The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > MagicBox Member Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-18-2003, 01:00 AM   #361
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
Make Me Dance

Revenge of Shinobi - Genesis - Rating 3
Joe Musashi, Ryu Hayabusa, Kid Niki, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Moonlight, etc. etc. We sure do love ninjas, don't we? Yeah, I'd say that if a company is going to make an action game then it's a safe bet to include a ninja as the lead character because they almost always seem to conjure strong sales (and they're usually good games on an unusually often basis). Why? Is it the costume, the katana blade, the throwing stars/shurikens? Could it be the persistance of the fearless enigmatic soul that has been forced into that ever-familiar path of vengeance and destruction? I think I have the answer: every ninja game must feature at least one ninja/samurai boss that's always about 10 feet tall. It's an unwritten law that is abided by in virtually every ninja game. Now, don't take what I said to mean that just because a game has some ninjas bouncing about in the pale 'kage' of the moon that that is to be interpreted as meaning automatic quality gaming. For example, have you played TMNT on GC, PS2, or X-Box yet? If so, you have my sympathy. Talk about bore-job. In case you haven't played it yet here's a summary: beat up the same pathetic enemies 1,000 times per stage, repeat until sometime in the next century, the end. Obviously not one of the high points in Konami's long and lucrative history.
Sega didn't exactly strike gold with this installment of Shinobi in my opinion. The faults outweigh the positives. Sorry Sega, but I'll have to reserve a great score for a game that truly deserves it, like your very own Shinobi III (Genesis) or the forever-classic Irem gem Ninja Spirits (TG16). Not even a Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack can fix what's wrong here. So what happened?
Let me first explain the game briefly. The game opens with a brief full-screen cinematic with light flashes exposing Joe Musashi from within the darkness. He leaps and deflects two throwing stars from an up-close frontal view of his face and the title screen appears. Not bad for a game done way back in 1989. (Then again, this is the sequel to the Shinobi arcade.) You can listen to the music/sound effects, change the difficulty, amount of shurikens to start with, and the controls from the options menu. The harder you set the game, the less lives you'll start with. You've only got 3 continues to work your way through the eight stages with and this game is tough so be forewarned -- you'll probably return to the title screen more than a few times, especially on any difficulty setting aside from easy. This is good and all, but the game isn't hard in such a way that you figure out how to defeat each enemy and you move on from there. Instead, it's more the "Rush 'N Attack" style of memorizing almost every single enemy's location within each level and preparing accordingly. This I usually despise as it is just not fair for the player. I don't care how challenging a game may be - it's not much fun getting your ass handed to you just because you didn't know an enemy was waiting there to blow you away with a machine gun or something, so you often wind up 'running into' some sort of attack that you should've at least been given a chance to anticipate. Compare: in Ninja Gaiden you can clearly see everything in the stage because everything is presentable as a consideration to the player (because that's a necessary requirement in all good game design, as far as 2D action games go), and yet it remains a very challenging game. Even Shadow Dancer, another Shinobi title, is more sensitive to the gamer by naturally and progressively developing skill through repeated gameplay rather than losing just because you haven't memorized every enemy in every given location. This, I feel, is a massive mistake and a glaring flaw in game structure. Certainly, after awhile you will 'get the game down' but at what cost? I didn't have much fun doing it, so what was the point? Games are supposed to be enjoyable experiences, period.
The game controls are pretty simple. You can make Joe jump various heights and somersault by pressing jump again near/at the highest point of the first jump. He can also crouch (from which position he can still move), shoot out shurikens when at a distance from an enemy/object, fire out several shurikens which covers a span of about 90 degrees while somersaulting, use his katana or deliver a kick when in close-range, and perform four different types of Ninjitsu: Jitsu of Ikazuchi - covers Joe in a lightning barrier to absorb a set amount of punishment, Jitsu of Kariu - elongated flame dragons deliver punishment to all on-screen, Jitsu of Fushin - Joe can jump much higher, and Jitsu of Mijin - a self-destruct move which hurts everything on-screen and recovers your life bar... that is, if it doesn't kill you. It's a risky move to say the least and should probably be done only once per level, if at all. In order to change Ninjitsu you must pause the game. Sometimes the jumping gets irritating, and if you by chance happen to bump into an enemy, especially during a jump, you might fall down somewhere and lose a life so be careful not to make contact. There are crates lying around for you to destroy and acquire items like POW which increases your shuriken power until you receive a hit, more shurikens (you have a limited amount), 1-ups, etc. Often you'll shoot a crate and find a bomb inside, so you'll have to avoid going near them. There are some tricky jumps in some locations and you should make 100% certain that there isn't any opposition nearby before attempting some death-defying leap.
The graphics are decent - 4 MEGS with quite a variety of locations to be explored. The enemy designs aren't very impressive but it's not really an issue. Expect lots of ninjas, armored samurai, soldiers, and the like. Backgrounds are nice and consist of bamboo forests and dojos, waterfalls running down a mountain-side, a city (looks kinda shoddy to me), the inside of a plane, etc. Most of the bosses are rather hard and take skill to defeat, as opposed to the levels which are cheap and stupid games of memorization. Right off the bat, the first boss is a 10-foot armor-clad samurai warrior. Or wait, is that ninja warrior? I can't remember; who cares? For the second boss you'll have to take on a powerful ninja inside a diner, and the third is a brain.... protected by laser-shooting mechanisms on the ceiling....
yeah....
The music is a mixed bag. As you've probably guessed it's pulse-driven dance tunes (just once I'd like to see Joe Musashi and Co. get down and boogie to some Yuzo tunes, but that will never happen so.... ). Songs like The Shinobi, Sunrise Blvd., and The Dark City are done quite well but nothing here touches Yuzo's work in Streets of Rage 2. The sound effects are average and don't stand out in any particular way.
Well there you have it. If you've made it this far into my review, thanks for sticking around. I felt uninspired by this game and don't really care to play it again.... ever! Why bother with this when there's far, faaaar better ninja titles available? Makes little sense to me. Even the ending isn't worth it. :thumbdn: Look, I'm just trying to prevent you from wasting your time like I unfortunately did. If I can do that then I can go to bed with peace of mind knowing I did what is right.
...Don't even THINK of touching the GBA Revenge of Shinobi.

Cheat code ~
Save time and money
--Don't play this game. Ever. :cool guy:
__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 05-09-2004 at 03:31 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 01:43 AM   #362
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 19,453
Quote:
Then again, this was an arcade before a console title.
Revenge of Shinobi was never an arcade game. The Shinobi arcades were Shinobi and Shadow Dancer (completely different than the console version)

Quote:
6 MEGS
Actually it was 4. Phantasy Star II was the first 6 meg game.

Anyway, I love Revenge of Shinobi. Much more challenging than Shadow Dancer (which I also love) and it has more personality than Shinobi 3, which is my least favorite of the 3 Genesis Shinobi's. The music is great in RoS, but the deep bass drum does get annoying after a bit. If I were reviewing the Shinobi games, I'd give them:

Shinobi (arcade) - 7
Revenge of Shinobi - 8
Shadow Dancer (arcade) - 5
Shadow Dancer (Genesis) - 7.5
Shinobi III - 6.5
Shinobi Legions - 5.5
Shinobi (PlayStation 2) - 7

And just for good measure:
Ninja Spirit (PC Engine/Turbografx-16) - 3
(This was an incredibly repetitive and boring game. All you do is jump and throw stars, just like Legend of Kage. Yes, I own the game.)

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 11-18-2003 at 01:46 AM.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 01:49 AM   #363
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
I meant to say it is the sequel to the original arcade of Shinobi. Sorry for not catching that when I ran through the review again. Same with the 6 MEG, which I actually had read before someplace. Go figure.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 01:55 AM   #364
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
Joe Redifier - "All you do is jump and throw stars, just like Legend of Kage."

Legend of Kage was pretty lame, but I'm fond of Ninja Spirit. It's a fun game and there's four weapons to choose from at any time, and they all can be powered-up. Cool boss designs and some interesting game mechanics helped to create a distinct gaming experience. The only stage I couldn't stand was the last stage because of when you're falling past all those ninjas. That's annoying. Otherwise, great game.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 02:13 AM   #365
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
Next review (per request of Pilotwings) - Zelda II (NES).
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 05:27 AM   #366
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 19,453
I agree there is much more to Ninja Spirit than there was to Legend of Kage. It's like Kage on steriods. The music in Kage was memorable (to me). The only thing I remember about Ninja Spirit's music was some staticky PSG hums or whatnot.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 08:06 PM   #367
gearhound1
Banned
 
gearhound1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,955
hey icarus, why don't you review y's book 1 and 2?
gearhound1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2003, 08:08 PM   #368
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
Because I didn't get around to doing that. Right now I'm working my way through Zelda II so you'll have to give me a little time.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2003, 08:00 AM   #369
Mohtools
Registered User
 
Mohtools's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In my loving farm
Posts: 625
I know I am of topic now but it is pointless to make a whole thread for that simple question.

I find Yo-Gi-Oh on the GC is a very interesting title, but I never watched the cartoon or played the card games will I have difficulty playing the game. I love Pokeman so will I like the game? I really do not know that much about the game, so if you could help that would be great.
Mohtools is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2003, 08:15 AM   #370
Magnus
The world's stopping but we keep going
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,358
Cartoon not so important. You didnt learn to play Pokemon by watching the cartoon did you?

As for playing the card game, I know someone who does and it is said to be very frustrating. I wouldnt advise from learning from that.

From what I remember about it, the game isnt based so much on fighting with the cards. More action based I think. Probably closer to a Strategy game. Of course thats what I remember. If you look it up and it turns out it plays the same as the card games, I would look for the GBA games, at least by roms and learn from them. I learnt how to play the Pokemon card game that way, from playing the GBC game(though I didnt play that via roms. It was $50aud well spent I thought).

And Icarus, do you have a review of Dracula X on PCE CD? If not, and you have access to the game can you do one? I would love to see your opinion on the last old school styled Castlevania game.
Magnus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2003, 08:57 PM   #371
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
My Dracula X review is on page #13. I should have up the Zelda II review tommorrow. Sorry it has taken so long; I've been busy.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2003, 11:15 PM   #372
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
That's one long beauty rest

Zelda II ~ The Adventure of Link - NES - Rating 7
Some people love it and think it's one of the best Zelda games ever, and others refuse to even look at it, considering it a travesty to the series. I think of it as a different approach to adventure gaming in general that we don't see enough of. Zelda II is a benchmark title that deserves a second look. Back when it was first released in 1987 nobody had seen anything quite like it (much like the original in this sense, only not quite as revolutionary). Newcomers to gaming that started with the 32/64-bit systems may not welcome this game just because of the 8-bit graphic facade, and that bothers me because it's very well accomplished on many fronts. Behind its ancient mask lies a game of skill and much depth, an adventure worthy of the time invested. After not having experienced this title for about 8 years I was taken aback by the basic-ness of it all. Then again, I didn't remember too much about it. After a few hours I realized just why I fell in love with gaming in the first place - there's something irreducible about the game, an irresistible substance that allows games such as this to never grow tiring. I'm trying to pinpoint, to determine the secret to this formula, and I'm not sure if I've figured it out but at least I believe I have figured out that it has something to do with a steady growth in content and depth which lies within a seemingly simplistic architecture of game design and develops it in a smooth progressiveness, and this, I believe, gives this game its character.
The story is suprisingly in-depth for such an old game, but in order for you to actually get the most out of it you have to read the story from within the game manual or wherever else you can find it. Here's a brief summary: Zelda has been placed under a spell and she cannot awaken unless Link can retrieve the Triforce of Courage to go along with the Triforces of Wisdom and Power and restore peace. In order to accomplish this feat, Link must restore six crystals to their proper statues in order to gain access to the Valley of Death wherein lies the Great Palace which is where the Triforce of Courage is located. Ganon also plays a part in the story; for the more complete story check in here (also includes screenshots, a walkthrough, and other stuff) ~ http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/legendo...nd/zelda2.html
When you begin you're right by Princess Zelda's bedside on a side-view and so you make your way outside to the underwhelming overworld. However, most all of the game takes place from the side-view which looks relatively well done for an NES game. I cannot stress this enough: look beneath its humble graphics and search for the fun, challenge, and depth instead - your efforts shall be reciprocated. From the start you can make your way to one of two towns at your leisure, those being Rauru and Ruto. Head east for Rauru for now and be sure to meet the wise man who will teach you your first spell - Shield. Go outside and gain experience points by destroying enemies. You don't gain levels in this Zelda game. How it works is like this: in the top-right of the screen is your points and how much you have left to go before you are given a chance to use them to power-up your health meter, magic meter, or sword attack. As you keep powering-up your stats they get more and more costly, just like in an RPG. This is a feature I wish was implemented into more Zelda titles. After you're powered-up Link enough, you should head northeast into the cavern opening you see on the world map. Make your way through the dark cavern and once you're outside don't go directly into the first palace at first. Instead, move east and then south into the green section to collect a heart container. Now, head into the first palace and conquer the relatively easy trails within, find the candle, and fight the boss Horsehead which looks like a soldier's armored body with the head of a horse. He takes no real skill to undo - keep hitting him in his head. After this, you can place the crystal in the statue and exit the palace. The quest continues on through many more towns, palaces, caverns, and more locations. All told, it should take you around 20-25 hours to complete the game.
The gameplay is obviously a bit different than the previous Zeldas but shares many similarities. You're still Link and all with the sword and shield. In order to guard you don't press anything and just stand idle for high defense and duck for low defense. You can also use your sword to 'deflect' some up-close enemy attacks. The B button attacks and the A button jumps. Start will only pause the game on the world map but during the side-view sections you can press start to see all of your current items (and keys in dungeons) and equip magic spells which are used by pressing select. Some of the items you gain include a hammer, a flute, and a glove. Some of the magic spells included are thunder, fairy (Link actually transforms into a fairy!), and fire. When at full health Link can shoot out a beam attack from his sword like in all Zeldas, and of course jump/duck and attack. I was suprised at the enemies because right from the first palace on there are some hard and somewhat resilient foes, and of course you'll eventually see many familiar faces from the past like Octoroks, Armos Knights, and the dreaded Wizzrobes! The bosses get quite challenging as you progress and each displays a life bar to the left of the screen; yet again, another difference from other Zeldas. Palaces get very large and you'll have to be very resourceful to survive the last three or four. One aspect that makes these palaces (or dungeons if you will) so different from in other Zeldas is that you ride elevators between floors and there are blocks for you to destroy later on in order to gain reach to higher sections, as well as other purposes. You can attack some statues and they'll drop stuff like magic potion to restore your magic meter, and if you're lucky you'll find a fairy or two awaiting your presence within the many passages inside. There's a lot more, but you'll just have to play it to find out.
Be prepared to be underwhelmed by the graphics as this is an 8-bit title. Side-scrolling areas such as towns and palaces look ok but are mostly free of more embellishing detail and device. It's pretty basic throughout. What I'd love to see them do is revamp the graphics (and sound quality) for a remake of this game along with the original Zelda, but I doubt that will happen. Oh well. As far as challenge is concerned, prepare to be tested to the fullest! You know where I kept having a hard time? (This doesn't ruin anything so...) Before the final palace you have to make your way through several cavern areas. These are a pain in the ass!! I wanted to take my NES and smash it through the wall but then how would I play Castlequest?
The music is well composed, particularly the palace music and the ending but for the most part I was disinterested, probably because of the hard thought often required to figure out what to do next (like finding friggin' Bagu in the forest area :annoyed: ). It's good but I'd still consider the original to have a better soundtrack. I mean, how on Earth do you beat the dungeon music in the original!?
"Want to listen to MIDI versions of Zelda songs?"
"SURE DO!"
"OK!!" ~ http://spiffyentertainment.8m.com/Zelda/zeldamid.html
Spiffy indeed! The sound effects are good for an NES game. SHING! SHING!
I hope that if you haven't played Zelda II before you'll give it a chance to grow on you because it really is a great game. It's not among my very favorite Zeldas but as an action/adventure title, particularly one of the side-scrolling breed, it is an enjoyable experience with but a few sore spots. You know what I think of when I see this game? How Ys changed from an top-down view (Ys Book I and II) to a side-scroller (Ys III ~ Wanderers from Ys). If anything, Zelda II and Ys III proved to me that a little change doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Good job Nintendo (and Falcom).

Ready for a ton of great! excellent! fantastic! Zelda sites?
This site rocks and includes tons of cool stuff like animated (and non-animated) gifs, manga translations, wallpapers, a ton of artwork, etc. etc. ~ http://www.historyofhyrule.com/
This next site includes detailed walkthroughs of every Zelda title (Sorry Seska; there's no walkthroughs for the Phillips CD-i versions. J/K), and lots of other stuff ~ http://www.zelda-infinite.com/
This here Zelda site has info, pics, maps, tricks and treats for persons of all ages ~ http://www.tmsword.com/z2/
The final Zelda site isn't really a 'Zelda site' but does have lots of pics from Adventure of Link. You'll need to be a member in order to view the instruction manual ~ http://www.nesfiles.com/NES/Zelda_II...re_of_Link.asp

Bite your head off man....

Last edited by Icarus4578; 05-09-2004 at 03:41 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2003, 11:35 PM   #373
gearhound1
Banned
 
gearhound1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,955
aww, come on--zelda CDI is clearly the BEST zelda experience.
gearhound1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2003, 11:37 PM   #374
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,465
You're absolutely right! Those three Zelda titles are out of this world!! Perfect 10's, all of them!
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2003, 06:22 AM   #375
Nindalf
Registered User
 
Nindalf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 11,905
Zelda II is the greatest Zelda game ever and one of the greatest games ever. If I would be a mod, you would be banned, this thread deleted, and I would find out where you live, then tar and feather you in your sleep, then burn you alive.

So guess I'll just have to settle tarring, feathering and then burning you, unless Alucard gives me a helping hand.
Nindalf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.