Review by 2taall
"Shinobi- gets a 9.4444444444444444, which round to a 9."
Shinobi, one of my favorite games of all time after Rastan, is definitely a game that caught attention back in the 80's. I think Shinobi always had a loyal following behind it even then, but as we can all see now after many sequels, it is still going strong. Still, the original that spawned it is most likely going to be the game that is most revered as the years pass.
This game was made in 85' I believe, but don't quote me on that. Even when I was a kid I thought that the graphics were a little on the simple and plain side, but I have to admit that this is ,in a way, a very good thing. Some of the 80's games tried to stretch the graphics out too far and don't hold the test of time because of this. Either the games were not artistically drawn well, or they just look plain gaudy. Shinobi does not suffer because of its more simplistic graphics, but rather this helps make the game a timeless classic some 20 years after its release.
I always thought the Shinobi character really sucked. I mean he looks like some jackass with a sweat suit on. Forunately, Sega corrected this problem with Shinobi's sequel Shadow Dancer, and made the character look cool with an all out ninja outfit. Thankfully, this lame looking character doesn't detract from the game. Whew, and I'm glad it doesn't. Maybe Sega tried to make the character mimic the look of the audience that would be playing the game, 10 year olds. I don't know, but Sega dropped the ball with chracater design on this classic game.
All of the levels are set-up like puzzles and you will be frustrated until you learn them. You will die alot; however, once you master the levels, Shinobi's replay value actually increases for some odd reason I can't put my finger on. Shinobi's controls are easy to control and feel very solid, but have a unique feel to them that may take a bit pf practice to get used to. In between rounds you get a chance for extra players at the bonus stage. This is always good shurikun throwing fun!
The game features digital voices. " welcome to bonus stage", "Mission 1,2, etc." are very clear and impressive for 1985. Space Harrier also features these voices and they sound eerily similar to Shinoobi's voices. The music has an Oriental flavor to it helping give the game its atmosphere. It's nothing of a masterpiece, but it is smooth and serves it purpose well here. Since the music is this games only weaker point, but still well above average, I can't give Shinobi the 10 for the final score.
Definitely a classic. The game is basically a giant jigsaw puzzle waiting for you to solve. It's frustrating, but once you master it, you will put the smack down on the Masked Ninja in one credit. And once you accomplish this, you will keep coming back for more. Trust me<Ahnold voice>
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/02/05
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