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Shin Force ~ Shinobi ~
The Super Shinobi / The Revenge of Shinobi
Shinobi
Reviewed
06.26.2002
Publisher
Sega
Developer
Ancient / Sega
Format
4 Megabit
Origin
Import/Domestic
Available
1989 (Japan)
1989 (USA)
Exclusive
Yes
Difficulty
Adjustable
Dimensions
2D
View
Side
Genre
Action
Player(s)
1
Options
6 Button
Mega Key
Requires
n/a
Importable
100%
Intro
     > With the release of the world's first true 16-bit console, Sega needed great games to draw gamers away from Nintendo's highly successful 8-bit NES.  As expected, Sega drew heavily on their arcade roots.  The Super Shinobi / The Revenge of Shinobi (TROS) began a new series for Joe Musashi, as Shadow Dancer is the true sequel to the original arcade Shinobi.

     > The Neo Zeed has assassinated your sensei and kidnapped the beautiful Naoko.  You are Joe Musashi, the master ninja.  The secrets of Shinobi are at your disposal; the art of stealth and Ninjitsu -- the ninja magic.  You must destroy this vicious army while rescuing her from the clutches of their evil leader...

     > If you want the Japanese version, titled The Super Shinobi, then go for it.  There is no noticeable difference between the American and Japanese releases, except the second American edition doesn't have the Godzilla, Spiderman and Batman look-alikes.

Graphics
     > When this game reached the market in 1989, its graphics were state-of-the-art.  It features dynamic locales, multi-scrolling gameplay, parallax backgrounds, and sprites galore!  The eight districts you'll see are Ibaraki Province, Tokyo, The Military Base, Detroit, Area Code 818, Chinatown, New York, and the Neo Zeed Marine Stronghold.  Each is uniquely depicted, and full of various enemies and bosses.  One of my favorite locales is the Tokyo Waterfall.  I was amazed (and still impressed) at the special effect to make the water animate and appear realistic.  The character animation is great too, as Musashi and his foes have many unique moves.  There's no downside in this department.
Control
     > Excellent; tight; rewarding.  TROS has a simple control system which can be mastered quickly.  At your disposal are Ninjitsu (the Arts of Thunder, Fire Dragon, Floating, and Pulverizing), attack (various types depending on position and power-up), and jump.  You can also crouch, double jump (for extra height), 8 shurikin spread, and jump down.  Power-ups abound as well.  You'll come across Power Packs (increase strength and abilities), 5 Shurikins, 20 Shurikins, Small Heart (+2 HP), Large Heart (+Full HP), Musashi (1-up), and Ninjitsu (the ability to use it is limited).  Some of the jumps needed to advance are tricky, but the tight control and practice will get you there.  I have fond memories of how long it took me to pass the Tokyo Waterfall and Marine Stronghold Searchlight areas for the first time...
Sound
     > All you need to know is who composed the score: Yuzo Koshiro.  Even the critics never thought the Z-80 was this capable, which somehow comes as no surprise (LMAO).  There isn't a song on TROS that is anything other than awesome!  The sound effects are sweet too.  Many games that followed tapped this game's library of effects.
Fun
     > There are 8 stages and 24 levels in all to complete.  This is no small task, as TROS is challenging, yet attainable.  Action games, especially the ninja type, don't get much better than this.  After finishing this game, you'll come to appreciate "The Code of the Shinobi" too... (-_-
Bottom Line
     > At least initially, the critics thought Sega just had well known titles without substance for its fledgeling console.  However, The Revenge of Shinobi helped define the Genesis as the leading 16-bit console of choice.  It's still fun and challenging to this day, assuming you like ninja action.
Ratings
Overall: 9.4 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 10 | Fun: 9.0
~ Shinobi ~

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