The Cyber Shinobi was the second ever game I got for the Master System back in the day. Funnily enough it was after getting over the original Shinobi that I felt the need to try a new ninja platform game, a new adventure of some sort. So I gave this one a shot. And why not, with such detailed artwork on the box? After all, there are plenty of games out for the Master System which have extremely lethargic, highly unappealing box art.
I mean take a look at the one for Black Belt. Sure it came out in 1986, but still, back then there was plenty of game box art which was way more appealing.
I rest my case.
So anyway, BACK to Cyber Shinobi. Sorry, I mean THE Cyber Shinobi.
Back in day I thrashed The Cyber Shinobi enough to be able to plow through all six stages without any worries. But trying that some oh, twenty or so years later? HA! Yeah right! Nevertheless, I’m here to talk to you about this little known ‘sequel’ to the Shinobi series. It was probably little known because it was a direct sequel to the Master System port of Shinobi. The storyline couldn’t be any more like a template, where an evil force led by Zeed, has returned as Cyber Zeed.
Now get this, and this is something I’ve never been able to answer or delve into too deeply, but why do evil forces want to destroy the very planet on which they reside? This mob want to melt down the entire planet by using Plutonium stolen from Nuclear reactors. All the world leaders have sent troops to stop these folk, but nobody can, except the grandson of the hero from the first Shinobi, Joe Musashi. So off he goes aye…
The game consists of six stages, each with a themed boss to fight with a weak point mentioned at the start of each stage. So there’s that element I guess, of the whole ‘pay attention gamer’ ordeal, as you can see:
Waterfall (as in you just fall towards the bottom of a Waterfall)
Cyber Zeed’s Base
You do get power-ups for projectiles. So from the traditional Shurikens, you step up to a machine gun arm?! Then grenades. As well as that, you can pull off some boss ‘ninjutsu’ power moves which obliterate every enemy on screen.
The bosses for every stage are generally huge vehicles; ranging from bulldozers, to helicopters, to submarines shooting missiles at you.
As the game progresses, you encounter panthers, some jumping mutant thingamajig, and then finally the end boss who is a big-ass mech lobbing everything at you to protect Cyber Zeed’s brain.
The graphics are well, not too bad, but there are some inconsistencies and superfluous items such as the boulders in the Jungle stage for example. But don’t let a few useless boulders be the basis for your judgement of the graphics in this game. You might however, want to judge the size of the status bar…it takes up one third of the game screen!
I mean just look!
The sound effects consist of a lot of thuds, slashes, shots, and explosions. The controls feel very sloppy, and as for collision detection when attacking the enemies? You know you’re hitting them, you know they’re taking damage, but it still doesn’t feel like they are. Getting hit by enemies by touching them, makes you slide left or right slightly. I don’t know what’s more annoying, the way the hero flies back (a la Castlevania), or the slight nudges left or right where you can’t do anything until you’re not getting hurt (a la The Cyber Shinobi). I think both. And in many parts of the game, you can’t progress through a stage until you defeat all the enemies in the one screen. It’s not every screen, but it happens a fair bit.
The best thing about this game however, is the music. I’ve even asked DJ Tr!p at Ultracade Live numerous times to play tunes from this game. I mean even HE knows OF the game, and agrees about the music being amazing as well!
Overall, I would say that this is not the worst platform game ever made, but definitely not a memorable title. Not as memorable as the first Shinobi game, put it that way. I still suggest you give it a thrashing, just to see where SEGA was trying to go with the franchise back in the early nineties and also for the kick ass music!