Ninja Five-O

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Ninja Five-O
Ninja Cop cover.png
European cover art
Developer(s) Hudson Soft
Publisher(s) Konami
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
  • EU: April 2003
  • NA: April 2003
Genre(s) Action, platform
Mode(s) Single player

Ninja Five-O, known in PAL regions as Ninja Cop, is an action platform video game developed by Hudson Soft and published by Konami. It was released for the Game Boy Advance in North America and Europe in April 2003. Players take the role of Joe Osugi, a ninja who must stop a terrorist group influenced by mystical masks. It was first announced at "Konami Gamers' Day" in early 2003.

The game received generally positive reviews from video game critics. However it failed to garner sales and is often regarded as one of the most sought after handheld games.


Ninja Five-O is an action game is centered around Joe Osugi, a ninja tasked with stopping a terrorist group influenced by the Mad Masks, masks that give the wearer obscene power.[1] As Osugi, the player must defeat the terrorists and rescue hostages through six missions with three levels and a boss battle.[2][3]


The game was developed by Hudson Soft.[4] Ninja Five-O was first announced in January 2003 during "Konami Gamers' Day", where they announced along with fifteen other games they would publish in 2003.[5] Despite being developed and published by Japanese video game companies, it was never released in Japan for reasons unknown.[3] The US box art was illustrated by Julie Giles, who designed other Konami packaging such as the Castlevania and Metal Gear franchises.[6] Ninja Five-O was released in North America and Europe in April 2003.[4]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 82/100[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 8.25/10[8]
GamePro 4/5 stars[9]
GameSpot 7.9/10[10]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[11]
GameZone 8.5/10[12]
IGN 8.5/10[2]
Nintendo Power 4/5[13]
Nintendo World Report 9/10[14]
The Cincinnati Enquirer 4/4 stars[15]

Upon release of the game, Ninja Five-O received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[7] It was chosen as runner-up for "GBA Game of the Month" by IGN for the month of April 2003, behind Golden Sun: The Lost Age.[16]

In a retrospective review from Nintendo Life, Perry Wild praised its level design for having a balance between the platforming and combat aspects in the game.[17]

Ninja Five-O received awards and nominations from several gaming publications. GameSpy named it the third best Game Boy Advance game of 2003,[18] as well as the Best Platform Game for the system.[19] It was also chosen as the "Best Game No One Played" by IGN.[20] IGN later listed it at number 23 in their list of the top 25 Game Boy Advance games of all time.[21] In 2008, CraveOnline featured the game among top 10 Ninja games of all time, calling it "weird, fun, challenging, and a great homage to another awesome ninja game from the 8-bit era, Shadow of the Ninja".[22] According to GameFan, "Ninja Five-O was one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2003. Given lackluster sales it’s unlikely to spawn a sequel, but with everything it got right the first time one can only imagine what might have been."[1]

Ninja Five-O is now seen as one of the most sought after games for the Game Boy Advance, with IGN listing it as "Extremely Rare".[23] By 2013, Pocket Gamer listed it as one of the most expensive handheld games, noting that a copy of the game was being sold on eBay for £70 while a boxed copy went for £200.[24]


  1. ^ a b Crisman, Michael (July 6, 2011). "Ninja Five-O RETROspective". GameFan. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Harris, Craig (April 21, 2003). "Ninja Five-O". IGN. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Kalata, Kurt (August 1, 2017). "Ninja Five-O / Ninja Cop - Game Boy Advance (2003)". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Harris, Craig (January 16, 2003). "Ninja Five-O". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  5. ^ Bramwell, Tom (January 17, 2003). "Konami Gamers' Day launches 2003". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  6. ^ Caoili, Eric (March 9, 2008). "Promotional Consideration: Behind the boxart". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Ninja Five-O for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Ninja Five-O". Game Informer (123): 122. July 2003. 
  9. ^ DJ Dinobot (April 29, 2003). "Ninja Five-O Review for Game Boy Advance on". GamePro. Archived from the original on March 8, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  10. ^ Davis, Ryan (May 1, 2003). "Ninja Five-0 Review [sic]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ Steinberg, Steve (May 2, 2003). "GameSpy: Ninja Five-O". GameSpy. Archived from the original on November 10, 2005. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ Zacarias, Eduardo (June 23, 2003). "Ninja Five-O Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Ninja Five-O". Nintendo Power. 168: 140. May 2003. 
  14. ^ Sklens, Mike (May 30, 2003). "Ninja Five-O". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  15. ^ Saltzman, Marc (May 20, 2003). "Three for the road". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ IGN Staff (May 2, 2003). "GBA Game of the Month: April 2003". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 
  17. ^ Wild, Perry (November 5, 2016). "Review: Ninja Five-O". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved January 30, 2018. 
  18. ^ GameSpy Staff. "GameSpy's Game Boy Advance Games of the Year". GameSpy. Archived from the original on December 22, 2004. 
  19. ^ GameSpy Staff. "GBA Winners Wrapup". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. 
  20. ^ IGN Staff. " 2003 Awards: Best Game No One Played". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. 
  21. ^ Harris, Craig (March 16, 2007). "Top 25 Game Boy Advance Games of All Time". IGN. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ Azevedo, Jeremy (September 18, 2008). "Top 10 Ninja Games Of All Time". CraveOnline. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ Harris, Craig (June 15, 2005). "GBA Gems: Ninja Five-O". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  24. ^ Brown, Mark (July 18, 2013). "Top 10 most expensive and valuable handheld games of all time". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 

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