Shinobi is an excellent (and very famous) arcade action game debuted in 1987 in the arcades by Sega. The game was converted to multiple home computer systems and video game consoles.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Since its debut, the game was featured in eleven official Shinobi titles, in many gaming systems. The story goes as this: You control a master ninja named Joe Musashi who has to stop a crime organization called "Zeed". The "Zeeds" are kidnapping children from the Oboro clan to demand ransoms from their relatives or to do some experiments for their own purposes. Through five missions of gradually increasing difficulty, Joe Musashi must fight his way to Zeed's headquarters and free all the hostages before confronting some formidable fighters known as the "Ring of Five" who appear at the end of each level. The game's five missions are split into three or four stages in which Musashi must rescue all the captive children before he is allowed to complete the stage. There are also some levels in first person mode, in which you throw shurikens to destroy targets and gain bonuses. Shinobi's main weapon is the "shuriken" (aka the throwing ninja star-blade) and a knife that's used for close encounters. As an extra weapon, Joe can use a gun collected by killing some enemies, but with limited ammunition. One of the most important moves in the game is Shinobi's somersault, performed by tapping the jump-button a second time and needs some strategic timing. Overall, the game is a masterpiece in every version and needs some nice gaming skills to complete!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics on the Amstrad CPC version look awesome and a bit better compared to the C64 conversion, especially on the background colors. The sprites look great and most of the original detail (the arcade version) is available on the CPC conversion. Note that the gameplay's pace is faster and the sprites move smoother on the C64 version. The CPC's sound features the original in-game tunes plus a few nice sound effects (such as gun fire and explosions). Of note, the CPC 6128 version features a brief sampled speech in every stage loading screen.
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CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.