NINJA JAJAMARU-KUN / Jaleco / NES (1985)

Seriously, this was popular in Japan? Some midget ninja is on a quest to rescue chick captured by crazy bald pirate, who holds her captive at the top of the screen. Bald pirate sends out small army of ghost swordsman things to stop you ... the game sorta plays like Mario Bros. except you have ninja stars that you can throw about 2 feet. You can knock blocks out from underneath, but that doesn't seem to faze the ghosts much ... all it does is leave behind a white circle (good for you), black balls (kill you instantly despite looking totally innocuous), or a black thing with tan circles (weird go kart). I guess the object is to kill the ghosts, which is a pretty haphazard proposition - you have to get all up on them and throw stars in their faces, sometimes they go down easy, but if they put up a fight and start shooting electric beams at you or whatever they basically win by default. Also after they're all almost dead, crazy pirate drops some fuckload of bombs on you ... and the chick occasionally tosses out her panties for you to catch though it didn't seem to be of much benefit. Gameplay's all slipshod and the music is hell of annoying ... be glad this one will never make it out of Japan alive!

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