Shinobi was originally designed and published by SEGA to be an arcade game and was released in the late eighties. It was converted to many ports, including the PC and its wild popularity inspired the release of many sequels, all of which are fighting games.
Shinobi revolves around a young ninja boy named Joe Musashi. Joe is single-handedly opposing the evil Zeed organization, which is responsible for kidnapping the children of the Oboro Clan. Joe must make his way into the Zeed hide out, free all of the young hostages within the stronghold, and eventually battle and defeat the Zeed’s leader, the Masked Ninja. There are five missions in Shinobi, each one harder than the last. Each mission features up to four stages and somewhere be two and nine hostages. The hostages need to be found and released in each stage before Joe is given the opportunity to advance subsequent stages. In each mission, the final stage will not contain any hostages to locate, but instead features a huge boss enemy that must be defeated before Joe will be given his next mission. Between the fourth and fifth missions is a single bonus stage where the player has the opportunity to earn an extra life for his ninja. This is very important going into the final area, because once the fifth mission is started, there are no more continues allowed. The player has to beat the Masked Ninja using his or her remaining lives, or else start over from the beginning.
To succeed in these battles, Joe has an unlimited number of throwing stars, his main weapon. He also uses standard martial arts-style moves in close combat. A single hostage on every stage will give him a power up that will turn his throwing stars into a gun similar to a flamethrower or grenade launcher. His fists will become katana slashes in hand-to-hand combat. Once per stage, Joe may also use his ninja magic to eradicate all the enemies on the screen, which is very useful when being overwhelmed. If Joe is fighting a boss character when he uses his ninja magic, the boss will only be damaged.
The graphics and sound of Shinobi are both reflective of the time frame in which the game is released. The sound is very important however, and often provides very much needed clues about the style of enemy that is approaching. This adds great depth of play and forces the user to pay close attention to the sounds. Overall, it makes for great, action packed play in this classic fighting game.
Written by: ~dorento1