> Ahhh... the Shinobi series
goes way back to the System 16 arcade board and the 8 bit
Master System. The newest incarnation is on the Dual
32 bit monster -- aka the Sega Saturn. Titled Shin
Shinobi Den, this game originally came out in the summer of 1995
(in Japan), then a few months later in the USA as Shinobi Legions.
In 1996 Europe and Australia got it as Shinobi X with a revamped
> The story is simple... Shinobi's brother, Kazuma, has kidnapped
their sister and Shinobi must save her from certain doom.
The game is a horizontal/vertical scrolling, 2D action wonder.
> There are only a few insignificant differences between the Japanese and
American versions. Mainly, the American version is short a few FMV
scenes. Other than that, the game is 100% importable for those who
need to know. As mentioned above, Shinobi X (EUR, AUS) has
a revamped soundtrack.
> The series 2D heritage stays intact with Shinobi Legions.
What you'll see is a combination of digitized backgrounds and characters
which is really done well here. The backgrounds usually have multiple
scrolling layers which adds depth. One neat effect is the blood squirting
after you've sliced an enemy in two! Even the character animation
is great considering this was a first round title. However, my favorite
effect is the digitized looking flame explosions which are present throughout
> Shinobi Legions has some familiar locales and some
new ones. There a nine levels and they include a bamboo forest, biological
factory, redwood forest and mining cave. Of course, the usual round
up of nasty bosses has to be dealt with at the end of each round.
> First, I'll tell you the button layout. You have shuriken, slice/repel,
jump/double jump, thunder dragon attack and defend. In addition,
there are plenty of techniques and moves to learn such as running, crouching,
sanaku jump and hassou sanaku jump -- to name a few. Along the way
there are power-ups to be collected like small/large life, small/large
shuriken, Bishamon Katana and Thunder Dragon. When you put all this
together, you get excellent gameplay which is the hallmark of Sega
consoles, and an excellent carryover to Shinobi
> The music is barely average. It's a mix of AM2-like
arcade music with ninja-esque melodies. The effects are decent and
include sword slashing, explosions, bazooka firing and hit moans.
The FMVs have decent enough sounds, but the story they tell is the real
draw. I'd imagine the revamped soundtrack in Shinobi X
for Europe and Australia is better.
> Shinobi Legions shines in the fun department. The
game combines great 2D graphics and gameplay which will keep you intrigued
to the end. Action games haven't gotten much better than this.
Still easy to learn and challenging to master.
Take the character Shinobi... put in digitized 2D graphics...
create an FMV storyline... add tons of excellent gameplay with a
mediocre sound to produce a great addition to the Shinobi series.
Shinobi Fans surely already have this game, but anyone looking
for some great 2D ninja action can pick this up inexpensively.
8.5 | Graphics: 8.5 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 7.0 | Fun: 9.0