After a freak accident, a ninja gets himself frozen and through a strange turn of events is miraculously preserved but not discovered until the 90’s, where a pair of college misfits stumble upon him and return him to life. This is a possible backstory to Shotgun Ninja, details are sketchy. All you do know now is that you’ve managed to get a legitimate job only for your accountant to cheat you. Now your killer instinct returns and you want some bloody revenge!
saboteur gets a job
A 2D platformer from Cactus, the same creator of Clean Up Asia!, its probably no surprise that despite the theme, I can’t reminisce too much about playing Shinobi on the Master System as there is not much really in common to be found here. This guy is the more agile though. You can hang from the ceiling like a stalactite and shoot your foes (or innocent people just doing their job) in the head or jump off of and slide down walls akin to Super Meat Boy. This guy or girl doesn’t even have any shurikens, but to be honest, a fast firing shotgun – possibly against Shinobi code of conduct, and completely contradicting your stealthy feet – is an arrangement I’m happy to see. Ah, and you have a grenade launcher for splash damage overkill. This is the repertoire of the neo-ninja. Your abilities and your arsenal are more than enough for the simple enemies you will encounter. This ninja does have a few lead weights on his ankles though, so you need to be more careful timing those jumps than the comparative Mario-cum-Neil Armstrong. Movement is generally pretty tight, but your ninja socks do sometimes assist you in seeing what’s down those ledges.
The henchman the accountant has set to hinder your path forward are not quite up to the task, and their movement ability really is reminiscent of an old Atari game in that they seem to pace about randomly. There’s not even a simple tracking system like the ghosts in PacMan, whether they spot you or not (that’s what it looked like to me, anyway). Coming in contact with them however will do you in, it’s all a one-hit affair, but it’s more through imprecision of the player than a tenacious enemy that you’ll find yourself dying. If you’re the pacifist type of shotgun wielding ninja (said nobody ever), then it is possible to clear levels without gibbing any of these raincoat looking guys.
It is a short game, and can be literally be completed within minutes, but there is arcade-like replayability to be found in high score attempts, score bonuses for avoiding killing enemies, and the like. It’s a quick and fun game with a few more moves to play with than the average platformer. This game got me thinking of the last time I touched an old Atari, in what seems like a lifetime ago. So for me, part of the enjoyment was being reminded of those bygone days, what gaming meant to me then and what it means now.
Download: Developer’s Website