Ninjas & Superspies, a fail in art but a pretty cool mechanic to be sure.
Ah, what can I say about Palladium Books Ninjas & Superspies? Well, that in a broken system like Palladium, it is still pretty freaking cool to get all kinds of special combat training, and the book is simply chock full of them.
I played this a lot back in my late high school and early college run, along with TMNT, and I still get a ‘kick’ out of taking a look at it from time to time.
Still, the artwork in the book never really did it for me. Sure, there is a piece by Kevin Long, which always adds some cool factor to a Palladium game, but otherwise the talents of Michael Gustovich, Cowan & Gabriel and Steve Bissette just don’t carry the water that I’d like.
In my mind, and I found this a great deal with Palladium books, the artwork comes off too solid and heavy, with hard ink lines and a sterile feel that I can’t identify with. Sure, in some work on Rifts it plays well, but for this particular supplement I don’t believe the talents of the artists involved could carry it off. Perhaps it is a draftsman technique that is better suited to machines than man.
The cover, done by Kevin Fales, is a nice piece and does its job of selling the book, especially when we get to actually see ninjas and superspies going at it. Also, the high color background grabs the eye and keeps you engaged enough to at the very least look inside the cover.
On the whole, I much prefer the content to the artwork, and for most gamers that is a good thing, just not your intrepid reviewer here at Art of the Genre.
Artistic Rating: 2.5 [out of 5]