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Old 12-08-2004, 09:46 PM   #192
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,144
Shadow Dancer

You're out walking your dog
when the fierce enemy atacks!

Back in the 80's Sega stormed the arcade scene with the best game ever made which starred a ninja in a Sega game up to that point in time -- Shinobi! Everyone loved Shinobi without exception. Cults were started, mass suicides were performed, entire countries and cultures decimated in the name of Sega's "Shinobi". Even God demanded that all of His subjects enjoy Shinobi, for it was the game that He and Jesus played in heaven between smiting sessions. But of course Sega wanted to capitalize on Shinobi's success by creating a sequel and only taking 3 days to make it. That sequel was unleashed upon the arcades as the 28.8 megabit Shadow Dancer. Now look at the world: everybody is afraid of terrorists, people are murdering each other in order to get the flu vaccine, obesity is a huge problem (pun intended), lots of crazy wars going on, and diarrhea is becoming more common after eating creamed corn. Coincidence?

Looks like the airport screeners are doing a
pretty bad job if all of these jokers got by.

Graphics: 5/10
For an arcade game, Shadow Dancer's muted graphics were pretty simple and washed out. Not much detail or coolness is present here, though Joe Musashi appears to have at least changed his clothes since the first game. When you play you do your best to stand in front of the monitor so your friends don't see you playing a game with such sub-par graphics. The animation isn't too bad, but it really looks like they used a lot of US artists on this one. The design of the stages is pretty piss-poor and it is obvious why this game went ignored in the arcades when it sat next to machines like Strider that looked 10 times better. Some of the boss designs are kind of cool, and some of them would show up in the Genesis version of Shadow Dancer (reviewed below) and end up looking much better in the process. Pretty pathetic for a 1989 arcade game.

The phrase "no pills" was carved into the wall in an effort to
speak out against drugs. But who pops pills to get high, anyway?
Most kids these days resort to snorting bleach and live ants.

Apparently Joe Musashi is Arabian
due to the curvature of his sword.

Sound: 3/10
The sound is even worse than the graphics! Sure, there are some digitized voices here and there, but nothing special or even somewhat cool. Then there is the music. Ug! Wheras the original Shinobi had some great tunes, what we get here is super-quiet music that sounds like it should be in Toki and not Shinobi. Yup, you get very soft and muted jungle beats with a Congo flavor. Possibly the worst music I have ever heard in a Sega arcade game, especially since they usually tend to have fantastic music. This also has the worst music for any Shinobi game ever, and that includes Shinobi Legions on the Saturn and even Alex Kidd in Shinobi World on the SMS. You do get a digitized dog bark, though. Rumor has it that they auditioned 650,021.3 different dogs in order to get just the right bark.

OMG it's a boss! What should I do?
I know! I'll dance around like a monkey!

Gameplay: 6/10
So how does the arcade sequel to the arcade Shinobi play? Well they added a dog which is a hoot and a holler. You can use the dog to hold criminals in place so they can't shoot you while you walk up and MURDER them. That's about all the dog really does. But jumping around and the basic structure of the gameplay is very similar to Shinobi. Instead of rescuing precious human beings, you are instead rescuing bombs. I guess you collect them and will blow up something really big later. Once you have rescued all of the bombs in a stage, you can go to the next stage. You'll eventually get to a boss and since your dog is busy taking a giant dump like all dogs do all the time, you'll have to go at it alone. The game is pretty tough and gets boring quickly just because it doesn't really offer much at all. Control is pretty nice for the most part, and the ninja magic is always an easy cop-out. Try not to fall asleep as you play.

The bonus stages are pretty lame. You just shoot up
as ninjas step out of doorways that lead right outside of
the building. I guess suiciders demanded their own doors.

Wrap up:
A disappointing arcade effort from Sega. I highly recommend that you instead play the far superior Sega Genesis version.
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