Developed by NatsumeAtari's Tengo Project team, The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors is a remake of a 1994 SNES beat-'em-up, The Ninja Warriors Again, which in itself felt like a mixture of sequel and remake of TAITO's 1987 The Ninja Warriors arcade game. With gameplay that expands upon the template set by the likes of Kung-Fu Master, Vigilante and Altered Beast, you control an android traversing eight stages to assassinate a tyrant called Banglar. Therefore, its kamikaze robot story setting sticks closely to the 1987 original, which released a few years after the film The Terminator.
The beautiful high-resolution pixel art graphics are true to the SNES game, but have greater detail, brighter colours, and more vivid effects. The sound composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki returns to retain his original 1994 work - with bass-heavy, upbeat arcade tunes driving the brawling action - as the catchy music is boosted by arrangements from TAITO's house band, Zuntata.
Gameplay balances the strategy of timing Battery Gauge smart bomb explosions, with a varied move set that has unique attacks for crowd management, which are exclusive to each character. This becomes evident on the final eighth stage's Banglar boss battle, which feels approachable as the slow and heavy Ninja grabs and throws enemies upwards. However, you may dip into the unlimited continues, as it feels harder to latch onto grunts when controlling Kamaitachi, despite this android's fast, slicing sickle blades.
The incredibly short game length is compensated by the replay value of three varied starting characters, with two unlockable ones that weren't in the SNES game -- for example, Yaksha is available after beating single-player mode on normal difficulty. Two-player couch co-op gameplay is also new and welcomed in the remake, although you both share the Armour Gauge health meter and Battery Gauge special attack. While there are online rankings for fast stage completion, there's no online co-op.
In a similar regard to Tengo Project's development of Wild Guns Reloaded, Tengo's game works well as a remake, because The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors retains the essence of a well-loved SNES beat-'em-up.