If feels like Ive reviewed most of the Sega iPhone ports from the past few
months, but the review for Shinobi III will be different. How? This is the only
Sega iPhone port that I never got a chance to play when it was on the Genesis
console. I spent plenty of (frustrating) hours with the first two Shinobi games,
but somehow the third slipped under my radar. After playing this port, Im
starting to wish it hadnt.
Shinobi III builds on what made the first two games classics and improves
some of the series problems. The first thing I noticed was that this game
features a health bar, whereas previous Shinobi games had a one hit, youre
dead mentality. This makes the game a little more accessible for the
non-hardcore, and ensures that youll be able to reach some of the later,
greater levels. Im having trouble remembering vehicle sequences in the first
two Shinobi games, but III has both a horseback level and even a surfing level!
If you anything about ninjas, you know that they are fun enough on their own.
Add a surfboard and youve got 16-bit classic gaming goodness.
If youve bothered to read any of my past Sega/iPhone reviews, youll know
that these classic games share one huge problem: The controls. The buttons
arent responsive enough and they cover way too much of the screen, often
obstructing your view of the action. Certain games, like Golden Axe and Gunstar
Heroes, are rendered almost unplayable by virtue of how the games are actually
played, but Shinobi IIIs setup is such that working your way around the control
annoyances isnt out of the question. The side-scrolling action movement works
well enough, and even though its easy to mix up the sword/magic/ninja star
attacks, a little practice will get you through.
Isnt that always the way? You play through two frustrating,
controller-hurling games and completely miss out on the third one, the best of
them all. Thats what I did with the Shinobi series, and Im happy to have
finally had the chance to play it through. The controls arent the greatest, in
placement or responsiveness, but this is one of the more successful Sega/iPhone
ports. If you missed part III back in the day, its probably worth your time to
download and play through it.
Final Rating: 80%