Friday, 19 November 2010

Super Shinobi vs Pop Culture

Boss rush! Ten minutes of stage end swashbuckling from Sega's 1989 Mega Drive masterpiece The Revenge of Shinobi. Our hero must face: a spineless Godzilla, an undying brain sealed in a plutonium bomb assembly, a scrap yard Schwarzenegger, and a selection of American superheroes. Unifying theme be damned! These pop culture icons just gotta stand in Joe Ninja's way!

This video showcases an early release of the title before it ran afoul of litigious copyright lawyers. Although Spider-Man's heel turn was able to stay thanks to Sega having secured the licence to develop a Mega Drive game entitled The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Kingpin, Batman was eventually swapped out for a demon figure that looked not unlike Go Nagai's Devilman. Likewise, for the 1990 European release, Godzilla was stripped down to a set of walking, fire-breathing bones. Licensing issues have continued to dog The Revenge of Shinobi; last year's re-release on the Wii's Virtual Console had Spider-Man recoloured pink, Sega's usage agreement having long since expired. Disaster Year's favourite bit comes during the rubbish pile Terminator fight, Sega dwell on a character detail ignored in every franchise installment since the 1984 original - when damaged, the cyborg's skin rots and degrades, transforming him into a monstrous carrion rioter.

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