|Shinobi Review by: jlh
1988 Shinobi Arcade version
A review by JLH
One of the many great 1980's arcade games the original shinobi is one of my favorites. Challenging, simple, good music and player control makes this game a real gem. Plus with a lot of sequels usually means the first in the series is usually something good. If you like playing as a ninja, throwing ninja stars and a good challenge then definitely play this game! In the late eighties when I was a little kid their was this gas station / restaurant that had the arcade game. I would take my money and go watch the older kids try to beat the game then when they left I would continue where they left off, usually starting over after a couple continues because of the difficulty of the game. Anyways on to the review.
I Rated this game pretty high up for a scrolling/ platform game. The graphics are fair on the Sega system, but the sound, control, music and concept make up for it. The goals of finding the kidnapped kids are pretty straight forward, you won't have to look to hard to find them in the earlier levels. It is the enemies that make this game a challenge. I fell this particular version is the closest to the arcade version which makes it that much more enjoyable to play.
Like a lot of older games this one can be difficult. First off you can only get hit once, you have a limited amount of saves( I prefer using save states), the enemies get harder as you progress. Speaking of enemies, the ninjas are cool because the different colours means they attack different. The boards get more tricky with multiple levels and pit falls. And last but not least the bosses can be very hard, even the first one until you learn the pattern. This game can get frustrating but just adds to the enjoyment of having video game rages.
Although I gave the overall such a high score I only gave the graphics a score of a 8. Don't get me wrong the enemies and ninjas are different colours and their are some cool looking bosses which is good. I guess I'm just hard to please when it comes to graphics. Oh yea the boards are different and are well drawn or pixilated.
I love the music in this game, it fits the concept of the game. To me their are just some games that the music is so catchy and I could listen to it over and over, this is one of those games. The rythem to the music is fast and upbeat that sounds oriental so yea it gets a high score from me.
Shinobi can be very addictive if you have your mind made up to beat the game. To me what makes this game addicting is the challenge. Even though it is mostly a one dimensional game the enemies are some coolest to see. Plus the music adds to the replay value, I mean if a game has bad music I don't play it as much.
The story is pretty basic stuff, an overlord ninja has kidnapped a bunch of kids and you have to kill hordes of enemies and find the kids, survive the boards, beat the bosses and overlord, game over. So yea I gave it a score of a 7.
This game has enough levels, bad guys and challenging levels to keep you busy. Along with some bonus rounds (some versions differ) the boards get more challenging as you progress. The first board starts out simple with just two levels but the later boards have multiple levels which makes the game a plat former.
Graphics 8 Sound 9 Addictive 8 Depth 8 Story 7 Difficulty 9
Shinobi Box Description: Shinobi. It's Japanese for stealth, the perfect description of a Master Ninja. And that's exactly what you are! Armed with throwing stars and finely-honed battle skills, you must defeat the Ring of Five. Fight your way past mercenaries and karate thugs. Take out the meanest martial artists and rescue hostages. But these dangers pale in comparison to your ultimate challenge: A fight to the death against five evil Ninja Assassins whose mastery of the deadly ancient arts may well surpass your own!
Shinobi Description: You control a ninja, Shinobi, who must battle his way through each level in search of hostages which must be rescued. You have shurikens, kicks and punches to defend yourself with. As well as the powerful ninja magic which can clear the screen of enemies in one go.
Each level is broken down into smaller scenes and hostages are guarded by big blokes who throw swords. Watch out for gun-toting enemy henchmen and ninjas.
Reaching the end of each level will find you battling it out with a boss. These range from 8ft giants to helicopter gunships.