Monday, 9 June 2008
Shinobi: Kill Them All Sneaky Joe!
A rather short review of the first game I ever owned: Shinobi on the Master System.
Multi-plain spam attack, obstacle course, platform genius. Sega's bite-back response to Namco's Rolling Thunder arcade series sees one-man-army Joe Musashi going up against kidnapping mobsters Zeed. They done a steal on a load of kids. Rascals! As well as being able to hurl infinite shurikens Zeed's way, Joe can crouch into a little crafty crawling crab-ninja form and lash out with a swift shin-kick. POW!
Levels are broken up with slightly astounding first-person bonus stages where our Joe hurls ninja death stars at advancing, conveyor-belt surfing enemies. Let one slip through and it's curtains; annihilate the lot and you're rewarded with Ninja Magic.
This Master System conversion lowers the arcade's difficulty by gifting the player an energy bar rather than a one-hit death. There's also a wider variety of ranged and melee attacks too - including hand grenades, pistols, nunchaku and the mighty manrikigusari - a giant weighted chain. Scaled back detail wise from its Arcade forebear, Master System Shinobi makes up this deficit by pumping the gaudy colour factor up as high as tech permits. Block colours never age. Gorgeous. Followed by an avalanche of sequels over nearly every format ever.