NES Review – Shadow of the Ninja


Back in the early 2000’s – and well before I started collecting games – my brother picked up a big box of NES games from a friend. There were well over 100 NES games. One of my favs from the group was a game called Shadow of the Ninja. This weeks’ review is about this very game! A fun action-platform game with a cool cooperative multiplayer component!

In terms of the story, it is very simply. The game takes place in 2029 – the Unite States has been taken over by Emperor Garuda. You play as two ninjas from Iga clan who must infiltrate his stronghold and end his reign of terror!


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In terms of gameplay, you take control as either Hayate or Kaede. They behave the same and can run, jump, hang, crouch, and climb upwards! They also have their trusty Katanas to dispatch enemies (and ninja stars among other cool power-ups like a chain).  The various upgrades actually provide some strategy to the gameplay as some weapons are more effective than others against specific types of enemies. I really enjoyed the variety that they provided. Whats more – of you collect multiple upgrades in a row (without touching others), the upgrades can be further powered up for more power! In terms of control, the ninjas feel great to control too!


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What makes this game stand-out compared to other platform games is that you can actually play cooperatively! Each player can control one of the ninjas, and you can run though the whole game together! This was a major selling-point for me as my brother and I both like playing at the same time!

The levels themselves are quite large. There are five total, with many of them being broken down into multiple parts. The variety in each level was quite impressive often shifting from locales like ships, to sewers, to outside cities!


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The game is quite a challenge as well. While the stages themselves are easy enough, the bosses (especially in the later stages) become quite hard. What’s more, you only have five continues total to complete the game, and each death accounts for one continue! You cannot find extra lives! I would have preferred a couple more continues or lives to make it further through the game, but I found that the more I played the further I got, so it definitely pushed me to play more!

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In terms of graphics, the game looks pretty – especially with all the enemies and sprits on screen. Unfortunately there is also tons of flicker, but this is common with many NES games. The backgrounds all look fantastic and remind me Batman for NES. The bosses also look quite good some some of them taking up the whole screen! The music also sounds pretty awesome with some upbeat toons and good sound effects.

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In summary, this is a fun action-platform game that has an awesome cooperative component that is blast to play with a pal. The game is challenging (I have yet to beat it) but whenever I return to it, I get a little bit further. If you can find this one for a decent price, its definitely worth a pickup! In the end, I give this game a solid 7/10.

Final Score: 7/10

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