Devil May Cry had been released not even a year earlier and changed the way action games were looked at by adding a dash of adventure-like fluidity to the frantic combat. Shinobi‘s retro-arcade approach and hardcore difficulty flew in the face of the popular trends, garnering lukewarm reviews and never really breaking from Devil May Cry‘s enormous shadow in a way Ninja Gaiden eventually did.
However, while the original Devil May Cry hasn’t exactly aged well, Shinobi is still totally playable and as antiquated as it was on release, leaving the intended charm intact. Running along walls, the deceptively deep combat, 16 solid levels of controller shattering difficulty, one of the best soundtracks in video games and that awesome red scarf are more than worth the $9.99 you can cough up this Tuesday to play this misunderstood classic.
The excellent commercial at the time understood the arcade appeal of the game, and it even stars Masi Oka from Heroes. Awesome.