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Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (643)
Written on  :  Sep 30, 2018
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
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Decent game in the classic, 1987 Shinobi gameplay format

The Good

I'm pleased that this Shinobi game(actually different to the arcade Shadow Dancer, released a year prior) retained the background/foreground gameplay of the original Shinobi(an idea that may have originated in Namco's Rolling Thunder, Dec. 1986). It allows for defeating enemies with ninja-like stealth i.e jumping into the foreground/background behind your opponent and using your sword or an unarmed strike. Of course in this game, you can also command your dog to attack and immobilize an opponent, which takes some precision, as some opponents can defend against dog attacks, you have to wait till they're off-guard. Another nice addition is your mid-air strikes e.g if you time the button-push right, you'll flying-kick opponents who come near you while in mid-air.

So I think the game plays well, there are some decent bosses, the graphics and animation are good, the music is pretty good(Keisuke Tsukahara).

The Bad

It seems pretty short compared to other Shinobis, suddenly the game was telling me I was at the final boss. Arcade Shadow Dancer technically only had four stages, but it was probably longer with all the sub-stages. The final boss is really hard to beat, but even so he's not very impressive, mostly just sitting on his throne, sending ninjas at you. A better finish would've been a two stage, final boss battle, like arcade Shadow Dancer.

The Bottom Line

Better than Revenge of Shinobi(Super Shinobi) or Shinobi III (Super Shinobi II), truer to the original Shinobi and Shadow Dancer at the arcade. Ultimately disappointing, but worth playing right through once, at least.