Aug 16 2009
If Sega had only made this game and the arcade prequel – Shinobi, they would have made their mark on the gaming world.
Reprising the role that made him famous, Joe Musashi ninjas his way through another classic, platform beat-em-up. Released early in the Megadrive’s life and developed by Sega in-house, Revenge of Shinobi was a great sequel to the 1987 classic.
In the original Shinobi, Musashi thought he had rid the world of the evil Zeed. Three years later, Zeed has returned, bringing with him another powerful army of ninjas, soldiers and other assorted villains. In his second bid for world domination he has again made a mistake. He assassinated Musashi’s sensei and kidnapped his woman, the beautiful Naoko.
There are eight rounds to the game, with three levels per round. Each round has its own, distinctive setting:
Ibaraki Province, Japan
The Military Base
Area Code 818
Neo Zeed Marine Stronghold
Joe appears to have been taking his training very seriously in the last three years, as his powers have increased considerably – in particular his use of magic. Wall of Fire, shield, extra jump and the suicide strike – useful in a tight spot. Not to be discounted is Joe’s ability to fire a multi-shuriken attack while jumping, it’s a bit costly on your limited supply of shuriken but looks cool.
A quick reminder to those who might be tempted to go back and give this a blast. It was hard then and now that my reactions are slower than they were fifteen years ago in 1989, it’s even harder. Precision timing was essential – both for negotiating the platform elements and for defeating many of the bosses.
The music for Revenge of Shinobi was created by legendary game music creator Yuzo Koshiro, also responsible for the original Shinobi, the Streets of Rage series and Actraiser.
Trivia: Sega released three versions of this game, each time acknowledging some copyright issue. Some people may remember the strange, Spider-man character in the original Shinobi and he made a full appearance in Revenge of Shinobi as the boss of Round 6! Version 2 acknowledges this with a credit to Marvel comics at the beginning of the game. Round 7’s boss looked very much like Godzilla and as result was changed to a skeletal dinosaur for version 3.