I finally got a chance to play this game, and holy shit is it a bummer. The gameplay is actually pretty good, and is more or less in-tune with what a natural evolution of Shinobi III should be, but aesthetically, it's just atrocious. I don't know what the hell the train of thought behind this thing was, but they took the groundwork for a good game and pissed all over it. How can a game on a 16-bit platform with a limited palette look so much better?
Oh yeah, and Joe Musashi, the ultimate ninja badass of all ninja badasses, looks like a fucking pussy in this game. Not cool. I really wanted to like this, but the cheese and poor design choices are too overwhelming.
Yes, the gameplay in Shinobi X, the UK version of Shinobi Legions or Shin Shinobi Den, has a very good expansion on Shinobi III's gameplay. I find the Richard Jaques soundtrack of the UK version makes the game much more enjoyable, even though I find the live actors as awkward as ever. I think this game would be a perfect Saturn Shinobi game with a few more levels and hand drawn art instead of live actors.
The levels feel very reminiscent of Revenge of Shinobi though, and sometimes Ninja Spirit too. That is a very very good thing.
I've recently bought Shinobi X and after being initially underwhelmed am totally into it now. IMO the graphics are variable between a bit crappy and pretty good - sometimes at the same time, e.g. level 3 boss fight where the background looks great but the boss sprite is awful. Main pluses for me are the great Richard Jaques soundtrack which has been stuck in my head for days, and the expanded move set which adds a lot to the gameplay. Nearly hurled my joypad through the screen last night though after falling off the mine carts for the 100th time!!
I'm sorry but this game just doesn't have the feel of the other Shinobi games. And it's not that interesting. Plus I've never gotten past the damn mine levels. Ad the levels are unispiring. Sega didn't even bother to release this here and let Vic Tokai bring it out. It's not horrible. But it's very poor for a Shinobi game. After the fast paced action and dynamic bosses of 3 and the spot on controls this game fails pretty bad.
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