Ahhh hello my Retro Heads, and how is this chilly but sunny Tuesday finding you all? – Good I hope! Well today I am reviewing a follow up to the SEGA classic, Shinobi….
Shadow Dancer on the Arcade!
This is the second in the series of Shinobi games that was released into the Arcade scene, and yes….there is a plot…bwa ha ha ha…read on!
A terrorist group is planting numerous time bombs throughout the city. You take control of a ninja master accompanied by a canine partner, sets out on a mission to dismantle the bombs and destroy the criminal syndicate behind these acts.
Bombs in the city, original eh? Anyway thats the plot, but is the game actually any good? Well between Shinobi and this one, I prefer Shinobi, but that is personal choice. You begin your missions in an air port and you must fight your way across several small levels to reach the first boss….who is almost a carbon copy of the first boss in Shinobi, same mechanics in the fight, similar look etc….zero points for originality here. The various bad guys you fight in mission one are your bog standard learning curve targets. Some throw knives from a distance, or shoot at intervals from behind crates, some have arm guards on and you have to time your shots with them ( think along the lines of the big guys with swords from Shinobi and you’ll see what I mean ). With some enemies your dog will begin to bark, and by crouching down and hitting your attack button your faithful canine will leap on the bad guys forcing them into a standing or prone position for you to knock em out with your Shuriken. Attacks are limited to Shuriken ( Upgraded by finding bombs to flaming Shuriken ), a sword swipe when bad guys get too close for comfort, magic attack and of course your little doggy friend. So yeah, pretty much a carbon copy of Shinobi then….The gameplay is smooth, with scrolling from left to right as your trajectory for reaching the end game. Leaping up onto crates and platforms again serves to find bombs and kill enemy characters that are otherwise unreachable with jump and Shuriken combinations. There are 4 missions in total with comprise of several mini missions, and also mid level bonus stages. Remember the mini game in Shinobi where you threw Shuriken at oncoming Ninja?….guess what?….it’s almost the same thing! only this time, they are jumping down a tower instead….lovely!…but lazy.
Graphics:- The Dev team have done a reasonable job on the graphics but so much of it feels like we have seen it all before….oh we have….on SHINOBI!!!! *Mutter Mutter*, the scrolling is nice enough and the characters are drawn well, and you can’t help but feel attached to your little fur ball friend.
Sound:- Standard SHINOBI sound effects throughout, but the music is pretty nice and Ninja’ry….yes I know that’s not a word, but hey, it sums it up pretty well.
Overall:- As good as the game is, it’s just a re-skinned Shinobi and there’s no getting away from that. Sad that a company as big as Sega were for producing quality games, had to be so damn lazy on this release. To be this Lazy….takes AGES!!!!! apparently. Stars deducted for this reason alone….such a shame….shame on you SEGA!