The Last Ninja 3 was released by System 3 in 1991 and it follows the same isometric/action template as the previous two games.
Again: there are refinements and differences that make The Last Ninja 3 a worthwhile game in its own right – in particular: the graphics, which are more detailed and colourful than seen previously.
This time there’s also an animated intro, and while it doesn’t add anything to the game itself, it is quite atmospheric (if also a little bit clichéd).
The format of each level is slightly different this time. You go about your ninja business – beating up guards and avoiding traps – as normal, but at the end of each stage there’s a boss fight before the next level loads. As boss fights go they are pretty lame, although they are at least challenging.
One good thing about The Last Ninja 3 is that the guards are now much easier to dodge than before. They’re still a pain though, but at least now the control system is refined enough to give you options. Combat is still unsatisfactory – stick men taking swipes at each other with swords – but that’s something you have to accept with 8-bit gaming.
Puzzles-wise: most revolve around unblocking a route somewhere, but the general aim of each level is to find a scroll that allows you entry to the boss battle. And to upgrade your weapons as you progress.
In spite of a number of failed attempts to make more Last Ninja sequels, this remains the last game in the series at the time of writing.