Shinobi 3


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

As one of the most revered video game series of all time, Shinobi is undoubtedly a classic. It's also one of the few long running gaming series' to maintain it's quality throughout it's life. Shinobi 3 was by far the high point of the 16-bit era Shinobi's and exemplifies all that was right with 16-bit video games.

Shinobi 3 feels very similar to the previous entry, Revenge of Shinobi. A lot of that games features (such as limited shurikens) have made their way into this game. Of course, no ninja would be content without a few new moves. Joe Musashi can now jump kick with the best of 'em and spring off walls to reach higher levels. A double jump has been included, but it's not always easy to get off. Missed jumps result in deaths that weren't planned on making some points of the game frustrating. Also, as with the previous game, Joe can take a numerous amount of hits before going down, a welcome change from the early games where one hit was fatal.

The game, at it's heart, is a basic platformer. It rewards daring players who are willing to take risks to get power-ups. Those who are terrified to go off course can still play the game without a hitch, but the road may not be as smooth. There are a few stages to break up the monotony of basic platforming including a horse riding and surfing stage. The usual 16-bit stages like a forest, conveyor belt, and cavern all make appearances, almost like a nod of the cap to those who came before it.

As a later release in the Genesis library,  the game should look better than expected......and it does. The bosses are all huge and colorful and the amount of special effects included in the game is unreal. The Genesis was never intended to perform like this, but these master programmers have done miracles. The music is a mixed bag. Some of the stages feature outstanding tunes that stick in the head, other cause a players teeth to grind. The sound effects are nothing special and former games have used the same sounds.

Fans of the series know that this is one of the games in the series that stands out. Very few games have taxed the hardware as much as this one did and it shows in every aspect. The sound department is the only real letdown, but this can overlooked thanks to everything else this game does right. A classic in all regards.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:31 PM