May 23, 2002

Shinobi - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price

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Transparencies are brilliant.
It was one of Sega's most loved games in the 80's and realising the strength of re-living the past Sega have decided to bring Shinobi back to modern consoles. With development beginning in mid 2001 the developers decided to movie the series to a full 3D action adventure title eather then retaining the classic 2D gameplay. Has it worked? Only time will tell but from the game displayed at the E3 show Sega look like they have captured the atmosphere and excitement of the original games.

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The graphics are simply stunning.
This latest instalment of one of Sega's most revered action franchises pits you against demons in the post-apocalyptic streets of Tokyo. As Hotsuma, you will use any force necessary to avenge your clan, including running up walls, summoning Ninja magic, and using an arsenal of ancient weaponry. Hunted by demons, haunted by the dead, and hindered by the very rage that spurs him, Hotsuma will stop at nothing. Do right by your clan this fall. (Spring in Australia)

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Preparing for an attack.
Sadly the option to ride horses and other vehicles won't be returning in this game, although many other elements of the originals will. Also inplemented, and looking spectacular is the ability to run on the walls of buildings. The switch to 3D, and therefor the removal of much of the precision of 2D action has resulted in the developers concentrating on use of the sword rather then the shuriken (knives) in the game.

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The scarf, important or eye candy?
The graphics in Shinobi are nothing short of spectacular. The animation is already silky smooth and Hotsuma's scarf trails behind him wonderfully through the level. It remains to be seen if this scarf is actually a part of the gameplay, or just some visual eye candy. As you can see in the screenshot at the top of this page the transparencies and special effects are also visually stunning.

With Shinobi not expected to hit the shelves until Q'3 2002 there is plenty of time for the Overworks to fine tune the gameplay to perfection. Looking at the screens and movies from the E3 build of the game it is clear that the developers have produced some breathtaking visuals and special effects. If Sega can manage to capture the spirit and excitement of the original arcade and 16-bit games then this is bound to be a massive hit. I, like most Sega fans, will certainly be looking forward to getting our hands on a completed copy of the game later this year.