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Shinobi III (iPhone) Review

In Short
If you missed part III back in the day, it's probably worth your time to download and play through it.

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%

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Transmitted: 5/21/2018 8:36:00 AM