Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection from ININ Games brings us five games from the long-running series in a single package. Check out our Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection review!
Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection from ININ Games brings us five games from the long-running series in a single package. As was the case for the Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection – which I recently reviewed on Nintendo Switch – Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection is a celebration of Ninja JaJaMaru’s old-school journey, this time on Nintendo hardware. That means we’re getting Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Super Famicom/Super Nintendo releases to play in a single package. What games are we getting?
Ninja JaJaMaru-kun (1985)
JaJaMaru’s Big Adventure (1986)
Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure (1990)
Ninja JaJaMaru: Operation Milky Way (1991)
Super Ninja Kid (1992)
Once the collection loads, it will quickly send you to a menu from which you can choose to play the five aforementioned games, as well as one special bonus release: Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure DX! This is an interesting one since it’s a “Wha if…?” game that turns Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure into a Game Boy Color experience. Ninja JaJaMaru-kun is the game that started all way back in 1985 on the Famicom. You’ll have to take on some challenging levels as you try to rescue Princess Sakura, who has been kidnapped by the evil Pirate Namazu Dayuu.
Then we have 1986’s JaJaMaru’s Big Adventure. This one is the Famicom follow-up to Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, and it expands on what its predecessor did. As was the case for a lot of games from the era, it’s a bit light on the story since the premise is that Princess Sakuras has been kidnapped… again! Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure was released on the Game Boy, and it sees Princess Sakura and JaJaMaru out on a new adventure when the evil yokai Satan attacks.
For Ninja JaJaMaru: Operation Milky Way – which is the fifth and final Famicom release in the franchise – JaJaMaru and Sakura leave ancient Japan and travel… to space! You’ll have to take on the evil Don Destroyda, ruler of the universe, to finally be able to restore peace once and for all. This one allows you to play as either JaJaMaru or Princess Sakura. Use the mighty Cosmo Suit to defeat all enemies on your quest! The last game in the collection takes us into the 16-bit era with Super Ninja Kid, which, as the name suggests, was originally released for Nintendo’s Super Famicom. JaJaMaru must use its shuriken, bombs, boomerang, and more to defeat the monsters that have invaded a castle so that he can save the day!
Along with being able to make the most of save states and the very handy rewind feature, each of the games will also have its own Cheats menu from which you can activate some extra stuff to help you. Ninja JaJaMaru-kun allows you to activate unlimited lives; JaJaMaru’s Big Adventure has invincibility, unlimited time, and unlimited lives; Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure – and the DX version – has invincibility and unlimited life energy; Ninja JaJaMaru: Operation Milky Way has unlimited lives; and Super Ninja Kid has unlimited health, unlimited ninja powers, unlimited jumps, and unlimited lives for you to activate.
You can dive into the Gallery section for Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection. Once in there, you’ll be able to review a ton of digitized images for Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, JaJaMaru’s Big Adventure, Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great World Adventure, Ninja JaJaMaru: Operation Milky Way, and Super Ninja Kid. These include stuff such as box art, promo illustrations, cartridge stickers, and design docs for bosses. It’s not as packed as the one for Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection, but it’s a nice bonus.
And on top of the games, there are also a series of digital art books you can check out! These include design documents for each of the games in this collection, as well as a variety of illustrations and flyers that were used to promote the games back in the day. You can even check out scans of the original manuals as well! Oh, and before I forget, they’ve even scanned the original box art, cartridge label, and game card/cartridge art, so you have access to a great digital archive to celebrate the series.
If you’re looking for a way to expand your Ninja JaJaMaru experience with five new games – and a bonus Game Boy Color “What if…?” one – then you should definitely check out Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection. You’ll get a group of fun and to-the-point 2D action platformers that will allow you to see the evolution of the franchise that lead to this year’s brand-new Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great Yokai Battle +Hell. You can get Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection on its own as a $14.99 download from the Nintendo Switch eShop, or go all-in and buy the physical Ninja JaJaMaru: The Legendary Collection from our friends at Strictly Limited Games, which includes the Ninja JaJaMaru: Retro Collection, as well as Ninja JaJaMaru: The Lost RPGs and Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great Yokai Battle +Hell.
This Ninja JaJaMaru Retro Collection review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by ININ Games.