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Subtitled ‘The Secret of Shinobi,’ this is actually a do-over of the arcade game of the same name.
It’s not quite classic enough in my opinion to be classed a proper Shinobi successor, but it’s still a damn fine game in its own right.
You play as a ninja, who can jump, throw shruikens and summon a fire attack. You can also strike foes with a blade if you get close enough. There’s also a white dog that follows you, but I don’t think it does anything of note.
You scroll to the right, basically shooting down foes with your shruikens, and avoiding their attacks/bullets. And it’s pretty damn important that you avoid their attacks, as one hit and it’s back to the start.
This makes the game a lot more difficult than it would have been otherwise. Ducking usually allows you to avoid the bullets that come flying at you, but with no room for error, one mis-step can send you right back to the beginning of a stage.
Fortunately levels are quite short, and can be rattled through fairly quickly if you know what you’re doing. I believe you have to save a set amount of hostages held throughout the levels to progress, but they’re usually found along the path you’re going down anyway.
There’s a decent range of ideas in the levels as well, such as one being ripped apart by an earthquake, and another allowing you to jump into both the fore and back ground.
The graphics are clear and detailed, and the animation is as fluid as you’d expect from a title with a Shinobi connections.
Bosses are fairly simple, but are made a real challenge due to the ever present ‘one hit = death’ element.
It all adds up to a game that’s a challenge, but one you’ll end up relishing rather than rejecting. Although a genuine cart of the game will cost you a fair bit, it can be found in a few of those Blaze Mega Drive collections – which is nice.