Shadow Dancer (1990)

Shinobi week Day two and we move onto the second, series release on the Mega Drive, Shadow Dancer.

Shadow Dancer was originally released in the arcades the same year Revenge of Shinobi arrived on the Mega Drive (1989). Although having similar core mechanics to the coin-op, there are slight changes to the “port” that make the game subtlety different, but the main, rather unique feature of the title was retained. In this particular outing Joe Musashi is accompanied by his dog who he can send out to attack enemies. This makes for some interesting options when planning attacks and is a nice little change up to the Shinobi formula. Interestingly, in the Japanese version, you play as Joe’s son, but in the West, the protagonist is Joe.

Often seen as the inferior of the 3 Shinobi titles released on the Mega Drive, Shadow Dancer isn’t perfect, but is a fun little title in its own right. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as good as what came before it and very much inferior to what came after…

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