Masayuki Nagao, Hirofumi Murasaki, Morihiko Akiyama
Sega and M2 put out some new Sega Vintage Collection stuff on XBLA recently and it’s pretty high quality. A lot higher quality than what Backbone was doing. It’s still just an emulator and a few ROMs, but given that M2 is apparently who Nintendo hires to do their exceedingly high quality Virtual Console emulators, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.
It lead me to check out Revenge of Shinobi, finally. I never got my Shinobi games straight - I think I tried out one on the Master System and maybe an Arcade game and found them to be all pretty simplistic. For the longest time, I thought Shinobi 3 was the only Genesis game, and Shinobi 3 is probably one of the best Genesis games out there, but people seem to regard Revenge of Shinobi pretty highly too, so I decided to give it a look.
Nope, Shinobi 3 is still better. Revenge of Shinobi is to Shinobi 3 what Pitfall is to Super Mario Bros. Revenge of Shinobi doesn’t even let you run! What kind of crap is that? I also decided to give Shadow Dancer a look, which is another Shinobi game in disguise and it’s still inferior to Shinobi 3 - though having a dog with you that you can command to maul dudes is pretty sweet.
Shinobi 3 is rad because it takes basically a two-button control scheme (jump and attack, though you do use a third button to activate your special ninja arts) and does a ton of stuff with it. Most other Shinobi games let you walk and throw shuriken, and that’s kind of it. If you get in close to an enemy you’ll take out a dagger and slice them. Shinobi 3 gives you climbing, diving kicks, wall jumping, and some other stuff. It’s kind of like Ninja Kirby in Kirby Super Star (though probably the other way around - Kirby Super Star came out after Shinobi 3). None of that stuff is in Revenge of Shinobi or Shadow Dancer. You end up feeling pretty nimble and very much like a ninja.
The discussion of Shinobi among my friends lead to one wondering aloud, “I wish somebody would do a high quality version of Shinobi 3's first stage music.”
Happy to oblige. Original MIDI by “José”
I don’t know if I’m totally happy with the way this came out, though. Too much reverb, maybe. It’s hard to nail that stuff down. Might be an EQ mixing problem, too. I’ll fiddle around with it some more.
Incidentally Drak, that instrument you were asking about on twitter a few weeks ago? I think it’s a Shakuhachi.