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Shinobi (NES) artwork

Shinobi (NES) review


"How much do I hate this game, let me count you the ways..."


As I type this review, the first of the new year/decade, I try my hardest not to reach for that bottle of aspiring which could just calm my impeding headache I had suffered while plying this awful, AWFUL turd of a game. If the premise was to make people hate both SEGA and Shinobi alike, then Tengen was pretty much on the right track here. I can state that if it wasn't because I had played the arcade original and the master system adaptation, I pretty much would had never bothered with the entire series altogether after this one.

CptRetroBlue's image
Oh sweet jeebus...


The game design pretty much tries to mirror that of the master system, albeit the graphics here are horrible and the neon colors make your eyes bleed while you try in vain to trek through awful level design and enemy placement, which the CPU takes advantage because your character has NO "mercy invisibility" when hit. If you get stuck by enemies you will continue bouncing about losing energy until you lose a life. Another gracious addition is that even when you just BUMP into enemies you also lose energy. That is pretty darn harsh. Rescuing hostages here replenish life, update your power, and even allows access to the bonus round but unlike other adaptations, hostages here are completely optional, you can just keep passing by ignoring them and still get to the next stage. Wasn't the point of the game to RESCUE said hostages to begin with?

CptRetroBlue's image
Someone's pissing on Joe...that ain't cool man.


You then go to said bonus stage if you bothered to rescue certain hostages and this here is the only way to gain ninja magic, which is something Shinobi SHOULD had from the beginning anyway. It doesn't matter much if you acquired such anyway, you can only use it when it starts blinking onscreen and even then it does little effect in changing gameplay, except maybe when you can turn invisible and take advantage to waltz through a stage to get to the next. This would had been neat if you could choose what ninja magic to take with you but of course that would be asking for a lot here.

CptRetroBlue's image
Ken Oh looks so very sad to be here


Along with the unforgiving, unfair gameplay, butt ugly colors and graphics, Shinobi graces you with the most ear-splitting sound you could bear while playing. This game has absolutely no redeeming quality nor any sense of a fun factor if the game were to be measured based on it alone. I had to use a cheat code in order to check the rest of the stages being that I kept being stucked on the second boss encounter and saw no way on how to continue from there. I am sure developers did the same in order to test the game and probably were satisfied that it could make you lose your mind when making an attempt of playing it.

CptRetroBlue's image
Yeah, expect to have moments like these a whole lot here



There is just no reason to ever bother playing this game much less spending any quantity of money in acquiring it. If someone even bothers to send it to you as a gift, toss it back at their face in turn. You have no reason to put yourself through such awfulness and ridicule when bothering with this version of the classic SEGA ninja game series. Make this a hard pass and go play the master system adaptation instead.


0.5/5

CptRetroBlue's avatar
Community review by CptRetroBlue (January 16, 2020)

Cpt. Retro likes old school gaming the most and grew up playing Arcade games in Mexico. He also loves talking about retrogaming.

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