Among many classic games I was always drawn to in the arcades, Shinobi just seemed to scratch an itch for a certain sort of action and challenge. Tough but for the most part fair, the need for precision, avoiding hits to keep yourself powered up, and holding out to use your special attacks at the most opportune times were vital to longevity. While Ganryu doesn’t have quite the same feel and flow, for the most part encouraging you to take things a bit faster as an example, the reliance on precision, understanding your enemies and then how best to dispatch them is again a key. Your slash works wonders but has limited range, your thrown shuriken are effective for a variety of uses but also finite, and your running attacks are quite formidable if you know the level well enough to work through it quickly and efficiently. Throw in some tough bosses, a few stages that really change things up and pose very different challenges, and you’ve got yourself a game that feels delightfully old-school but with some modern speed and flair added into the mix to make for a satisfying and action-filled time.
Justin Nation, Score: