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Old 02-10-2003, 10:44 PM   #70
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Cue traditional Japanese music...

Shadow Dancer ~ Legend of Shinobi - Sega Genesis - Rating 6
Oh yeah baby! Shinobi's badass in this installemnt into the series. When I saw this game and the way enemies perish the first thing it reminded me of was the way enemies in Magician Lord would perish (Neo Geo). As a matter of fact, the way you shoot your stars when powered-up looks entirely similar. It's a very arcade-like experience with fast paced levels and fighting, and was one of the first few 8-MEG games for Genesis. This is a port of an arcade, though I've never played it (doesn't matter).
The first thing you see is the cool intro, with Shinobi jumping in, and then the story which, while it scrolls up, shows scenes and characters fading in and out. Shinobi's mission is to take down Union Lizard, an evil organization consisting of lizard people, ninjas, etc. He's accompanied by his dog Yamato, who can be used to distract foes while you kill them. Shinobi (Joe Mushashi is his real name) can use shurikens (unlimited), his katana, and special ninjitsu attacks which fill the screen. You even have the choice in the options screen to play only with the katana and ninjitsu (no projectile shurikens). If you leave shurikens on, you have to get next to an opponent to use the katana. Your mission is to rescue all the hostages in each area before you can proceed to the next. Some hostages give you power-ups which makes your attacks stronger, and others give you extra lives, points, etc. There are extra lives hidden in every stage which are found by attacking special areas. In some areas, you have to hold up + jump to jump between planes (foreground and background). This game is fast-paced, and it controls excellently throughout.
There aren't a lot of enemy types in the game (9-12, some color-swaps) and there are 5 bosses, none of which are impressive, but at least they can be a bit challenging and fun to battle with, especially the last boss. The game is short so you don't really notice the lack of enemy types, although it would've been better if there were a few more different ones here and there. The graphics range from decent (Stage 1) to very good (Stage 3 - Statue of Liberty). After you complete a stage you go to a bonus area where Shinobi jumps down from a skyscraper and you shoot shurikens down at ninjas jumping up. You can win up to 3 lives if you get all 50.
The music is decent with one track in particular that rocks (Statue of Liberty). Yuzo Koshiro's soundtrack for Shinobi 3 on Genesis is much better. The sound effects aren't really impressive though, but I don't really mind. Besides, it's not really that bad.
All said, this game isn't particularly long but it's engaging while it lasts. If you're a fan of Shinobi games, or you want to try a good (albeit short) action game, get Shadow Dancer. It's cheap enough these days...

For screens of the game, check out ~ This is a great site; much thanks to whomever it was that made it.
For cheats go to ~

Until next time.... (vanishes in a cloud of smoke)

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-22-2004 at 10:00 AM.
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