Kasumi Ninja is a fighting game that I unfortunately find fairly repellent. As soon as you boot it up, it’s clear that the game has an almost worrying fixation on blood.
I’m aware that many classic fighters – Mortal Kombat springs to mind – use gore to give fights more of a violent edge, but Kasumi Ninja goes way overboard.
Blood trickles from the top of the menu screens, for example – which doesn’t make the game feel sinister, just feel incredibly cheap and second rate.
Diving into the story mode, things struggle to improve. The character select is viewed from a first person perspective, with one of the choppiest frame rates i’ve ever seen. It’s not like much is going on in this section, so I have no idea why it chugs along at such an alarming rate.
Pick your ninja and opponent, and you can then begin your fight (in an unusually nice touch the game classes your foe as being played by the ‘Jaguar’ rather than ‘CPU’), which is introduced by an unintentionally amusing oriental style announcer.
Fights take place in a range of very 16-bit looking environments, and where you fight seems to depend on your opponent. This brings me onto my next point – what exactly is up with the oddball characters used here?
You can play as a ninja, fitting in with the game’s title, but your foes can range from deranged Scotsman to scantily clad seductress.
There’s even a woman who’s an assistant Defence Attorney by day, and a fighter by night. I mean, what the heck? Why not call the game ‘Kasumi Random Selection of Weirdos’ instead of ‘Kasumi Ninja’ – it would be far more accurate at least.
The game fatally contradicts itself in tone in this regard – the light hearted nature of the characters is offset by the gore used throughout, making the title feeling a tacky mess as result.
It doesn’t help that the fighting itself is atrocious, with controls that you’ll struggle to grasp with any ease. You’ll probably have long since lost interest before you begin to ‘master’ the special moves.
Kasumi Ninja is most definitely your best bet if you’re looking for a fighting game on the Jaguar – but that is ultimately saying very little indeed.