Latest Game Reviews

Shinobi Review - PS2

83%
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These days when you associate video games with ninjas, gamers will always think of ‘Tenchu’. Tenchu - Stealth Assassins is basically being a metal gear stealth game but with Ninjas. However before Tenchu, Ninja games were represented with Ninja Gaiden on the N.E.S (Nintendo Entertainment System) and of course, Shinobi on the Sega Master system and Megadrive. Shinobi has always been more of an action, arcade style of game than Tenchu. Can Shinobi wield it's sword with a slashing strike or will it be obscured in the darkness?

Game Play

Shinobi is a fast, frantic and fun game to play, especially at first. Probably the coolest move is that you can become invisible by pressing x for a very short period of time so before your enemy knows it, he’s tasty sushi. You can jump on the walls and off ‘Ninja Gaiden’ style, through shrike stars and slice and dice. Old school gamers will love Shin obi, for one main reason, it’s one heck of a challenge and the bosses are actually hard (hello Zelda?). Even when you suss the boss’s weakness, it will still take a few goes and lots of skill and luck to beat it. The levels are somewhat linear with lots of gap jumping, frantic action and you’ll find yourself right back at the start of the level when you die. This will really test the patience of gamers and the durability of their dual shock controllers.

The story goes with you Hotsuma, being the last one left of the murdered Otabu tribe after Hiruko, a sorcerer has broken out of his sealed castle as has cast the world into doom. Hellspawn and demonic creature and ninjas roam the streets while you have a sword named Akuji that captures the souls of enemies. It actually feeds off these and if you don’t kill any enemies for some time, your life begins to shorten. This is somewhat clever in the fact that you have to go around hunting for enemies to kill and creates a sense of urgency. You also can use a special move, which is usually restricted to only one use per level, which inflicts serious damage near by. Some more moves however, would help out and using the same moves feels limited and gets repetitive. Well-timed and directed jumps and double jumps are required and in the first few levels many black holes are scattered. The main problem with this though, is that exploration for those extra hard to reach shuriken stars and energy isn’t exactly rewarded as one fall puts you right back at the start of the level. Shinobi is a game that will take some time to get through, while the first few levels may not be too hard it really starts to heat up afterwards. Again I can’t say how cool it is that the bosses are actually hard, that’s what a boss is supposed to be.

Graphics

Graphically Shinobi is sharp as a ... (continued next page)