Kasumi Ninja and Theme Park for the Jaguar

Kasumi Ninja and Theme Park have no obvious connection besides the fact they are both Atari Jaguar titles. The differences are night and day. Kasumi Ninja is a fighting game that uses digitized characters and backgrounds in a Mortal Kombat style and was exclusive to the Jaguar. Theme Park is an amusement park construction/management simulation game that was available on many different platforms including home computers, consoles, and handhelds. Kasumi Ninja is widely derided for its gameplay, goofy characters, questionable controls, and excessive blood and gore. Theme Park is considered a decent, if unspectacular game with a steep learning curve.

I’ve owned both of these games for almost as long as I’ve owned my Jaguar and while both have provided some fun times in the past, I don’t consider either game to be a standout for the Jaguar, which I guess is what ties them together for this post. I do think Kasumi Ninja is better than many people remember or give it credit for and it’s not the worst fighter for the Jaguar in my opinion (sorry Fight for Life). Kasumi Ninja gets teased relentlessly, and rightfully so, for its ridiculous fake Asian accented emcee, stereotyped fighters, and comically excessive blood dripping and flying everywhere in an over the top manner. The game has even gotten dangerously close to infamous territory thanks to AVGN and other Youtube videos and reviewers poking fun at the characters. Who familiar with this game, hasn’t seen or heard of Angus, the Scottish Brawler’s special moves that involves him lifting up his kilt and shooting a fire ball from underneath? Kasumi Ninja has over time, become more of a punchline than a viable video game but when you actually sit down to either play through the story mode or against an opponent, you can have some fun with it if you accept and embrace it’s awfulness. The manual does you no favors by only notifying you of the most basic of moves, so you either need to try everything to find special moves or else look them up on the glorious world wide web. Of course, there are finishing or death moves that are uber violent in an attempt to one up the competition in the gore category. Kasumi Ninja did have a lock out option and a blood scale that determined how much pixelated blood would be shown on screen if parents wanted to keep the gore factor down for their younger children. Kasumi Ninja isn’t the shitshow that most gamers think it is, but at its best, it’s only average.

Theme Park, on the other hand, isn’t infamous for anything in particular nor is it violent and derivative like Kasumi Ninja. It’s a very respectable simulation game that allows players to create and design their own amusement park in hopes of attracting visitors. Visitors spend money, money can be used to upgrade your park, more visitors show up and spend money. Winning! With the exception of sports simulation games, I never really got into sims when they first became popular in the 90s. They are very time consuming and I typically dedicated my precious allotted video gaming time to adventure, action, or sports titles. That said, Theme Park for the Jaguar is a title with a lot of potential fun if you have the patience to learn the nuances of how to create and manage your park. Thankfully you can enlist the help of an onscreen tutor to hold your hand through much of the early tedium, otherwise you might not have had a clue what to do. Also, I can’t compare Theme Park on the Jaguar against any of the other ports available since I’ve never played it any other way. Knowing the Jaguar’s history, it is very likely that there are better versions of this game out there. I think Theme Park would have made a nice Jaguar title to add to your collection back when it first came out but it’s probably not going to hold too many player’s interest anymore.

Currently in my collection:

Kasumi Ninja – game, manual C-

Theme Park – game, manual B-

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