Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

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.


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

Mastodon Social

More Reviews by CptRetroBlue [+]
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP) artwork
The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis) artwork
The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis)

Taking vengeance on your patience
Violent Storm (Arcade) artwork
Violent Storm (Arcade)

Post Apocalyptic Fighting was never so much fun


If you enjoyed this Shinobi review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2021 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Shinobi is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Shinobi, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.