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Mystic Warriors (Arcade) artwork

Mystic Warriors (Arcade) review


"“Mystic Warriors” is some kind of follow up to “Sunset Riders”. It uses the same engine, practically the same GUI, and even plays the same. For those who have never played the game I am comparing this one to: It was a side-scrolling run ‘n’ gun set in the Old American West; you collected power-ups, shot bad guys, and scored points by procuring loot and bar maids. Good times. "



“Mystic Warriors” is some kind of follow up to “Sunset Riders”. It uses the same engine, practically the same GUI, and even plays the same. For those who have never played the game I am comparing this one to: It was a side-scrolling run ‘n’ gun set in the Old American West; you collected power-ups, shot bad guys, and scored points by procuring loot and bar maids. Good times.

This game, on the other hand, is set in Japan. There are five ninjas to choose from, and up to four people can play. Once everyone makes their selection, the fifth ninja is stupidly abducted, providing a loose narrative hook for the next ten or so levels of frantic shuriken tossing. So, this is “Sunset Riders” but with the cowboys replaced with ninjas and the six-shooters switched with throwing stars; also, you have a four-unit lifebar. There are subtle differences in the core mechanics, but not enough to mask the blatant re-purposing of a game engine.

Being a coin-op game, the real goal of “Mystic Warriors” is to make a lot of money for Konami. Where “Sunset Riders” gave the player a lot of game for their buck (or token) this one throws caution to the wind and simply overwhelms you with enemies and stray projectiles. Show me someone who can beat the skiing level without giving up a life and I’ll show you an unflinching gaming machine. There are no 1UPs to earn from tallying a high enough score, so whatever you get from your quarter is what you’re stuck with. A shame, because I could have used some extra lives during that blatantly exhausting underwater boss fight; the one where you have to dodge dozens of missiles and frog men and harpoons shot by the frog men, all while nibbling away at the boss’s abysmal hit points.

This game is high on the spectacle and low on substance. My advice is to discard any notions of skill-based gameplay and just soak in settings such as the drive-in theaters, roaring rapids, snowy mountain tops and hi-tech fortresses,… oh, and you gotta love those corny voice samples.

You might like “Mystic Warriors”. I kind of did at first, but one grows tried of being overwhelmed. Besides, Shinobi is the undisputed master of ninja action/arcade games. This Konami title is mindless fluff.

Rating: 5/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (October 20, 2009)

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