Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Game of the Day

Shinobi (2002)
Developer: Overworks/Sega
Platform: PlayStation 2
Induction Date: 11/22/2002

The only thing great about this game is that pretty red scarf...

Shin Shinobi Den was an odd follow up to the Shinobi games on the Sega Genesis but at least it stayed true to the series platform/shooter roots. This 3D re-imagination of the Shinobi franchise exemplifies, yet again, why some games belong in the confines of 2D gaming. You play as the ninja Hotsuma who has to get rid of the "hellspawn" that has invaded Tokyo. Like in many Japanese games, you will also have to face a person from the past whom you looked up to (in this game, it's Sephiroth - I mean - your older brother) thus creating some lame drama to complete the gameplay package. Shinobi is a 3D action game that will have you clearing small areas filled with enemies before moving on to the next segment of the game. The key to the gameplay is chaining your attacks by killing off your enemies in rapid succession. It's fast and hectic as you chase around enemies to link up your attacks but the camera control is not fast enough to accommodate what you are trying to accomplish. Worse still is that the game is highly repetitious, especially with the dull stage designs that fail to create any sense of progression even within each of the stages. Basically, you have to repeatedly clear one area after another and there are only a laughable amount of actual exploration that you get to do in between. The sequel, Nightshade, is definitely far superior to this game - but not by much - because at least it introduced some thrilling set pieces to accompany the repetitive action. Hopefully, with the recent interests in 2D game design, we may finally be able to get the proper Shinobi sequel in the near future. We are talking about Sega though so I am not holding my breath for it.

LIBRARY STATUS: 2 out of 5

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