Released near the end of both the NES' lifespan and the popularity of ninjas in American mass media, Shadow of the Ninja technically does everything right, and is a serviceable action/platformer, but ultimately fails to instill any real sense of excitement in the player. In the game's not-so-compelling story, you (along with a pal, if you so wish) take control of one of two ninjas -- who actually don't look all that ninja-ey -- and throw yourself into a generic near-future slightly-post-apocalyptic United States to try and defeat an evil emperor.

At any rate, rubbish story aside, Shadow of the Ninja delivers its' action much the way you'd expect. For the most part, you'll be traveling left to right, using various ninja weapons like katanas and shurikens to defeat shemps, and then taking on large bosses at the end of each level. There is also a Bionic Commando-esque grappling hook, but unfortunately it's not used to its' full potential, feeling more like an add-on rather than an integral part of the game. Ultimately, though, there's nothing really wrong with Shadow of the Ninja. But with so many classic action and platforming games available on the Virtual Console, it takes a lot to stand out, and the game ends up missing that cut-off.

Virtual Console & WiiWare Reviews / Video Games Index / Back to Main Page