad. It's just not my style. What I do like, though, is the bonus stage with the ninja stars. That's cool as hell. And that's one of the reasons why I think this is probably better than the other Genesis games, because this had that those Genesis games didn't have that minigame the idea of throwing ninja stars. It sounds silly, but that's a fun bonus game. I like that a lot. So I'm all about multiple gameplay in a game. That's why I like Circus Charlie so much. But I think for me, it's hands down it's Cyber Shadow. I can't see myself. Yeah. Bingobi. Yeah. It's not trash. I didn't say hot trash, but that's our Shadow for me.
Sins (E): But Circus Charlie has been mentioned.
Jake (A): Fuck you guys. All right.
Chard (B): Okay. I guess it's next you guys picked not the Shinobi I like. There's literally one Shinobi out there, and I told you in the MPs, the one that I really like, that is also extremely difficult, but it's still a lot of fun. Was the shinobi for the PS Two. I could not stand Shinobi on this Genesis or on the Master System. Not a fan. Too stiff for me. Yes, the ninja stars throwing stage. The bonus stage stuff really cool. Upon watching and dabbling in our previous discussed game. That's the one Cyber Shadow is. I'm all in on it. It's got the callbacks to the Ninja guidance. It's got callbacks to several other artistically driven games from the NES era. It's smooth, the mechanics feel good, and like Jake says, the reason I like the Shinobi on the PlayStation Two is because it makes you feel like a bad ass when you figure out the mechanics and you get all the stuff up. I felt so dope playing both of these versions of the games that I felt unstoppable that I went and played Ninja Garden and then badged it on Retro laude.
Jake (A): Mr. Rare. A chivo guy.
Chard (B): There is that. But in all seriousness, Cyber Shadow, what is that?
Jake (A): GP.
Chard (B): I've watched you play the game where you're the big robot, that you can switch gravity and go up and down. It's the one shot.
GP (D): Metal.
Sins (E): Metal Storm.
Chard (B): Yeah. Pgomon. I get a lot of artistic style of Metal Storm, which I like, that artistic style. I got the gameplay of like a beefed up, cleaner looking ninja guidance.
Jake (A): It's just cool.
Chard (B): And the fact that I thought it was the same people in the messenger. You could have fooled me if you were like, yeah, they totally both did it. They look the same, but with a lot more serious driven. A lot more, like you said, combat driven, while the messenger was a lot more at its tongue in cheek moments and a lot more platforming puzzles. This is very still platforming puzzles, still difficult, but it's very much driven on fighting the enemies off and getting through them, as opposed to, how do I get from point A to point B and with some shit in the way. So I'm going my vote is Cybershadow on this run. It's an impressive game. I really do like it.
GP (D): So, tie breaker then, huh?
Chard (B): Yes, sir.
GP (D): Okay, so I'll say a few things again. I'll try to keep it short and concise for the sake of time. I still, to this day at least, without knowing, have never played anything from the Master System. Now, I believe when we put the list together, Shinobi was the one I had suggested. I didn't realize it was a Master System game. The only version I had ever played was the Black Cart Ten version for the NES. It's a fun game. I've got the nostalgia for it, which typically is enough to kind of push me over the edge and say, that's the one I want. You guys have nailed it. The controls are kind of clunky. The boss fights are memorable, which I like. The bonus rounds with the Throne Stars super dope. That said, Cybershadow is going to take it for me. It's not just a game that is a love letter to the things. Like you said, it wears the influences on the sleeve, which is fine. Whenever somebody does that, though, I always want them to kind of add or improve upon the things that make the game what it is or those influences. We used to play like a horse type basketball game growing up where somebody makes a shot and you've got to do that same shot, but you got to kind of add a different flair to it and then make that. And that's kind of what this does. It executes well, what it was influenced by, but it also kicks it up a notch and says, this is what I can contribute to those other things that came before me. And I like that a lot, and I think it did it well. I do feel weird voting for two indie games back to back, but that's just how it falls. So, yeah. Ninja kid too. Cyber Shadow hidden Gem. Yeah.
Jake (A): All right. Okay, so Shinobi, the Master System, even though it started a franchise of great games, they're well loved, but compared to Cyber Shadows, cyber Shadow is the better ninja game, and that moves on. Okay, our next match, if you think.
Chard (B): Shinobi for PlayStation Two would have been all over.
Jake (A): Yeah, I know.
Chard (B): That red scarf, dude, that thing is so sick. Oh, my God. The design of this game is brilliant.
Jake (A): Yeah, it's setting it with ninja guidance. There is a bunch on the Xbox as well, and it's just I don't know. Did it translate well to don't know?
GP (D): Now you know.
Jake (A): Next up is Strider two. Surprisingly not on the PS Two. PS one. There you go. Versus Sega. Is the ninja on the Sega Master System, another massive system game? Wolf, do you want to start this off? Because I know you're a big fan of the Sega Ninja system. I didn't think you played Strider.
Chard (B): You own it.
Jake (A): You showed me the card.
Wulff (C): Okay. All right, so strider two is the one we're going with. Right. Strider. Two on the PS.
Jake (A): Two.
Wulff (C): On the PS one. Okay.
Sins (E): Yes.
Wulff (C): Strider two on the PS One is spectacular. It is a great platforming game where Strider can basically hit you. He can climb on anything. Basically. It's really cool design that he can just be, like, on the ceiling, the walls, whatever. Doesn't matter if it's flat diagonal, there's a metal round. It's great.
Chard (B): Yeah.
Wulff (C): This game is a lot of fun. It's visually striking. I have not beaten it, though, because it's a pretty long game for being the type of game that it is because I don't think it was actually an arcade game. I think it's just inspired by arcade style.
Jake (A): I think so.
Wulff (C): It's a pretty beefy game. I kind of stop playing after I hit a certain chunk of time, and then I don't go back. I don't know why. I just don't. It might be that I'm trying to accomplish things in each stage or find stuff. I couldn't tell you. The Ninja on Master System is one of the earliest games I ever played. It is really cool. And Jake pointed something out that I wasn't really thinking of, but it's kind of a shoot him up style. Very schmup.
Jake (A): He has a schmup.
Chard (B): Very schmucky.
Jake (A): Yeah.
Wulff (C): It's kind of fun in that it's just your character looks so goofy, which just say, look at that to the charm about it. I know, right? It adds kind of the charm to it. But also when you go back to this game's origins, it was not called the Ninja in Japan. It was actually Ninja Princess. And so the main character was a girl. And so, of course, when they brought Tat to the west, they were like, oh, no, we're not going to sell a game if a girl is the hero. So they redressed the game to be a little bit more boyish looking. I guess as far as the sprites.
Chard (B): They didn't do a very good job.
Wulff (C): I believe we're the same.
GP (D): This thing here looks very organ trail.
Chard (B): It does.
Jake (A): He can only bring back £400 of.
Chard (B): Ninja, £400 of dog that you've killed in the field.
Wulff (C): But this game was super cool and it mixes things up. It's got the traditional run and gun up. It's got levels where you're going sideways. It's got a diagonal stage or two. There's a frogger style level where you're hopping back and forth between logs yeah. And trying to attack the enemies on the other logs and not get taken off the screen because you have to stay on the screen. So the logs go back and forth. So you have to time where you're going and it gets pretty challenging.
GP (D): There you go.
Wulff (C): Yeah. There you go. It's a really cool game, and I feel like it's one of those games that Sega sort of let fall to the wayside, unfortunately. Kind of like they did with a few of their early properties, like Alex Kid. They have stuff that has a strong foundation and then they didn't do much with it after that, which is unfortunate.
GP (D): He's sporting a river. I'm sorry, but tell me this isn't Oregon Trail, but with a ninja.
Jake (A): Okay. Looks like he's got Oregon Trail of.
Chard (B): The Diarrhea from World Games.
GP (D): Yeah.
Wulff (C): It's kind of like a Cari Warriors, but if it were a Ninja, damn it.
Sins (E): I was waiting. I was waiting for my turn and I was going to say, look, I've already played a Cari Warriors, but this.
Wulff (C): Is so much better than a Cari Warriors. The only downside is it's not two players at the same time.
Sins (E): No, it's not better than a Carry Warriors because a carrier, you have the spinner, so you can aim differently than where you're moving.
Wulff (C): He can aim differently, you see. He can pivot than where you're moving.
Jake (A): Pivot.
Wulff (C): He aims pivot.
GP (D): How does this game handle? Dysentery.
Sins (E): About as well as everybody else.
Wulff (C): And Terry. I think I'm likely to be the only one to vote for it, but I got to vote with the Ninja.
Chard (B): Okay, you broke your bo staff boarding the river.
Jake (A): What about you? Have you played either of these games?
Sins (E): I have not, but Wolf says that he thinks he's going to be the only one that's going to vote for the Ninja. I'm actually going to vote for the Ninja, even though I said I've already played a Car Warriors. And really what it was is it was the frogger level that sold me.
Jake (A): Yeah, I didn't realize that level was there. That's actually really interesting, more than I thought there was in this game.
Sins (E): Strider looks great and walking on your hands while still attacking people. Holy shit. But I'm going oregon trail of Carrie Warriors. Frogger.
Jake (A): Okay, I'll go then. Chard I have not played much of Strider too. The only reason I like this character is because of Marvel vs. Capcom. Strider is in that game and he's fantastic. He's one of my favorite characters in that fighting game. I didn't realize he was actually Strider. Strider from the old game because as a kid, I played the NES Strider, which is nothing like this. This game looks dope as hell. I mean, it looks really frantic, really fun. I want to play it, but I just don't have any nostalgia for this one, really, outside of liking the character design. I have played actually because of Wolf, a heck of a lot of Sega's the Ninja on the Mister, and once I realized it was just a schmup, I got really into it. I'm actually in a schmup's face. That's what I'm in right now, playing a lot of shooters. So I actually like Sega and Ninja more than Shredder Two. Although I do want to play strider. There's actually a reboot of this game or a sequel. I don't know what it is. I think 2014 and it's on Steam. I picked it up for $5, and I actually want to play that version of Strider quite a bit, but that's not what's on this bracket. It's Strider, too, and I think Sega Ninja is the one I'm going to vote for as well. Wow.
GP (D): All right, Shard, once again, you and I can say whatever we want.
Chard (B): I like echo pattern colors. I like poorly outlined characters. No, I don't mean to talk shit. I'm just mad because it's going to lose. I like my Ninja games to make me feel like a badass. And Strider Two delivers on all fronts of that feeling. Strider is a dope character. Like Jake said, he's awesome in marvel Capcom, but I love the Strider series. I've played quite a few of them.
Jake (A): You don't want to feel like a ninja princess. You don't want to be a princess who's dead.
Chard (B): I don't want to feel like a ninja princess. I want to feel like I can walk on my hands and still attack people and do flips and shit on a flying metal dragon looking thing whilst battling another person who has the same abilities that I do. No, I'm strategic. I think that game looks absolutely incredible and I know we rated. I'm going to give her a shout out to Rockstar Lexi the other day who was doing the retro achievements for this game. And upon watching that, I found myself completely mesmerized by all the cool stuff she was doing. It's got a little ADHD kind of feel to it, though, because it feels like you do a bunch of stuff and then it goes to the next thing and you do a bunch of action is crazy, and then stops and it goes to the same thing. And I don't know if it was because of specific achievements she was trying to get that just seemed like but it's timed. So a lot of the stuff she was doing, you could see like, she has to get it done within a certain amount of time or whatever, as the achievements go. So she was moving extremely quickly while playing the game, but still, it looks cool. I'm on strider too. 100%. The other one just looks very blaw to me, unfortunately. And I'm sorry if I had some nostalgia that hung on my head that I can hang my hat on, maybe, possibly. But I'm the flashy guy. I like the lights and the brightness and all the quick stuff and all that crap. So if you're going to put bells and whistles all over it, I'm going to be attracted to it a lot more.
GP (D): Yeah, I think I got to go with Strutter. Also, between the two, I'm kind of shocked that this one is losing. I don't know that I would have put the ninja even ahead of, like, shinobi, you know what I mean? So the thing is, looking at Strider, and we talked about Metal Storm earlier, got the upside down mechanic, you've got the parallax effect for the background, you've got overly animated explosions. The thing is, between these two games, strider makes me feel like a ninja. He's executing all this dope ass shit, whereas the ninja okay, you've got ninja stars, but it's a schmuck, and I don't want to disparage that and I don't want to say anything bad about it, but it's because I haven't played the ninja. But Strider hands down.
Jake (A): Okay.
GP (D): I'm sure both are great, but yeah, give me silly. It makes me feel like a ninja. I'm doing the shit now.
Chard (B): Strider has got that iconic sword arcut like animation that he has literally, through Genesis versions all the way through everything, and it's so Konic. It's so cool to watch it just go shing ching ching ching, because he does the same thing in the Marvel stuff. It just like she said, you feel like a bad ass play in that game.
GP (D): I feel like if I were in a room and I had to go through the strategic character, I don't know that I'm going to win. But if I've got to find a way to elude the ninja, maybe it was the same thing with Batman. Everybody wants to say that Michael Keaton is, like, the definitive Batman, and Michael Keaton is a good Batman. And this is how I used to explain this. If I run into Michael Keaton in a dark alleyway, I might be able to take him. If I run into Christian Bale in an alleyway, I'm going to lose that fight.
Jake (A): He'll mess you up.
Sins (E): But what if you're a log on a river?
GP (D): I guess I didn't think of it like that. Can I change my answer?
Wulff (C): No.
Chard (B): It's still strider no.
GP (D): Let's move on.
Chard (B): Wow.
Jake (A): Okay.
Chard (B): That's a big shock to me.
GP (D): That's a bigger shock to me than the first bracket was.
Jake (A): Yeah.
Chard (B): Agreed.
Jake (A): Yeah. I didn't expect Sinister to go with the ninja. I thought it'd just be me and Wolf on this one.
GP (D): At least it wasn't arbitrary. At least it wasn't arbitrary. Right. Sinister. That's got to make the wind feel better.
Sins (E): It wasn't William fucking Shahatner.
Jake (A): Nice. We don't need a tie breaker.
Sins (E): It wasn't William fucking Shahatner. I at least gave three reasons for this one.
GP (D): Shatner cereal.
Jake (A): That's true. All right. Strider. Two versus Sega ninja. The sega. The ninja wins. I did not expect that one. All right, our next bracket is ten shoe Stealth Assassins versus Ninja. Guidance on the NES. I only played the demo of Ten Shoes, so I really can't speak on it, but it looks good. And what I played with, it was fun. And it's the stealth mechanics, right? That pre mill gear, solid stealth gameplay, which is pretty great, but Ninja Guidance is fucking Ninja Guide, and it's like.
Sins (E): I want to go first on this one.
Jake (A): Go for it.
Sins (E): Okay. My vote is Ten Shoe for one reason, and that is accidental wall grab.
Chard (B): Oh, Jesus. Did my playthrough really piss you off that much?
Sins (E): That you I have watched everybody play that, and they accidentally grab the wall and get absolutely just fucked in that game.
Chard (B): It was no joke.
Sins (E): I have played Tension, and it's a glorious game. It is one of the few stealth games I like. I do not like stealth games, and that is one of the few stealth games I like.
GP (D): Have you ever gone to the refrigerator at 03:00 A.m.?
Sins (E): It's been a long time, the stealth game. It's been a very long time. But GP, I don't know if you heard, because you tossed your headphone. I said, for one reason, accidental wall grab.
GP (D): You're cutting in and out. I don't know what's going on.
Jake (A): All right, since you two okay, I get it.
Wulff (C): You would talk about playing a game where you feel like a ninja. It is hands down. Tenchu.
Sins (E): Yeah.
Wulff (C): Tenchu has you going around stealthing around compounds, entire compounds. Like sneaking around the walls, getting up on the rooftops, jumping over the walls, knocking on the walls to lure people and then going out hiding. It does all that before metal gear did? I'm pretty sure.
Jake (A): I think so, yeah.
Wulff (C): It is so good at what it does and it's so much fun to just keep playing. Even when you're having a bad time in the game, you're still like, oh, this is going to be cool doing it again. When you fail, it's frustrating. But then you get to go do all of it again and it's so much fun to do over and over. It's a blast.
Sins (E): It has horrible sounding blood. Blood fall on the ground. And that's nostalgia for me. That's nostalgia.
Wulff (C): Anyway, yeah, tension has got to be my vote on this one as well. It's just so cool. The first time I saw this game was at an import store months before it came to the west. A walk out of this room, everybody in that room. It was a little import store. There was like ten people in that store. One guy popped it in because he wanted to try it before he bought it and everybody gathered around like, oh, my gosh, this is cool. And so when it finally came to the west, I was like I got to play this. And I loved it.
GP (D): Why do I have nervousness about where this is going?
Chard (B): Because you know that jake is going to do this weird off the tusk selection and be like what an expectant.
Sins (E): To pick change.
Chard (B): With our guiding pants hanging out of our asses and don't understand how it couldn't get to the next damn bracket.
Jake (A): You tell me how good ten she is, go for it.
Sins (E): I just watched on the video sneaking up behind a guy and slicing their neck. I mean, what is more ninja.
Chard (B): Guiding.
GP (D): Ninjas get hurt by alive feet and then have to do it again.
Sins (E): Look, that's a real ninja. I can call my car a ninja. It doesn't make it a ninja.
GP (D): Is it a suzuki?
Chard (B): Yeah, ninja.
Wulff (C): You mean at you.
Chard (B): It's ninja guidance, guys. When you think ninja games, everybody thinks ninja guidance first and foremost.
Wulff (C): That's just because everybody knows it. That's not because it's a great game.
Chard (B): It is popular because it's good.
GP (D): It's known for being good.
Chard (B): It was hard and I beat it and I was super pumped.
GP (D): Is that what this is?
Chard (B): Challenging game?
GP (D): We feel like we beat it so we feel obligated to flex and be like, no, that's going to be it.
Sins (E): They said that tmnt the arcade game had extorted me out of money so if I didn't pay. If I didn't say it was good.
GP (D): I didn't play this game for all these decades, for 36 years before beating it just to lose the Tinchu.
Sins (E): My dad didn't slave over a hot ninja gaiden for 60 years.
GP (D): Just say. I want to have ten chu. All right, so who's going?
Chard (B): Ten chu looks like when he runs around that he shiz pants and he's trying to find a bathroom and he has to kill people to get to literally fucking drop his loaf.
Jake (A): Okay.
Chard (B): You are killing it. Ninja Guide is awesome. Accidental wall grabs aside, there was a wall grab involved, and that was pretty cool for the NES. Feeling like an absolute badass when you are fucking just darting through levels. Once you obviously get the patterns and everything learned down, it's fun. It's a great game. It's freaky Ninja Guidance to talk about the soundtrack. Not even going to go past this bracket. Blows my mind. The soundtrack for 62. I could probably hum that thing in my fucking sleep because I lived there for so long. But it's in your guidance, guys. You can't you get spin slash all the way home, you take the spin slash all the way home, and you're done. Games over.
GP (D): There are not many missteps in that franchise. Ninja guidance two. Great game. Ninja Garden three. Great game. The other Ninja Guidance and the newer platforms, good to, great game.
Chard (B): Sigma Black. I played those great games. Both difficult, but still very fun. I can't believe we're here. I cannot believe this is happening.
GP (D): Here, I'm going to read this real quick. I'm watching Chat, and actually, somebody mentioned something that is a hot take, but interesting. Tell me what you think. If Ryu didn't spin when jumping, this would just be Castlevania.
Chard (B): Kind of I mean, sure, whatever. It doesn't matter.
GP (D): I never thought of it. I know, you guys.
Wulff (C): It's Castlevania. If Belmont could run.
Jake (A): Yeah, because Ninja Guide is faster by far. Back is pretty awful, I got to say.
GP (D): Go ahead. No, that's it. I basically gave my opinions while Charter was giving his. I had his back. So we weighed for the win.
Chard (B): Let's move on.
GP (D): Let's move on.
Jake (A): All right. So for me so again, I only play the demo of Ten Shoe. But having played a demo, I think that makes me more than qualified to talk about it. I'm not a big fan of the PlayStation. I think a lot of the PlayStation games graphics are awful and have not held up at all. Tension, though, surprisingly, still looks good, even though it's obviously very blocky. It's PlayStation era. But there's textures. There's actually textures on things, which you can't be said for a lot of PlayStation games. It actually looks nice, you know, pixelated blood and all that. And it's also when you say, like, ninja movies and that kind of genre. Yeah, tenchu feels more on brand for a real ninja.
GP (D): Birds respawn. The birds respawn.
Jake (A): I don't think there's birds in Ten Chu, which probably a benefit. The birds and Ninja gym are ass the owls. And the ice level. Fuck, those owls are hard.
GP (D): How do we feel about ice level?
Jake (A): Yeah. Fuck everybody.
Sins (E): They're fine.
Wulff (C): Had you fucked had it been Ninja Guide Me arcade game, I think I might have been torn. But Ninja yeah, the arcade trash.
GP (D): Let's just go ahead and put a nail on it and close that coffin. And then let's go back to talking about how great Sega's the Ninja or the kid or whatever it was. Maybe this is the hidden gem thing again, and I don't really fully understand the assignment because come on, fellas.
Jake (A): All right. So anyway, Ten shoe looks fantastic. The graphics are good. Gameplay is very interesting, is stealth. It helped to find the stealth genre again before Middle Gear, which gets a lot of credit for that. There was Ten Shoes, so there are a lot of respect there. Now, on the other hand, you got ninja guidance. I fucking had a year watching Arcus Speedrun. That game felt like I could play it myself. Failed. But the game is a lot fun to play. And it's ninja fucking guide in on Nintendo. It's like the Ninja game on the Onion. When we made this list, there was two games on this list. I knew how to be here.
Chard (B): Stop giving you shit for a full week if we don't.
Jake (A): When this list was put together, there's two games I need to be on this list, and one was fucking Tenchu, because it is the PlayStation era stealth ninja game. And there's nothing quite like it, like, ever, right? Like every ninja game since then kind of omits the stealth aspect of ninja. Tenchu has it. So Tenchu is the one, and the other one was Ninja Guide on the NES. It's like the ninja game that everybody's familiar with. So it's those two games. So that said, I mentioned about the two indie games, Cybershadow, the Messenger, I fucking love them. And the same thing when I beat those, I can beat these. I got to go and play Ninja Guiding because it motivated me to go back to try and beat Ninja Guide. And Ninja Guiden was very close to being my sisafiian game this year over Baltos. I love ninja guiding, and I want to beat it someday. Ten Shoe. I want to play it. I have no desire to beat it. Honestly, as neat as it is, I'm just not a PlayStation guy. So for me, it's ninja guidance.
GP (D): This is the.
Sins (E): Wait, what is it? The Jimble. What is it? The Jimbal says rigged.
Jake (A): Right.
GP (D): The hand is red. Let's move on.
Jake (A): Balance cast.
GP (D): We're doing it.
Jake (A): I like it.
Chard (B): You can't throw Ninja guiding.
Jake (A): The Retention.
Chard (B): He can't throw the flag. Run the next play. He can't throw the flag.
Jake (A): All right, last of the preliminary brackets. And then we're going to motor through those semis we have to. All right, so Ninja Guide beats ten chu. That was a good one, though. Last of the preliminary is bullshit tmnt shredders Revenge, which is a modern take on Ninja Turtles versus fucking brackets Fruit Ninja VR.
Chard (B): On this one. You wanted together.
Sins (E): Shredders revenge.
Jake (A): Shredders Revenge. Look, I like Shredders revenge. I play through it twice with you guys. How many times have you played it since me?
- No, I haven't, actually.
Jake (A): Really?
Chard (B): I played it for charity event. Yes.
Sins (E): I played it for co op with my friends on one of our Sunday church video games.
Jake (A): Really?
Sins (E): Yeah.
Jake (A): I have not touched this game.
Chard (B): I played it for the last dgmw charity event they just had.
Jake (A): Okay, let me tell you about a game. Let me tell you about a game.
Sins (E): Fruit and injury.
Jake (A): Okay. Fruit Ninja, when it first came out on mobile, was one of the first addictive games on mobile. When they brought this to VR, my mind was fucking blown. I have an oculus quest. I'm going to put it myself. I have three VR headsets behind me. Two of them convert. Fruit ninja VR.
GP (D): I love the story to fruit. Ninja I love the plot. I love how the characters advance and grow.
Jake (A): Are you trying to tell me there's plot? Destroyers Avenge? Really? That game is light on everything.
Wulff (C): Shredder.
Jake (A): It's fun, but there's no plot. The plot is in the title fruit Ninja VR. I play that every other weekend with my kids. It's fun to watch. It's fun to play. It's different every time. It's challenging. It's like an arcade game. Fruit Ninja VR is fantastic. And it's one of a handful of VR games where I can point and say beat saber Les Mills, body Combat and fucking Fruit Ninja VR. Those are, like, the three games that are fantastic in VR and not enough people will get a chance to play this. Maybe that defines it as a hidden gem. I don't know, but it feels like one because it's fun to play. And nobody ever talks about fruit.
GP (D): Ninja.
Sins (E): VR.
Chard (B): Just completely ignore half life. Alex in that whole VR.
Wulff (C): I have never even considered fruit ninja VR. And do you want to know why? It's because it was based on a shitty mobile game.
Jake (A): It wasn't shitty.
Wulff (C): No business being as popular as it was.
GP (D): I love you.
Jake (A): Don't want to swipe right? Come on. Everyone likes to swipe right?
GP (D): Okay, do you know why I'm going to disqualify Fruit Ninja from the list? Because the original name for Fruit Ninja was not Fruit Ninja. It was asshole with the knife. Okay. Requires no training or ninja skills. I'm not saying it's a shit game. I'm saying ninja turtles. Shredders Revenge is the better ninja game.
Sins (E): We all see this movie Blind Fury in the 80s where it was, like, slicing like fruit.
GP (D): Yeah, like you're a stunt asshole with a knife.
Chard (B): I have to do enough food cutting at home. I don't like to do it on my phone.
GP (D): I don't like chores.
Wulff (C): Ninja. Developers of Fruit Ninja were like, I loved Gallagher, but we need to update the spiel.
Jake (A): And it worked.
Chard (B): Did you ever play the sequel?
GP (D): Who's going to clean this was copywritten.
Jake (A): Look, I'm just saying, when it comes to using motion controls, few games do it as good as Fruit Ninja. Sure. Like, it's really good.
GP (D): Yeah, play it's up here with loan.
Chard (B): Yeah, because if it takes Fruit Ninja to get you past that, to be, like, just as incredible, you need to really open up your VR library.
Sins (E): Does this make you feel like a ninja or does this make you feel like you're a grocery store? Like you're working at the deli, counter slicing your fruits?
GP (D): Preach.
Jake (A): It's fun. I'm just saying. Replay value none. There's nothing there. Thank goodness.
Chard (B): I'm going to send Jake the DLC to Fruit Ninja. Who's going to clean this fucking mess up.
GP (D): Yeah. It's a waste of food is what it is.
Sins (E): Yeah.
Jake (A): Okay. People are like, okay, all right.
Wulff (C): Okay.
GP (D): Does anybody else other than Jake vote for free Ninja?
Sins (E): No?
GP (D): Okay.
Jake (A): The only thing Sharia's Rebecca has for free Ninja is the multiplayer with you guys. That was the only reason I like it. Otherwise, it's fun.
GP (D): But it was a fun, sleek, entertaining date.
Sins (E): You know what? It plays fantastically on this device.
GP (D): Look at that.
Sins (E): It's great. It's great.
GP (D): Look at that.
Jake (A): Okay. All right.
Chard (B): Fruit Ninja.
Jake (A): VR versus Shredder's revenge. I mean, obviously it's me. Shredders revenge. That's fine. All right, we're going to bang through the semi's really fast so we get to the finals. Okay?
GP (D): Bang them all.
Jake (A): First one team and T. The arcade game versus the messenger.
GP (D): Messenger.
Jake (A): Messenger for me. Has to be.
Sins (E): Tmnt for me.
Chard (B): Tmnt for me.
Sins (E): So who's the tie breaker?
Chard (B): Everybody elseenger. You and I are the only tmnt.
Jake (A): Is great for what it did, but the messenger is just across the board. Such a great fucking game.
GP (D): Now, if we put team in T two against Ninja Kid or whatever, or the ninja. Yeah, that's going to go further. But it's the messenger.
Jake (A): Okay, I'm burning the ninja next.
Chard (B): I don't care what next to me.
Jake (A): Then is I'll take Cyber Shadow. Cyber shadow versus Sega Ninja.
Wulff (C): Cyber Shadow.
Jake (A): Cyber Shadow.
Wulff (C): Cyber Shadow.
Jake (A): Sega Ninja. Because somebody needs to I love me.
Wulff (C): Some Sega Ninja, but Cyber Shadow.
Chard (B): Cyber shadow is good. All right, don't pity vote, Jake. It doesn't look good on you.
Jake (A): Those are backfires. Learn that way and then what was it? What do we do? Damage?
Sins (E): No, guys, he's making up the bracket. He's making up the bracket.
Chard (B): Those doors are closed.
Jake (A): Hold on.
Chard (B): Strider, too.
Sins (E): He's going to introduce a game we haven't even voted on yet.
Jake (A): No. Okay. No. Just because we did twelve instead of ten. I think we need to do ten going forward. Otherwise.
Chard (B): All right, that's a ninja game, right? Why the final pro in this, by.
Jake (A): The way, he's not a ninja. We asked about this. Is he a ninja? I would have said he's a ninja.
Chard (B): Ninja qualities.
Jake (A): He's not a ninja.
GP (D): The darkness of his black belt is blacker than the darkest black belt.
Chard (B): It's almost like it's so black that it's not.
Jake (A): Alright, so the way we can do this then is that our final four basically is going to be the Messenger, Cyber Shadow, ninja Guidance and Tmnt. So how do we want to decide the third?
GP (D): Well, okay, I would say that well.
Sins (E): We lost GP. Say it again.
Chard (B): He moved. What if he throws with intensity, though?
GP (D): Yeah, okay. Sorry, my back. Can you guys hear me now?
Chard (B): Yeah, you're good.
GP (D): Do we need to put ninja guidance next to the messenger and see what's what? Because to me, really, that's the question.
Chard (B): I think so. Out of the other tops, those are the two. I think they're going to be the hardest to pick between the two.
GP (D): Yeah.
Sins (E): Folks, it's another hour episode.
Jake (A): No for me, when I look at like I played the messenger at such an amazing time, I went to play ninja guiding. The starkest contrast between the two was ninja guidance didn't control nearly as good as the messenger. The controls and the messenger are way better feeling and the way they input and the control were so much better.
Chard (B): Than 30 years of mechanics between now and there's.
Wulff (C): Lots of wall grabs, no accidental wall grabs.
Jake (A): But there's so many great dance games like Maryborough's three controls. Fantastic. Even today.
Chard (B): So there's no guidance, there is no messenger. I just thought I'd have that out there.
Jake (A): That's true.
GP (D): So yeah, but that doesn't mean that I'm less cool than my grandpa. Because without my grandpa, there wouldn't have been me.
Chard (B): But you exist because of said person that makes you cooler. So I just totally went around and shot my own stuff in the foot.
Sins (E): What if your grandfather was a misogynist racist asshole?
GP (D): Right.
Sins (E): I would know you're the better version because you're not. Right?
GP (D): Right.
Chard (B): But without them, I wouldn't exist. So I got to swallow my pride on that one and go with the accidental wall grab.
GP (D): This one's tough. I'll go last on this one again.
Chard (B): Everybody who wants to jump on this train? I'm driving the ninja guidance drain something.
Jake (A): I want to suggest that Cyber Shadow is our fourth game and that the top three. We'll figure out the order, but the top three would be the Messenger, Ninja Guidance and TMT's treasure Venge.
Wulff (C): I would agree.
Jake (A): Cyber Shadow is great, but I think it's the fourth.
Sins (E): Yeah, I'm good with that. So we've got to argue one, two and three.
Jake (A): Yeah. So the messenger ninja guidance and TNT treasures revenge.
Sins (E): Well, I think either way, Tmnt out of that it's going to be third. I think it's going to be yes.
Wulff (C): I would agree with Shredders revenge being third here.
Chard (B): Guiding and messenger are going to be top two. Whichever way they land, it's going to be top two.
Jake (A): We're still on messenger and ninja guide.
GP (D): I will speak here by virtue of difficulty and proliferation of the franchise and how good the other entries are. I'm going with Ninja guidance. Please understand this is eating me up because I said this earlier. If Ninja Guidance had was a puzzler, that would have elevated it even more. And that's what the messenger is. But I'm going to go with Ninja Guide on this one.
Sins (E): Two for guiding. Do we have any messenger votes right here?
Wulff (C): Messenger. I'm going with the messenger because I kind of agree with Jake in that the controls just don't hold up in Ninja Guide. And if you want to compare it to other games from 1988, super Mario Brothers, two, controls hold great. Super Mario. Three, the controls are great. Altered Beasts. The controls are better than Ninja Guide, in my mind at least.
Chard (B): The Genesis don't strongly disagree. Love you.
Jake (A): I was with you until that.
Chard (B): Yeah.
GP (D): Altered Beast is a bridge too far.
Wulff (C): There are games that came out in 1988 that the controls don't feel so janky. Blaster Master. Blaster Master is 1988. The controls in that are fucking spectacular.
Jake (A): I agree. Yeah.
Wulff (C): So the fact that the controls have not aged well despite the game being very popular, I get that the music was great in the game. The concepts were there, but the game does not make me feel like a ninja. I think it's just a bunch of horseshoe.
Sins (E): I'm going to vote before I have to be the tie breaker. I'm going to go messenger as well.
Chard (B): Wow.
Jake (A): Wait, does that mean I'm time breaker?
Chard (B): Yeah, you're tiebreaker bud right in the middle there.
Jake (A): Then you get pissed off of me either way.
Chard (B): What I say?
Jake (A): Fuck you guys. What the hell?
Chard (B): Be fine.
GP (D): It's now.
Sins (E): Are we pulling out William fucking shaftman?
Jake (A): No, we're not pulling the fucking hat. The hat can stay retired. I'm bringing the spider back.
Chard (B): The worst thing is that I think Cinnastar and I give Jake the most shit and we're on well, there goes GP cinema give Jake the most shit and we're on opposite side of the fence. So either way he picks it.
GP (D): Even the computers are crushing here from the anticipation.
Jake (A): Yeah, that's okay. All right. So when we look at Ninja guiding, it's ninja fucking guiding. It's like the ninja game. And it is a fantastic game on the NES and it controls good. As good as the nest. Messenger. No graphics still hold up versus the messenger. Is that fair? Because the message is a new game. Right. Even though it's retrolistically, the same soundtrack is the messenger.
Chard (B): I'm trying to be convincing. I'm just saying that they are one with the style. So it's still that I like this inspired look.
Jake (A): The soundtrack and Ninja Guidance is good, at least the first couple of tracks. After that not so much. The messenger is solid from start to finish, soundtrack wise, in terms of length of game, there is so much game in The Messenger. So much. It's good. It does draw out toward the end. But then I've said it before, in Ninja Guidance, I can't beat I get to six four, which is like, right at the end and I die. And if it continues, means you keep trying and you have to basically force yourself to walk away. And it's the worst goddamn feeling. The messenger gets hard, but it never feels impossible. So they're both very good games. I'm glad they made it to the top three. I'm really surprised. I was thinking that you guys would tank Ninja Guidance or something, but surprisingly, you didn't because I'm still salty. You guys didn't fucking vote for Mario in that first bracket episode.
GP (D): We're all against you, Jake.
Jake (A): I know. Anyway, that's true. My vote, I think it's the better game.
GP (D): Which one?
Jake (A): I like ninja garden a lot. It's almost a sisafiian game.
GP (D): I get it. But you just want to be friends. No, that's fine.
Chard (B): That's fine. GP he just friended us.
Jake (A): All right, so our top three. Best ninja game ever.
Chard (B): Not our top three. Not my top three.
Jake (A): I mentioned the cyber shadow.
Sins (E): Are you part of Presby or not?
GP (D): Chard, one of the worst ninja games. Mystical Ninja Goleman. That should tell you how accurate that is.
Chard (B): Second one.
Jake (A): Number three. Third. The bronze was Cyber Shadow. No team into East Reserve was number three. Number Two Ninja Guide. And number one is the messenger. The messenger is fantastic. Sabotage Studios is doing another game in that universe. Radically different gameplay. Sea of stars. You should also check that out as well. So, again, March Radnus. All month we're doing bracket episodes. We hope you enjoyed this one. We're going to end the month off with a special episode. If you want a hint, then check out our discord for links to all of us where you can find us, whether it's our audio podcasts or on YouTube, go to press b. To cancel.com or check us out, press b on Twitter and you can find us there and again. Yeah, join our discord. We're always looking for ideas for these bracket episodes. It's hard coming up with some of these lists, especially when I got narrowed down. So we always try and get your guys feedback.
Chard (B): Why can we shit like the ninja?
GP (D): I think I might be a little delayed.
Jake (A): Writer it's a schmup and it's good. Yeah, I think we had a lot of technical issues surveys delayed. I'm going to wrap it up really quick because we got to go, guys. Thanks, GP. Check out Sinister on Mondays. He's streaming Crowd Trigger. Check out Chart. He's playing some hot trash for Chivos because he hates himself. Check out Wolf.
Chard (B): It's Final Fantasy Four.
Jake (A): He's doing stuff. Check out GPS videos on YouTube. And check out me on YouTube. I'm trying for Baltimore. We are presbytered cancel. We'll see you guys all next week.
GP (D): Ninja guiding for life. Trash.