> Shinobi... it's the Japanese word for ninja. Sega...
it's the acronym which is synonymous with game creation. This is
the very first Shinobi game -- ported from the System 16 original.
By today's standards it's rather bland. Back in the late 80s, it
was state of the art. A terrorist network, the Ring of Five, has
kidnapped the children of the world's leaders. You have to save the
hostages and use your ninja skills to wipe out the Ring of Five...
> Shinobi's backgrounds are static while the characters, magic, and weapons
are animated. You'll go through various locales including a back
street, industrial port, hideout, and more. The character animation
is decent for 8 bit, but certainly shows its age. At the end of each
mission you'll go up against some mighty impressive bosses including a
giant samurai, military helicopter, masked ninja, and more. To top
it off, you can earn the right to compete in bonus rounds, which are a
first person, shuriken throwing, shooting gallery of enemy ninjas.
> The gameplay is classic ninja action. Move with the D-pad, use
weapon with button 1 (shuriken, sword, nunchaku, bombs, gun), and jump
with button 2. Other moves include punch and kick (which depends
on your position), and ninja magic (which is available after defeating
10 enemies in a round).
> Shinobi has to be one of the first side scrolling action games which
allows you to jump up/down to different levels. Many times you'll
need to do this in order to save a hostage, which usually yields some sort
of power up. As for the bonus rounds, you simply move left and right
while shooting enemies with unlimited shuriken.
> Even though the soundtrack is classic Z-80, it's still rather catchy.
Shinobi's tunes have an Oriental theme, which go great with the on screen
action and mimic the arcade original quite well. The sound effects
are minimal and sufficient. Nothing fancy, just bleeps and blops
for various weapons and cues.
> Your task... complete 5 missions (15 rounds) of ninja combat.
I couldn't stop playing this game when I first bought it. Twelve
years later, Shinobi still provides a good blast from the past.