Shinobi has you taking on the role of a ninja trying to take out a terrorist group. Set across five missions, each split into smaller sections, you must engage in side scrolling platform action taking out enemies and rescuing hostages to gain power ups.
As well as the standard side scrolling action our hero can leap up and down levels of the play area, something that becomes increasingly important as the levels move along.
Rescuing hostages gives better weapons as well as increasing life and unlocking a bonus stage which has you throwing shurikens at enemies moving towards you in a first person view.
Graphically, Shinobi is small but well defined and levels contain a large amount of detail. Enemies ar …
…e varied from level to level with a new type appearing every few stages to keep things interesting. Boss characters are large and well animated, often taking up around half of the screen presenting a daunting opponent.
When jumping up and down levels the playing field moves well with the game screen keeping integrity and moving without distorting.
Slowdown is hardly ever apparent, though there is a touch of flickering at times. Though this may appear to be a standard platform/action game, the mixture of tactical screen jumping to get the hostages and the more standard action help create a truly memorable game. Controls are responsive, though turning on the spot does present a few minor problems. The power up system is inspired with a wide range of projectile and hand weapons to be gained. The impressive bonus level is also well worth hunting out the last few captives for.
Overall, Shinobi remains a classic game. Playing it today shows it still to be fresh and fun to engage with. The learning curve is set about right and each time you play a little more progress will be made. This isnt an arcade perfect conversion but its about as close as an 8-bit game can.