The Revenge of Shinobi (Sega, 1989)

This week, I’m showcasing some of the titles I own from one of my favourite series in gaming – Shinobi, beginning with then Mega Drive classic, The Revenge of Shinobi.

Released in 1989, Revenge of Shinobi (The Super Shinobi II in Japan) was the first Shinobi title developed for the Mega Drive – the original Shinobi was ported from the arcade to the Master System a year earlier. In “Revenge” you once again reprise the role of Joe Musashi, who has decided to wage a one man war against the reformed ‘Neo’ Zeed’ following their murder of his master and kidnapping of his wife to be.

The game is standard Action platformer fare, that sees Joe utilising a limited number shurikens as his main method of attack and after collecting a power up icon, these shurikens are able to deal more damage. In this powered up state, Joe can also unleash a vicious slash using his katana at close range as well as deflect enemy projectiles while traversing forward. Other abilities include his double jump and finally, Joe has access to a number of Ninjitsu techniques that either support or inflict significant damage to to the enemy – this is arguably his most important ability.

What ROS did so well was meld it’s challenging game design, large, beautiful sprites and incredible soundtrack into a tight, arcade style package that was groundbreaking for the time. The Mega Drive had finally brought the arcade home and provided a hint to it’s potential. What shouldn’t be understated is ROS’s OST. Each level is backed by an instrumental that showcases Yuzo Koshiro’s talent at his finest, with such memorable tracks such as “terrible beat” “China Town” and “My Lover”.

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