Episode 22- Surf Ninjas

Posted: September 16, 2012 in 5DG Plays
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Release Date: Summer(?) 1993

System: Game Gear

Rarity: 35%

Price/Location: $2.99

I’ve stated before that I wouldn’t play movie-based games for the blog, but I felt I had to make an exception in this case. 1.) This game was only released on one system. 2.) That one system was the friggin’ Sega Game Gear! Yes, the Game Gear was semi-popular in its day, but imagine if they released a game based on The Avengers movie over the summer, but it was a Playstation Vita exclusive. It’d raise some eyebrows. The history behind this game is interesting though and it explains some things. Sega and New Line Cinema teamed up for some cross-promotion action. Sega helped finance the film in exchange for some writers and producers to help create a game. The game ended up finished and available for sale before the movie wrapped up filming. As a result, the movie features several scenes where the game based on it appears.

It wasn’t a mere cameo. It was a freakin’ PLOT POINT!


I don’t remember much of the movie (I watched it all of once many years ago). It remains fresh in my mind as a joke amongst my friends however because it’s a “Rob Schneider movie” ala South Park.

Rob Schnieder is… a SURF NINJA!

With that said, I don’t know if these opening cut scenes are true to the movie, but then again, I don’t really care. I want to know how this game plays. How does it play? …surprisingly good. I was shocked by how decent this game is. Maybe calling it a good game would be too generous, but the controls are operable. A to jump, B to attack. You can press a different direction on the D-pad to do different attacks. You can also go into the pause menu to use support characters or purchase weapons and health. You can also get a “helpful hint” from the boy in the movie with the Game Gear.

His 1st hint for me was “Finish levels quickly.” I did not request future advice from him.

There are some bad parts to it (like you already didn’t assume). First, even though I mentioned the controls were good, the jumping mechanic takes a bit of getting used to. You have to hit the jump button, let go of it then press and hold it again to do a higher and longer jump. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the window of time you had to do this wasn’t so small. It’s sent me falling to my doom a few times because what I thought was going to be a nice big jump, turned out to be a short hop into the water. Also, the character sprite size in relation to their environment is way off. The environments are featured prominently and look nice for a Game Gear game, but the character sprites look tiny and indistinguishable. I wish I could find a good screenshot to illustrate what I mean, but you would actually have to play the game (or at least look at it on a Game Gear screen) to get the full effect.


Mostly because the Game Gear itself has a crappy screen (Note: This is a Game Gear emulator screenshot. That’s why it doesn’t look like barf).

Verdict: HIGH FIVE

Call me crazy, but I liked this game. Maybe because it surprised me because it wasn’t totally terrible, but it’s certainly playable, and kind of enjoyable. It’s not even close to the best game ever, but it’s pretty good action-platforming… uhh, action. If anything, it’s likely a case of the game being better than the movie it’s based on!

Surf on over to my Facebook page and give me a like! Or, stealthily make your way over to Twitter and follow me (but preferrably not like a ninja)!

Thanks for reading!

  1. […] 1.) I made an exception for Surf Ninjas because it was a Game Gear exclusive. […]

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