NGAD: Zombie Smashers X3: Ninjastarmageddon!

Okay I admit it… the decided to try this game out almost entirely out of curiosity about the title. I’ve never played Zombie Smashers X or X2, but I understand that they’re pretty common action games. X3 is not. X3 is an Elite-style space trading game. Only one with a definite sense of humor. Instead of flying through space using hi-tech (sexy!) spaceships and powerful alien weaponry, Ninjastamageddon puts the player behind the wheel of interstellar jalopies and other beat-up cars. Though the largest ships are giagantic galleons. Each with their own weapon capacities and cargo space. All in all the game is probably described as an Elite/Privateer that does not take itself seriously in any form.

[[Screenshots go here – will be uploaded sometime after posting.]]

The game’s story at least belongs to the Zombie Smashers X series: Ninjas and Zombies have forever hated one another throughout the ages. Only when humanity reached space were these factions able to go their separate ways and find enough space to live independently. However the ruling Pterodactyl Government encourages trade and the lure for profit causes these factions to interact once more. On top of things, there are nasty space pirates and crazy Cyborgs who want to assimilate everyone (usually after killing them first). In this crazy galaxy… tensions rise approaching Ninjastarmageddon!

Ahem. Yeah… So players begin by choosing a starting vehicle, a player skin and a co-pilot’s skin. The co-pilot mans the secondary weapon, from missiles to rocket launchers, once purchased from the hardware store. In addition to hardware, there also exists the Bank (load/save game), the supermarket (the big ones are named Ultra-Shopper-Mart) (buy/sell goods), the Shipyards, the Weapons store, Mission Control (sign up for new missions), Gas Blaster station (cars need gas, even in space!) and possibly one or two other spots I’m forgetting. The player travels between different “node” star system locations on the space map, which may contain some or none of the services listed… usually to fulfill some mission or to sell off goods tractor beamed in from a defeated ship. If all of this is beginning to sound familiar, it’s because this type of gameplay is used quite a bit among the Space Trader sub-genre. What sets X3 apart, aside from the cel shaded graphics, is it’s ability to make a humorous game in a genre that’s been traditionally filled with “serious” spaceships and alien weaponry.

ZSX3 also allows players to purchase larger vehicles (such as galleons) which are able to store and launch smaller cars for combat situations (such as the jeeps and 4-door flying cars), at the cost of cargo space. As the galaxy is opened up, it becomes clear that there is much debris in the universe, many direlects, and a lot of places where Zombies, Ninjas, Pirates and Cyborgs clash together in combat. I haven’t progressed far enough, but it seems possible that the game features a “main plot” which the player must find by talking to and accepting the right missions.  I’ll definitely continue playing this wacky game.

[I’ll edit from here if I decide I should be talking more about this…. Tomorrow’s Game: Skygunner]

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