Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Oriental Hero'

Rating:1 User: Digital Prawn

It was only relatively recently that I learnt the word "Oriental" has negative, offensive connotations in North America. In British English, the word has only ever meant "of the East" and nothing more. Phew, glad I know that one now, lest I inadvertantly cause offense. But it does explain to American readers why a game title like this could be put on British shelves and no-one would ever bat an eyelid. Anyway, without getting into that can of worms, the game itself is pretty awful.

As a sequel to the pretty bad "Ninja Master", this side-scrolling beat'em'up manages to be even worse. Firstly, it is just way, way too fast. If you so much as blink, you are dead and probably haven't even realised it.

As you walk towards the right, your character stays in a fixed position near the left of the screen as the game scrolls past you, but enemies can come at you from the left edge of the screen with no warning whatsoever. I can't see how you can realistically do much about that. Even when you move to the left, your character walks backwards, because there doesn't seem to be a flipped copy of the player sprite available. The game is also pretty boring, offering nothing new over other ninja games, as you repeatedly kick your way through a number of enemies. Although truth be told I didn't get too far in the game and I doubt if many players would.

Mis-time your kicks by a fraction of a second and you are immediately brown bread, either stabbed, throttled, or hit in the head by a high speed bird. At least I think it was a bird, but it moved so fast I couldn't honestly tell what it was, it could have been a weapon for all I know. And it's not as if the keyboard controls are responsive, they most certainly aren't.

The game does sport a beautiful backdrop of a peaceful sunset over an age-old Japanese harbour. So perhaps if the player character admired the view instead of walking around the promenade like a fully kitted-out ninja maniac looking for a fight then he wouldn't keep getting attacked and slaughtered by his fellow countrymen.

Seriously, this is one to avoid and I think the original YS review was a tad too generous in this case.