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Shinobi
  PS2PlatformerNA  
  opened by paleface at 22:05:07 08/31/03  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Platformer; loc=NA]
           
The first thing you notice is that this game is fast, so fast that when you dash your character dissolves into nothing but a blur with an afterimage left behind. The framerate keeps pace and when you throw in double-jumps, air dashing and chain combos on multiple opponents you start to hit a pace of action that just isn't seen all that often. You look pretty cool doing it, too, with a scarlet scarf flowing like a red river behind you as you twist, dash and spin every which way to take down your demonic opponents who frequently appear out of thin air. Slice through a bunch of baddies quickly enough and the game gives you a stylish pause and camera shot as you sheath your blade just as all the bodies split in two simultaneously, along with a little bonus (health, points? didn't bother checking) for your trouble.
 
The large and sprawling stages give you the feeling of independence and indeed they frequently contain optional secret treasures to track for adding to your score total at the stage end. Don't worry if you miss a few, from the looks of it you can go back and replay completed stages to improve your rating. Yessir, this here's old-timey no-nonsense arcade action with the payoff in excitement, a high score, and bragging rights among your friends.
 
And brag you may as it starts getting challenging fairly quickly--you aren't limited in continues or lives since the game doesn't really have such things, but one wrong move off the top of a building and it's back to the beginning of the big long stage to do it all over again and hopefully not miss that last step this time. The game forces you, particularly if you want the shiny extra points, to hurtle yourself into harm's way with a vengeance, with stuff like a double-jump-dash to the side of a high building hundreds of feet above the ground followed by another quick double-jump up to a neighboring rooftop and a quick spin slash at a demon who pops out of the ground right behind you becoming mere par for the course, a soaring quicksilver dance to a pumping trance beat.
 
With all this speed the camera could be a concern but the quick camera panning, lock-on targeting and manual camera override on the right analogue stick have prevented such problems as I've played through the first two levels, and overall the controls to pull off all this slick stuff seemed daunting at first but very quickly became near-second-nature. Overworks has translated the old sprite-based style of hard-as-nails insert-another-quarter platform arcade play into a modern 3d console title far more impressively than I would have expected. It's good, damn good, and anyone who says otherwise is a wanker.
    
references:
· Bujingai (PS2)
· Nightshade (PS2)

 
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