Friday, July 27, 2012

Retro Review: Shadow Warriors aka Ninja Gaiden Shadow(Gameboy)

Well... I haven't done a retro review in a LONG time, mainly due to the fact that I don't too have many old games and I've been concentrating on new release and articles. Anyway I got lucky and found it... and finished it in an hour... an HOUR! So enjoy this retro review and hopefully I'll be able to do more in the future.

The game is based 3 years before the NES version(supposedly) in the year 1985(props to the year of my birth) in New York City, U.S.A. An evil bad guy named Emperor Garuda(Gulf in the PAL version) is attacking New York(like every douche in history) and it's up to the ninja who's so bad ass he wears a blue ninja outfit(At least he used too be bad ass and in blue. Now he's a generic leather bound gimp who just happens to use ninja weapons), Ryu Hayabusa to save New York and show Garuda not to mess with a BLUE CLAD NINJA!

The game is a 2D side scrolling action platformer much like it's NES counterparts. You can attack enemies with your trusty Katana and/or ninjustu fireballs that go diagonally upwards. You can also use a grappling hook(up + A) to hook yourself to certain ceilings and platforms since Ryu's Spider-man powers have been taken away from him. There is also item containers in each stage that give you health restoration, ninjustu uses and extra lives.

Admittedly the gameplay is actually not to difficult in comparison to it's notorious NES brethren. There aren't too many enemies on screen and they don't respawn as often or as quickly as the NES games and it's slower then the NES versions. These aren't as negative as you may think they are, especially when you consider that the three Ninja Gaiden NES titles(the best Ninja Gaiden games!) are considered some the hardest and most brutal games ever made(and frustrating too!).

The visuals in the game aren't exactly good, but it is a Game Boy game after all. The sprites looks a little weird and the backgrounds aren't that interesting to look at(again this IS a Game Boy game). The music however is some of the best Game Boy music I've ever listened to in my small experience with old Game Boy games. You'll be doing the squat dance(pressing down, left and right to the music) in no time during the stages.

The boss fights at the end of each stage are pretty easy to defeat and have extremely easy and distinct patterns that are easy to pick up on and exploit, even the final boss is easy to defeat in comparison to those NES boss battles(the things 8-Bit nightmares are made of!). Strangely enough the boss battle music seems exactly the same as the NES versions, so much so that I think it's the original chip tune programing.

Ninja Gaiden Shadow aka Shadow Warriors on Game Boy is a great game. Sure it's a little on the easy side and short, but it is a Game Boy game after all. It has great music, good level design and should be played on a Super Game Boy or Game Boy Player for the best experience. I highly recommend tracking down this portable gem and rubbing it in the faces of you retro game collecting friends.

Score 4/5

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