Excerpt: Programmers, they always forget. They invariably make the same mistake. They forget what it was that got them to where they are, they forget the essence of their famous franchises and golden games and they try to follow these class acts up with soulless sequels and empty tributes. The Shinobi series has not escaped this unfortunate pitfall. Yes, Sega’s favourite ninja saga has lost its way.
Excerpt: As I sat down to play and review Sega’s latest retro-update, Shinobi , I was interrupted by the noise of my morning post being pushed through the letterbox. Alongside the usual array of ‘You are a winner!’ and ‘Dodgy-Loan Co. Can Save Your Life!’ style circulars, there was a letter addressed to me, that had clearly been opened.
Excerpt: Shinobi or followers of the way of Nin are a mysterious bunch. Nin comes from the Japanese language as two words literally meaning "blade" and "heart." That’s rather fitting for Sega’s Shinobi videogames. The hero Musashi was not only a master of the blade, but possessed supernatural abilities. Well, Shinobi is back with a new hero, Hotsuma. Despite the relative closeness of his name to “Hot Sumo”, he’s a pretty small and nimble fellow.
Excerpt: After a massive earthquake lays waste to Tokyo, a mysterious golden palace appears at the heart of the city. At the palace is the powerful sorcerer, Hiruko, who has unleashed demons and a horde of evil ninjas upon Tokyo. The ninja Hotsuma travels deep into the heart of the city, only to find out the ninjas are the deceased members of the recently decimated Oboro Clan, the same clan Hotsuma fought to the death with his brother to take command of.
Pros: Intense violent action, Good degree of challenge, Excellent CG sequences
Cons: Repetitive, Level design could be better, Camera angles add to difficulty
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Shinobi is short, it's hard, it's frustrating and it's not that pretty. It also oozes style, is fun to play and features a handful of worthwhile unlockable extras. Personal mileage will vary based upon your level of patience. A definite rental, and a tentative, but positive purchase recommendation.
Conclusion: The other aspect of traveling through the levels that provide challenge is to decide whether or not to explore when the opportunity presents itself. Exploration isn’t as wide open and abundant as other games, and this will definitely bother some players, but the opportunity is there and there are helpful rewards for ding so in the form of magic scrolls, health, and so forth.
Excerpt: So what do you get when Overworks decides to revive the Shinobi lifeblood on the PS2? A scarf-wearing, sleek-looking, all-around master of ninjas is what. If stealth were an aesthetic, Overworks would have it nailed. Too bad they forgot to make it as fun as it looks.
etro is cool. Vintage clothing,
retro gaming, and re-made movies are all the rage today in
late 2002. Shinobi is a remake of a great side-scroller arcade
game that was later re-released for the Sega Genesis. The
latest iteration for the Playstation II will look very
unfamiliar to arcade burnouts like myself. This Shinobi is
completely 3-D and takes full advantage of the platform it was
made for, the PSII.
Conclusion: To do his dirty work, Hotsuma fights with a cursed ninja sword, which he can use to execute a few slashing combos or midair strikes. The curse manifests itself relatively early on in the game and creates both advantages and disadvantages in combat. On the one hand, the sword has a constant need to drink souls--you'll see a red meter onscreen that gradually drains down but fills back up as red energy from slain foes gets absorbed into the blade.