Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Joe and Mac, those cheeky teenagers, might have prehistoric brains the size of Ronnie Corbett's gonads but there's no knocking their sense of justice. You see, during the night another gang of evil Neanderthals invaded the lads' village and kidnapped all the women. Apart from this leaving Joe and Mac nothing to do on Saturday nights, it was also a pretty mean trick to pull. It's fortunate then that the cave brothers are the hardest homo habili ever to grace the earth and have decided to trek across the lands until they reach the territory of those spiteful cavemen and give them a jolly good kicking.
Joe and Mac: Caveman Ninja is a conversion of the popular Data East coin-op. It's a horizontally scrolling platform-cum-club 'em up which features a host of evil cavemen, dinosaurs and natural hazards such as rivers and lava-flows to negotiate. At the end of each stage is a huge monster guardian which is killed before the lads' captive cave-maiden is released.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Platform action games are ten a penny (well, all right then, ten a four hundred quid) on the NES, so what's Caveman Ninja got that makes it a more worthwhile purchase than say, Mario 3 or Jackie Chan? Well, for a start there's the game's sense of humour which is prevalent throughout, then there's the great graphics. The sprites are bright, colourful, detailed and well animated and the backgrounds are of a similar quality. Sadly the sound is a bit weak and the tunes have a tendency to warble. The trouble is, Caveman Ninja, fittingly for a game about cavemen, is a bit simple. There's not very much going on at any time, and the last couple of levels have some frustrating rock-hopping sections where survival is nothing more than a matter of luck. This is just one example of the many instant deaths that the game throws at you, which tend to make things more than a little frustrating. Caveman Ninja is a fun game to play, but if it's a more varied long-term challenge you're after check out some of the other platform games available like Mario and Megaman.
Despite the original Caveman Ninja coin-op being rather average, I found this conversion surprisingly addictive and great fun to play. The graphics are excellent, with many humorous touches, and the gameplay is simple, straightforward and enjoyable. On the last level things get a bit irritating when you're put in situations where mega skill (or luck in Rad's case!) is required to get past certain parts of the landscape, but generally Joe and Mac is a challenging and entertaining beat 'em up. It's not the sort of game you'll go back to time and time again once you've finished it - it simply hasn't got the depth and variety for that - but if you're a fan of the coin-op, or are just after a simple and fun game, this is well worth taking a look at.
Jaz's Sheep - 02 Jun 2010, 14:03 GMT
This did have a certain charm to it, never the greatest game but it was worth a blast