Shinobi/Nightshade (Sega, Overworks)

Shinobi week Day 4 brings us to the series’ first foray into 3D and it’s debut on a Sony console. Shinobi (2002), effectively a reboot of the franchise, sees a new protagonist, Hotsuma, face his, now, undead clan in a quest to put paid to a sorcerer responsible for their demise.

The “Tate” mechanic is Hotsuma’s primary method of attack and required in order to generate enough souls to satiate his sword, Akujiki, a possessed weapon that requires a constant flow of the enemies life source. Failure to generate enough by quickly dispatching your foes, will lead to Akujiki feeding on your own health, so employing Tate and killing 4 or more enemies in quick sequence is a required task here.

Shinobi is a very tough, but ultimately rewarding title and a respected reboot for the series. As a 3D, 60fps action title, it may not be quite on the same level as genre standard bearers, Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry, but it’s unique take on combat and style are enough to make it stand out amongst the crowd. In 2003, Sega released a sequel titled Nightshade (also featured in the images here), in which you play as a female Ninja, Hibana, who’s task is to recover the demonic Akujiki blade. Again, although very similar to it’s predecessor, Nightshade is another satisfying title worth a look if you are a fan of the genre.

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