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version: usa - year: 1999 - developer: visco - publisher: !arcade! - format: neo-geo home system, 177 mbit cartridge (conversion) - condition: mint - rarity: very

A high quality MVS to AES conversion


Ganryu is a cool ninja action-adventure game which was only officially released on MVS


Bosses will take more than an attempt to be wiped out


Some levels include a nice amount of detail


Bosses are the strong point of the game


and they often take visible damage!


The last fight...


Ganryu has two-different endings depending with whom you finish it

Review - Ganryu was never officially released by SNK on the AES format as it was only released on MVS.

Apparently, a company specialized in MVS to AES conversions called !ARCADE! handled this conversion of Ganryu, before going out of business.

According to many authoritative sources on the internet, a conversion is a procedure that takes an MVS cart and converts it into an AES cart playable on the home system. It is a procedure which requires the use of a “sacrificial cartridge” as a “host cartridge” for the new converted cart. 

This specific conversion of Ganryu is of the highest-possible quality. It was made by taking into account the tiniest of details from the old style case (which even includes a Neo-Geo sealing sticker) to the insert which has a 24ct gold leaf writing for the “ Neo Geo ” logo on the front and the serial “ 002” on the spine. It also comes with a 12-pages full color manual which also has a gold writing with the serial "002" printed on it, some miscellaneous MVS artwork and an epilepsy warning card. A second insert for new style snap-cases is also included in the package and it has gold writings on it. I don't know how many copies were produced of this home conversion but it is exceedingly rare.

About the actual game, Ganryu has been trashed by many online reviews because people expected much more out of the Neo-Geo hardware so when I picked it up, I was slightly concerned the game would have sucked! Well, Ganryu is actually pretty far from being a bad game. Sure, maybe it isn't exactly fancy and it doesn't have ground-breaking special effects but it is actually a fairly good game, especially because there is nothing like it on Neo-Geo.

Graphically, backgrounds are nicely drawn although they could use more detail while the main sprites you can control (a ninja or a female-ninja killer) are tiny but convincingly animated and drawn. In all honesty, enemies tend to be a bit repetitive but bosses are an entire different matter as they look very cool and require both some thinking and good reflexes to be disposed of.

The music is also fairly inspired while gameplay works well since you can perform a variety of different moves and attacks and you can even use a grappling hook to grab onto ledges or to attack from the distance!

Controls are tight and responsive as they should be and in the end, Ganryu proves to be an entertaining action game which might not reach the quality of Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden and the likes but it still manages to bring some fresh ideas in the Neo-Geo landscape which suffers from a lack of variety.

If you are tired of 2D fighting games and have already played Magician Lord to death, then Ganryu will provide a pleasant diversion.

Bottom line: a nice little ninja platform game with cool bosses and a few good ideas. 7/10










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