Sasuke vs. Commander Review

Sasuke vs. Commander Review

What we liked:

+ Faithful recreation
+ One of the earliest games with bosses

What we didn't like:

- Extremely short
- Unforgiving difficulty

DEVELOPER: SNK Playmore   |   PUBLISHER: SNK Playmore   |   RELEASE: 07/19/2011


Night of a Million-Zillion Ninjas.

SNK has done a deep dive into their library, releasing 8 different titles as Playstation Minis. There are a couple of gems on the list, but Sasuke vs Commander is not one of them.

The game is extremely simple. You play as Sasuke. By order of the Shogun, you must defeat ninjas. Lots of them. Red and green ninjas appear in a puff of smoke, throw ninja stars at you and glide toward the ground. You can move left and right along the bottom of the screen, shooting upward. As you hit the ninjas, they fall to the ground. Should their corpses hit you, though, you’ll still lose a life as if you were hit by a ninja star.

At the end of each of the eight waves, you fight a boss (called a “Magic Bonus”). Win, and you proceed. Lose, and the game ends. If, and when, you do reach the Game Over screen, you’ll get to see Sasuke trip over a rock (really just a white pixel) and die. The game moves increasingly fast, ramping up the difficulty. Most games end within 5 minutes of beginning and, though I never did get further than the 4th level, it’s hard to see this game lasting more than 10 minutes from start to finish.

The graphics and sound are exactly what you would expect of a port of a 1980 arcade game. It does feature two-player hot seat gameplay, should you have someone else interested in exploring SNK’s roots. This is, unfortunately, another example of SNK making a mistake with blanket pricing for these Minis. While certain titles might be a good fit for the $2.99 price point, the oldest of the bunch should have been even less expensive.

Sasuke vs Commander is an interesting diversion, especially as one of the earliest games to feature boss fights, but it’s difficult to recommend for anyone not seriously in search of a game that pre-dates “retro.”

Review copy provided by publisher.

Mike is the Reviews Editor and former Community Manager for this fine, digital establishment. You can find him crawling through dungeons, cruising the galaxy in the Normandy, and geeking it out around a gaming table.

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