Review by Frostmanblues

"The original and best of all the Shinobi games"

Before adaptations invaded home consoles (Sega Master System being the closest as it was to the Arcade nonetheless), I played Shinobi at the local 7-11 located at the corner of my old Middle School. That was such a blast to play, that I would spend my lunch money till I came home with excuses to get more to play the next day.

Shinobi was the epitomy of all the videogame ninjas in my opinion, an inspiration to create such succesful sequels wheter they were on arcade or home consoles, and still addictive after all these years.

And the bosses, some of which were really inspiring. Such a pleasure to beat them again and again.

Gameplay - 7

Simple and enjoyable, three buttons to use which one conjures the ol' ninja magic to eliminate your foes. Shinobi doesn't have much on sustaining damage from his enemies, but his simple skills of jump and shoot are enough to challenge any gamer who tries it. Controls are very responsive, never let me down whenever I was in a fix.

The best way to go around the game without losing your patience is to memorize the enemy patterns and how many come at you at the same time, something that proves to be highly frustrating when dealing with ninjas and any other foe that takes more than one hit to eliminate. At times, one ninja magic attack is not enough.

Story - 6

Your job as a ninja is to rescue children from the clutches of an organization known as Zeed (which makes it appearance once and again in later installations of the game), something that is pretty average in games like these, but at least gives a direct goal for the main character.

Graphics/Sound - 9

Although some backgrounds on the satges look pretty simplistic, it goes eay on the eyes and do not interfere much with gameplay mechanics, sprites are crisp and quite visible, although I question the use of neon-colored ninjas being on what kind of job they are in for.

The music really sets the mood here, and it never gets tiring to hear the repeated themes every now and then, althogh some boss fights have a different kind of BGM than some, it still sounds great just to listen and to let it blend in with gameplay overall.

Play Time/Replayability - 10

Even if you ahve memorize every pattern an enemy has in this game, youwill still come back for more. Replayability is consideribly high here, and you can't go wrong with ninjas and evil organizations. Well...most of the time anyway.

Final Recommendation – 10

Play this gem of an arcade everytime you see one intact in your neighborhood, it is worth your 25 cents and more. Although home console sequels like Shinobi 3 are a blast, it is unlikely that it can replace the original arcade version overall.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/01/08

Game Release: Shinobi (US, 12/31/87)


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