8-bit Memory Lane

Blogging the NES' library one game at a time.

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Zen: Intergalactic Ninja
zen_intergalactic_ninja.cover.frontIsometric is not my favorite perspective for any game that requires precision. In Diablo, in a tactical RPG it’s fine because you’re usually afforded a fine degree of control; you can click on or point to exactly what you want to do and press a button to make it happen. In action games, particularly on the NES, you’re fighting the limitations of the controller and system which leaves no one happy.

Which is why it’s so surprising that I enjoyed Zen as much as I did, even though, I have to admit, I didn’t get past the first stage in my twenty minutes with the game. (I wasn’t really trying. *cough cough*)

But someone at Konami clearly felt the same way I do and said, “Isometric controls usually suck. How can we make them not suck?” I don’t know how they did it, but they did. Jumping from platform to platform—something you have to do a lot even in the early goings—is easy.

And the whole “intergalactic ninja” thing? I don’t know what that is but I love the concept. Especially if that means there’s a space Japan and galactic samurai running around. And that’s something I can get behind.

Time played: 20 minutes.
How was it?: Very good.
Will you play it again?: Oh yeah.


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