Shadow dancer is the sequel to the original Shinobi action platform, ninja game. The, also known as Shinobi II, was developed in 1989 by Sega for the arcades and was converted to the home computers and gaming consoles in 1990.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Much like the original Shinobi, you play the role of a fearless ninja (this time wearing whites!) and you shoot shurikens (the deadly and sharp ninja stars), jump on higher or lower platforms, crouch whenever needed and perform ninja martial arts in order to stop a terrorists' group plan to detonate time bombs set in various parts of the city. You also have a katana sword at your disposal, for closer encounters. The main action starts at the city's Airport! Each level has a number of bombs, that you must locate and defuse before you can successfully progress to the next level. Additionally there are some bonus stages between the main levels that grant extra-lives, but they are rather difficult to cope. The new detail in Shadow Dancer is that you fight all the way having a white dog by your side. This powerful canine attacks the enemies when you're in trouble and holds them with its teeth until you kill them! The action takes place into four different rounds, with the first round consisting of three stages and the remaining 3 rounds four stages each! So you have a total of 15 stages to complete. As in the original Shinobi, Shadow Dancer offers combines fighting, shooting and "platform" elements, allowing you to progress only a little further after each attempt. The game is not so easy since the difficulty level rises gradually (as in Shinobi as well), so this game needs some patience to complete, killing and avoiding traps at the same time. Overall, Shadow Dancer is not bad at all. On the contrary, it's a really fun game based on the already successful Shinobi formula!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The visuals of the Amiga version are quite nice though they look as ported from the Atari ST counterpart, but running smoother. Typical for a Sega game, Shadow Dancer's graphics are not eye-catching but the gameplay is what counts the most. The backgrounds, though they keep most details from the arcade version, sometimes they look a bit "messy" and in some points they can "hide" enemy shots (which means, instant death) The game's sound is also pretty decent, featuring a cool in-game music and some sampled sound effects.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs