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SummaryA “modified port” of the original game
The GoodIn Shinobi, you play a ninja who goes around killing members of the Neo Zeed organization with your shurikens while rescuing children, who are guarded by huge dudes that wear purple outfits and throw swords at you. There are five stages with four levels each (three in the first stage). The fourth stage is where you defeat a boss, which will take numerous hits to kill. Now and then, you have the opportunity to play a bonus stage, where you must kill off ninjas before they decide to jump down at you. The levels get tougher as you proceed.
The Master System port retains the same gameplay as the original version, but there are a few changes to the port. One main difference is the life bar that depletes every time you make contact with an enemy or the bullets that he fires at you. This life bar is useful if you don't really want to restart at the beginning of the level whenever you get killed. Another difference is when you rescue one of the children, you get a freebie such as a new weapon (swords, nunchakus, etc.), power-ups, more life, and maximum life.
In my opinion, the graphics are much closer to that of the coin-op version, despite the low resolution and the number of colors that the game uses. They even look good when you are walking through neighborhoods, shipyards, valleys, and temples. The characters and bosses look good, and they act as they should.
The sound is very good, especially if you have the FM chip included in the SMS. I like the sound when you decide to jump to a different platform, whether you jump up or down. I also enjoyed the sound that can be heard after rescuing a child.
The BadThe music gets boring after a while, since it is the same background music for each level. The coin-op version has some nice tunes that could have been translated over to the SMS port, rather than just having the one tune while you are fighting off ninjas. If this was so, than the translated tunes would have sounded great with the FM chip.
I have no idea how to use ninja magic like in the coin-op version, as well as other ports. The ninja magic is useful for defeating bosses at the end of each stage. SMS users have to put up with hitting them with shurikens or some other weapon, which is slow compared to the ninja magic. Then again, there are only two buttons on the Master System's control pad. Button one is used for shooting, while button two is used for jumping. If there was a third button, then it would certainly have been used for ninja magic. Yes, using ninja magic in the SMS version is impossible.