STORY / GAMEPLAY
Since its debut, the game was featured in eleven official Shinobi titles, in many gaming systems. The story goes as this: You control a master ninja named Joe Musashi who has to stop a crime organization called "Zeed". The "Zeeds" are kidnapping children from the Oboro clan to demand ransoms from their relatives or to do some experiments for their own purposes. Through five missions of gradually increasing difficulty, Joe Musashi must fight his way to Zeed's headquarters and free all the hostages before confronting some formidable fighters known as the "Ring of Five" who appear at the end of each level. The game's five missions are split into three or four stages in which Musashi must rescue all the captive children before he is allowed to complete the stage. There are also some levels in first person mode, in which you throw shurikens to destroy targets and gain bonuses. Shinobi's main weapon is the "shuriken" (aka the throwing ninja star-blade) and a knife that's used for close encounters. As an extra weapon, Joe can use a gun collected by killing some enemies, but with limited ammunition. One of the most important moves in the game is Shinobi's somersault, performed by tapping the jump-button a second time and needs some strategic timing. Overall, the game is a masterpiece in every version and needs some nice gaming skills to complete!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The NES version is quite cool and keeps most of the arcade's elements (backgrounds and sprites) considering the NES' hardware limitations that is. Also, the sound FX and the in-game music are awesome. The only cons is that the animation loses some framerate in some places, but this does not negatively affect the, otherwise great, experience. The NES version runs a bit smoother when compared to the Master System but overall both 8bit console versions offer the same exciting moments of the original arcade.