The baddest mother fucker ever made.

Joe Musashi. The Original Shinobi. Most of ya’ll probably too young to recognize a real nigga. Wit all yo punk ass Call of Duties and Rock Bands and that pussy ass Kratos. While ya’ll were jackin off to lining up gun shots and reload animations, back in the day, I was playin Ninjas. Let me tell ya’ll young mother fuckers about Mr. whip yo ass Musashi. He could kill Ryu Hayabusa with one Kunai. Fuck his “jutsu” magic bullshit, he would make the Dragon Ninja his bitch. Along with dat punk ass Strider Hiryu, some bitch-made Ninja who depends on machines to beat his opponents down. Strider sucks 12 copious amounts of asses. Oh, what? What? You wanna bring up Rikimaru!? You think he knows bad? He’s a goddamn choir boy compared to the original Oboro Ninja Master. You don’t fuck with a Mofo who’s killed Rambo, Hulk/Terminator, Spiderman, Batman, and mother fucking Godzilla all in one game. He was dubbed the “Super Shinobi” for a reason.

That said, I decided to play Shadow Dancer for the Arcade over the weekend. And believe me, this game will rape you to crumbs! It’s a quarter vacuum, you’ll need to pull out your damn college funds to complete this bitch. It’s probably the single most relentless beast of an arcade that shits all over the “difficulty” of Contra.

Playing through all four “worlds”, it’s easy to see why people prefer the genesis version. While drastically different, the game has a lesser chance of giving you an aneurysm, along with having better control over your dog Yamato, and better hit detection. But the most important aspect that makes GENESIS Dancer superior over ARCADE Dancer? It’s real simple. It’s no secret as the sub title would like to imply.

Ready?

Are you sure?

*clears throat*

It’s…..

fucking………

EASIER!

Yes, we all love this bitch because it’s much easier to go through than a good majority of Shinobi titles in the series. Hell, Shinobi 3 is easier than the rest of the post PS2 games, and is considered the best game in the series (having better moves also was a factor, that and IDATEN!).

Infact, Mega Man 2 is the “easiest” of the Classic Mega Man games, and it’s the main crowd pleaser. More people love the X games.

Soul Calibur isn’t a hard game to learn and neither is Tekken.

Simple, my audience of 3. See, the Hardcore gamer branch (and developers) have a very popular misconception of old games that came out before the rise of 3D Computer gaming. That all of these games were cock-smashingly difficult. Now, I find this funny because I don’t recall anyone talking about how hard these games were. Many of us didn’t even think about a game’s difficulty, we were too busy having fun gettin our asses beat. No one remembers things about “difficulty” or “challenge factor” except the hardcore and the developers. Else all the retro throwbacks wouldn’t try so hard to be so hard. I mean, why would Keiji Inafune associate Mega Man 2’s roots with level design that was NEVER present in Mega Man 2? Not in terms of gimmicks, but in terms of sheer difficulty? He completely misunderstood why people enjoyed Mega Man 2 because it was NEVER that damn hard!

See, people always talk about wanting a “challenging” game. But everyone starts going around acting like smart asses when people are given said “challenging” game and they turn out hating it. Hardcore gamers call out for hypocrisy for the lulz but fail to realize the aspects of the game in which said difficulty becomes a turn off.

For one, take Revenge of Shinobi’s first level and compare it to Shinobi III’s first level.

He makes this look easy, but this level requires memorization and many times of practice to make it look this good. Take note of the samurai enemies. These things can block your attacks and only expose themselves when you get up-close. You have about a small window of opportunity to get in a hit. Then rinse and repeat. To be honest, they’re pussies in comparison to the final boss of Shadow Dancer Arcade (basically the same strategy but a more unpredictable attack pattern and wtf I hate this boss)

Easy as hell, and makes one feel like a bad ass. I like that trick where he blows through the samurai’s waves with not a single fuck given.

The differences are clear. While many will give Revenge of Shinobi cred for being a “great game”, no one would even think about putting it over Shinobi 3. You’re better off trying to explain to Nintards the fallacies of making a Pikmin 3 when nobody wants it.

Those new to Shinobi will immediately turn off their emulators in disgust of ROS’s very first level. You’re not at all used to or comfortable with the controls yet and you’re immediately thrown into a wolf pit filled with faster enemies and drones who can defend against your attacks and counter you if you get too close.

On the other hand, Shinobi 3 has nothing more than sacks of meat you can waste without even thinking about it, making you feel confident. Shinobi 3 is more inviting than Revenge. Revenge is frustrating. Shinobi 3 is challenging.

A “Challenging” game allows the player to feel confident enough that they can overcome tougher obstacles without feeling “cheated”. A “Frustrating” game takes food away from a starving player and rewards it’s own design for a job well done at showing the player that he isn’t “man enough” to roll with the wolf pack.

We can chalk up the least memorable games of the late 80’s/early 90’s to bad design in general, or still designing console games with the intent of bleeding quarters out of players, but believe me when I say that when it comes right down to it, Sonic games will always be fondly remembered than games like Castlevania or even Ninja Gaiden. Infact, Ninja Gaiden’s popularity waned faster than Resident Evil’s in this era. Resident Evil still has people anticipating newer installments (at least until we got Op. Raccoon City and RE6’s first trailer). As RE kept getting easier and easier, more players were getting into the series than were for Ninja Gaiden. Let it be known that when a game’s most notable aspect is it’s sheer difficulty, it’s going to turn a good sizable portion of players off.

There’s nothing good about frustrating games than to serve as a lesson of terrible game design. Unfortunately, many developers believe the most significant thing about old games was the frustration you get from them. Of course, that’s only natural. Developers today come from the Computer centric branch of gamers. Computer games aren’t very challenging in comparison to to Arcade games. Those who worship computer games are bound to find Arcade and Console games of old to be pretty fuckin hard.

You want to go through Hyrule, be a tough and bad ass hero? Well get with the times cause you are nothing but a Zero!

He’s so shitty, he couldn’t eat an Octorok!

Many Retro throwbacks or “Arcade” genre games of today are unusually difficult at times, be it scripted events or having to perform multiple tasks in a milisecond to get over a certain hurdle, as though the DIFFICULTY of a game is supposed to make the hardcore feel nostalgic about DYING multiple times, it is a sick obsession with frustration that has made the “retro” fads of the last generation die out so fast. Nowadays, we think a “retro” game has to be like taking a bloody shit where at the end, you cry loudly in despair as if that’s supposed to be superb game design because it allows the “few” who can get passed it all ti feel supreme to all others who could not.

A frustrating game is an “exclusionary” game. A “challenging” game like Ninja Gaiden 3 (NES) is inclusive as it invites the player with the intent of rewarding the players with the rest of it’s content, not having the intent of making the player feel miserable and hopeless through only 1% of it’s content. It’s like going to a party where taking one step inside gets you a free bucket load of cow dung dumped on top of you, everyone laughs maniacally while you are dared to just go in, smelling like ass, and mingle despite the fact. You’re uncomfortable, and no one wants to be near you. Infact, they vomit at the mere thought of you and desire nothing more than to kick your ass if you get too close. Bonus points if that chick you wanted to bang is also at the party and is repulsed by your asshole appearance.

Hardcore gamers believe this to a fault. Check out some of their rom hacks of Mega Man 2 (especially the Bass Hack where in Metal Man’s stage, you are required to make tricky jumps as soon as you enter the damn room). Going a step further, rom hacks with more “difficulty” are basically the hardcore twats trying to show off how good their level design is by making it extremely difficult to go through. But the main reason with this thought process is the same reason they want to destroy the dreaded “casuals”, which is ironic as the casuals are the main people who could handle a challenging game no matter the format. The hardcore take “challenging” to extreme levels, trying to raise the bar as high as possible so that the “casuals” wouldn’t be able to reach it.

One of the main reasons anyone played a console game was to see what the later levels looked like. There was a strong, natural desire to progress through the game. Many players were invited into the game via the ease of the first few levels. But after that, they had to earn the right to the rest of the game’s levels via skill. Art of Fighting 2 is one such example. You would be lucky to kick the first fighter’s ass before moving on. Kenseiden for the Master System, grab some ice packs cause you’re gonna be hotter than a four-alarm fire after playing that for a while. Break out the blood pressure meds for DKCR, Path of Radiance, Castle of Shikigami 3, and the like. All of these, plus more, are games that discourage one’s desire to progress and see the rest of the game’s content out of a sick obsession with “challenging the player”. When your goal is to challenge the player, you’re actually planning on making the game as tedious and as infuriating as possible. It seems that’s everyone’s intent when it comes to “Retro throwbacks”. Retro shouldn’t = frustrating. Mega Man games can be frustrating, but Capcom was smart enough to let you select which levels to go through before experiencing how little you will achieve. It’s little things like that which can salvage an already badly designed game. After all, if you’re gonna piss off your audience, you might as well give them everything besides the final levels.

Unfortunately, when devs (aside from Nintendo and Sega) set out to make retro throwbacks, their minds switch to “sadist” mode in some misguided effort to completely alienate their audience and “show them how hard games were back then”. Why not just make a challenging modern day game without cheap shit to make it difficult beyond all reason? Konami seemed to have taken those hints with their last few “retro throwbacks”

In the end though, no one seems to know a damn thing about “balance” anymore.