Thursday, 13 May 2010


Gamespot score:7.6(good)

my score:8.5

(+)Pros:- battle is intense and challenging,- killing enemies are fun,- great sense of time and speed,- hotsuma is a great main character,- awesome boss fights,- many stages,- stylish and cool enemy deaths

(-)cons:- game is sometimes pretty cheap,- later levels only have A as a playble stage and B only as a boss fight

gameplay time:20-30 hours(average)

Shinobi is an old game now. 2002 release, thats 8 years ago. I got this game quite late, like 2006-ish, and only touched it for a couple of days, died alot and gave up in stage 3. About 2 years later (2008), I was going through my old PS2 games and found this. I blew off the dust and put it in my PS2...still works! So i played the game again, made it to stage 8B, but couldnt beat last boss. Damn. Nevertheless this is an awesome game, and should not be mislooked cause its old.

I can only vaguely remember the story. It talks about hotsuma, who is after revenge of his fallen clanmates. He is after this certain girl, whom he has to rescue. On his journey he has to beat the souls of his dead clan mates, in the city where a giant tower has appeared, with hellspawn dominating the area. Tanks, helicopters have all been possessed and are all now just hostile enemies roaming about. In his way stand countless bosses, some of which he know as relatives or friends, and he has to kill them all to "save" them and "free" them from thier misery.

Gamespot says shinobi is hard. Its not that hard actually, its just damn cheap. Many a time in the game there are cheap times where the game just spawns a shitload of powerful enemies and they will all just eat you alive. Or maybe when they just put a sequence of some extremely difficult jumps. Jumping deaths are the most annoying, since after you worked so hard to beat that particular group of enemies that have been killing you over the past 30 mins, you just fking fall to your death, with more than half of your total HP. The game's 1st few levels are merciful enough, but after hotsuma's blade awakens, and it thirst for souls, things get kinda hectic.

During battle, you get your free hack and slash and all. You can throw shruikens too, though they hardly help most of the time. You got that special power scroll that releases a huge flame, give you insane speed, or lets you shoot temporary getsuga tenshous. You can also double jump and wall run, cool.All these seem rather normal, but from stage 2 onwards, the awakening of hotsuma's sword makes this game challenging. Hotsuma's sword consumes the user's energy, so when it gets too hungry, it will eat away hotusma's health. To counter this, you have to rapidly kill enemies and proceed further into the stage without delay, since every second bring's the blade's hunger to a higher level. Yeah this applies for bosses too. This gives the game a great sense of speed and time, it rushes the player and this leads to lack of focus at times. Also, every enemy you kill in a scene will quench the thirst of the sword, increasing it attacks, and it increases further everytime you kill an enemy in that scene. If there are 8 enemies in the scene and you kill them in quick order..... your damage will be godly.

Shinobi has 1 thing I like most, enemy death mini scenes. When you kill 4 or more enemies in a row in a fast amount of time, you get a cool scene showing all the enemies being cut in half, bushido style. Now THAT is cool. Boss fights are cool too. The bosses are usually quite badass and difficult. Later bosses only receive pathertic damage when cut, you have to wait for them to summon lackeys, you kill the lackeys, power up your sword, then rapidly hack the boss for some insane damage. And those darts, Im not sure what they are for, expect stunning enemies, they hardly work during boss fights though.
Shinobi is old school hard. Battle rushes players for time, levels have many steep falls that plunge players to thier deaths. You may swear like hell every time you miss that small platform you failed step on, or when you die every time the boss is left with a tiny chunk of health left..but shinobi is just plain old fun. With a character as cool as hotsuma to play as, with his fancy scarf and wall running escapadees, who can say no? Shinobi should not be missed by action genre fans.

Happy gaming!