Blast from the Past: The Revenge of Shinobi (SEGA Mega Drive)

Retro Review


Jump into the shoes of the shinobi once again in a journey of revenge and justice as Joe Musashi battles against an evil organisation to save his love.

The Revenge of Shinobi is set a number of years later from the story of the first Shinobi title. The evil organization known as Zeed has returned and this time have chosen to slay Joe Musashi’s master as well as comrades who share the power of stealth and kidnap his bride to be. It’s up to Joe to venture forth in different locations to defeat the organisation once again and rescue his future wife.

Having played the original Shinobi quite a bit in my youth I’m quite surprised that I’ve never played the sequel before. And yet playing it now years later or rather decades later I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed it just as much as the first. The levels are set out in a number of locations with backdrops that bring the environment to life. Some of the locations include a cliff area or rather canyon with a waterfall, a city and a military base. And since this is basically a side scrolling platformer, the player is expected to be able to navigate through a number of platforms on different levels. However unlike most platformers, The Revenge of Shinobi’s focus still remains on battling the evil organisation now known as Neo Zeed and that of course means that there is no shortage of enemies within each level.

Much like Ninja Gaiden, The Revenge of Shinobi throws enemies at the player from all directions. Some of the enemies include shinobi that appear from a cloud of smoke or from behind hidden walls, samurais and soldiers, with some enemies resembling characters such as Rambo and Batman. Enemies are equipped with ninja throwing stars, machine guns, samurai swords and even a flamethrower.

However the player is not without weapons himself and is equipped with a katana, shuriken and special abilities known as ninjutsu that grants the player powers such as a lightning shield that takes damage or the ninjutsu of kayru that calls upon fire pillars that engulf the enemies and also moves across the screen.

Musical shinobi

The music, although 16 bit, is quite a lot of fun to listen to. It made me feel like I was in an arcade with a few jazzy feel tracks as well as mystical sounding themes. Each track was well placed within their respective levels.

Although the game is short this is definitely a must for platforming fans and fans of the Ninja Gaiden and original Shinobi game. The animations are fun to watch especially during activation of the ninjutsu arts. The boss battles are challenging yet fun with each boss completely set apart from the other in terms of attack patterns and weak spots. The music is fun to listen to and the fact that the game allows players to choose their difficulty means that if you’re struggling a bit, just drop the level. I highly recommend the game for retro as well as 2D side scrolling fans. The 16 bit graphics do not take away any of the enjoyment brought from this blast from the past. However having reviewed this on mobile I strongly recommend not playing it there. The touch buttons on the screen can be a little sticky at times and the frame rates are just horrible. If you can’t get your hands on the original and like me don’t enjoy playing it on mobile perhaps try your luck on the PS3 and Xbox 360 where it was released on the PSN and XBL.


  • Music
  • Level Design
  • Ninjutsu animations
  • Different difficulty levels to choose from


  • Short


Get ready for a short, energetic dash through enemies and platforming. Outnumbered and surrounded, good thing you are a shinobi.


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