Here We Depart

Kid Niki [Kaiketsu Yanchamaru] 3, by Micronics, 1993.

So I’ve been playing Kid Niki 3, and it’s not bad. I’m not sure I’d recommend it to fans of the original, because frankly it’s nothing like the original. Where the first game was a single corridor of onrushing death, the third is an expansive multi-dimensional pastiche. You swim, wall jump, and pogo hop through slippery ice levels, quicksand-laden deserts, and factories with rotating gear-borne platforms. You have a power meter. You collect keys. And you fight bosses that are right out of Mega Man. In short, it’s a generic mainstream platformer. Good thing the regular enemies are so cool: from amputated legs to urinating statues, they rarely fail to entertain. My only real complaint is that when you’re moving, you can’t see very far ahead. You’ll be running sideways and suddenly smash into a darting bird, or you’ll be sliding down a wall and suddenly be impaled on a bed of spikes. As you get better you learn to anticipate that kind of thing, so it’s even more annoying when you — I — fall for it anyway.