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Ninja Gaiden Shadow (Game Boy)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
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Written by  :  Apogee IV (2336)
Written on  :  Feb 11, 2006
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Summary

A Great Classic-era Game Boy Title

The Good

At its core Shadow Warriors is a fairly standard side-scrolling action game. The difference between it and so many others like it, is the simple fact that it's done right. I especially think that the game manages to be entertaining and but still remain challenging. That is to say you don't have to concentrate fully while playing, you can also relax a bit. There's no point in the game where you will suffer from the typical developer scenario: "Oh, this game's gettin' too easy, we better throw in a ridiculously hard passage now." Instead, the difficulty has a logic progression to it, one that doesn't annoy the hell out of you, but rather pushes you on to progress. Likewise, the level design keeps you focused by changing the scenery with small sequences. It also adds up the cool factor! There's stuff that will make you feel as if you're in a ninja movie, like grabbing a hold of a crane and being lifted up.

I don't really any complaints about the graphics, except for the fact that Ryu is perhaps not as strikingly distinct as say, Mario or Kirby -- and then there's his running animation. Likewise, the bosses are not really that original or memorable either, but it's not really anything I care that much about. Then there's the excellent music! Since this game was originally suppose to be a stand alone title, but was then picked up and launched as a part of the Ninja Gaiden series, the music is basically a selection of various ported songs from the NES series. But it's all the good ones! And they've certainly not lost any of their catchiness or rock'n'destroy feel.

I gotta say I absolutely dig the ninja theme! It's early 90s in a great, nostalgic way...for me at least. Watch the intro and you'll see what I mean!

Finally, "There's despair in the skyscraper" is one hell of a line!

The Bad

I guess the major gripe I have is that there's no level password screen or some such. The first 2 levels (and subsequent bosses) are especially easy to get down, and may become a bit labourous to complete in order to reach the harder levels. It's a common problem for many Game Boy games.

The Bottom Line

Shadow Warriors is a great example of how a classic-era Game Boy game should be.