** Game talk starts at 15:30**
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Shinobi III moving forward, that title is too long) is what retro gaming is all about. The graphics, the music, the gameplay, the difficulty. It nails it. I played this for the first time in my life almost 26 years after it released, and if you told me it was a retro-inspired indie title that just came out this year, I'd believe you.
It seems to me like Shinobi was Sega's answer to Nintendo's Ninja Gaiden series. You play as a bad-ass ninja, running from left to right, wall jumping and killing bad guys. You die a lot. But admittedly, I never really felt like the deaths were cheap. Ninja Gaiden has caused a few controller throws in it's time, but I don't know if Shinobi III has. The game is hard as fuck, but there weren't too many instances where I felt my deaths were cheap. It nails, for better or worse, that classic 90's "play it over and over until you can beat it" model.
When I think of the Sega Genesis, I think of Sonic, sports games, and Disney. I think most Nintendo kids feel the same way. But that little black box has some phenomenal games in it's library that I feel have been passed over undeservedly. This game is one of them. I had a fucking...blast...playing through this game on my Switch, and I'm pretty excited to talk about it on this week's podcast. If you've never played it, give this episode a listen. We may just convince you.
I say "we", because as always I'm joined by a fellow nerd. This week, my buddy Miklos returns to the show. You may remember him from our "Sega vs Nintendo" and "Shining Force" episodes. Mik was a die-hard Sega kid, and I owe him a great deal for helping to open my eyes and show me that the Genesis had more games than just crappy over-rated platforms about a little blue rat. (I kid, I kid...mostly). Enjoy the podcast!