The Kid Niki trilogy of games has come to hold a special place in my heart. Yes they’re unpolished and the first one is downright frustrating, but overall it is nice to see a set of games grow and evolve.
Kid Niki 3 is the most advanced of the game which it should be for 1993. It’s also a huge departure from the original and sequel. Gone is the spinny sword, pink jumpsuit and a lot (not all) of the comedy and quirkiness that made Kid Niki 1 and 2 such a blast to play. What is in place is more of a technical game. Kid Niki is now a staff wielding Ninja who has a ton of powerful moves at his disposal. You have a wall jump/catapult mechanic, a ranged attack, a powered up attack, and a slide. Early on you learn to use these and you’ll have to in order to survive the endless wave of weird enemies.
Kid Niki 3 feels a lot like a Mega Man style game in that you have to use different mechanics to get through levels, fight bosses and eventually make it through the level. It’s an ambitious undertaking and surprisingly it comes off well. I kind of expected it to be like Kid Niki 2 where you have a bunch of skills you don’t need. In Kid Niki 3 that is not the case. I can’t sit here and say it’s perfect but it was surprisingly well put together.
Graphics you get a good 1993 example of what the NES can do. There is some slowdown and sprite despawning but it never really bothered me. Kid Niki 3 has an OK sound track and the sound effects are OK if not a bit average. Each level is coloful and fairly unique.
My only real complaints came from the swimming stage, and wall jumping. It was likely just me but the wall jump was a very hit or miss mechanic and it drove me nuts. Swimming was odd because you could only swim up and at angles. Often I ended up getting hit because I didn’t expect to move in that direction.
Overall I have to say Kid Niki 3 is definitely a game worth picking up. If you’re not into the comedy aspect of the first two you can easily say this was the best of the series. To me 1 and 2 still hold more of a special place in my heart, but that is not to say Kid Niki 3 is bad. It’s almost like the series grew up a lot in Kid Niki 3 and as much as I liked it I kept longing for the silliness and wonkeyness of Kid Niki and Kid Niki 2.