Taking the guise of ninja master Joe Mushashi (who is so cool he doesn't even need to wear a mask) you're tasked with rescuing a group of children kidnapped by the evil Zeed group. Using swords, throwing stars, ninja magic, and, of course, Uzis, it's up to you to help Joe unleash his rage as he travels over five missions, each of which is capped by a boss battle that will test your gamer mettle.

Shinobi might be a game that's not for the younger set. Those gamers weaned on the ultra-slick modern ninja-based games like Ninja Gaiden might find matters here a bit slow and limited for their Red Bull-infused tastes. But for the veteran gamers out there with fond memories of dumping quarters by the fistful into this machine back in the day, thankfully Shinobi has translated well to the Virtual Console Arcade and is well worth 800 points.

The game's clean graphics still look very nice on widescreen HD sets, and the soundtrack is still catchy after all these years. There's also a bevy of options that you can use to tweak the game, including giving yourself free credits and hundreds of lives. But even armed with cheats, unless you truly do have the reflexes of a ninja master, this is still going to be a tough hop -- which is just the way us grizzled old coots like it.

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