> Although similar, Kenseiden isn't actually a game within the Shinobi
realm. You play the part of a Samurai named Hayato, hence my association
with the Shinobi series. As the story goes, a group of evil Warlocks
has returned to ancient Japan in a storm of ruin and destruction!
They have stolen your heritage -- the Sword of the Dragon King and the
Five Secret Scrolls. Your job is to get them back and avenge this
> Taking into consideration they're 8-bit status, I'd say Kenseiden's graphics
still look great today. Although preceding it by years, Kenseiden's
locales remind me of the Genesis classic, Revenge of Shinobi. Hayato's
animation represents all his moves very well. Enemy bosses and minions
are numerous and interesting. A sample of what you'll encounter:
bats, boar lizards, faceless demons, spiders, crows, skeletons, Fire Wheel
Warlock, Benkie Warlock, Death's Head Warlock, and many more. The
only other 8-bit system (available in USA) with the power to handle a game
like this would be the Turbo Grafx-16 (I know, the main CPU is 8-bit and
the GPU is 16-bit).
> Classic Sega gameplay. Considering its age, the amount of moves
available is stunning. Your main controls are attack, jump, and move.
With certain button combinations, you can perform a squat attack, high
jump, crushing head attack, splitting the helmet, cutting the air, and
wild wheel sword. Other than advancing right to left, you can pass
through doors by pushing up, discover hidden rooms, access training rounds,
climb/descend stairs, and find various power-ups!!
> Surprisingly enough, the in-game music is very good. It certainly
doesn't sound as generic as many 8-bit games do. The up-beat tunes
have a decidedly oriental flavor, which matches the action perfectly.
On the other hand, the sound effects are standard fare. They get
the job done well though.
> This two-Mega cartridge is still one of my favorite SMS games of all
time. The difficulty is a tad bit on the hard side, so don't expect
to roll through the game's 16 levels. I love ninja action, and Kenseiden
delivers the goods...