This game is ASS…

KICKIN that is! 😀 Yo, for real though, this shit is off the hook! This was worth the cramped hands. Bar none, Shinobi Bread Slice is the real deal.

You can tell this game was produced by Stephen Frost. How else was he gonna convince the whole world that Joe Musashi was a Japanese Ninja? You got an art style remeniscent of Okami’s Japanese cel shading, you have a generic soundtrack complete with fuedal Japanese flutes blasting off at every chance, and to top it all off, the narrator speaks completely in haiku. At the expense of even explaining the plot.

Once you’ve heard one…

Dull presentation aside, this game is a prequel (fucking…) to the original Shinobi (if the ACTUAL Joe being based on the very first game is anything to go by. Instead, you are playing Joe’s ancestor/father named “Jiro Musashi”. Now why this game is a prequel is beyond me as nothing in the game is elaborated on, you just have a bunch of references to the Super Shinobi games on the Genesis. I suppose Sega is doing one of Nintendo’s numbers and is shoving as much cute shit into their games as possible. Golden Axe Beast Rider with the gnomes and original coin insert sound effect, everything about Sonic’s Lost Mind, and in this game, take as many enemies from Shinobi 3 as possible and put them in.

It’s not really a big deal. Though having no choice to do research of what the fuck was going on, Jiro starts off in a fairly cliche “battle against a rival ninja clan” as Zeed (enemies of the Super Shinobi games on Genesis) attacks the Oboro Clan village. But for no reason whatsoever, he is sent 800 years into the future where Zeed is in complete control of everything, and Jiro must join a resistance group (not this shit again!) to stop them. Good thing they have no exposition, I would’ve been turned off big time!

That’s enough of the content, the gameplay is tight. Why so? It’s so well designed, it damn near replicates Shinobi 3 in all of it’s essence. Perhaps… A little too much. Right at the very beginning of the game, you have to make some tricky jumps while moving down a large wooden… tower? W/e it was, while it isn’t at all difficult (the double jump isn’t a pain in the ass to pull off anymore), but it was a warning sign that… the game is merely intimidating. A lot of the “tricky shit” you do in this game is piss easy. The real challenge come from the enemies, which is a good thing. Tricky jumps do nothing but piss people off anyway, and the Shinobi series was filled to the brim with lots of trick jumps. This game isn’t an exception, but they are much more forgiving this time around. Mostly due to the Chain Hook which only shoots upward. I could literally cheat the game!

Having a separate buttons for melee and kunai is a welcome addition, but they had to go and use the modernized “3 hit combo” bullshit that does nothing but delay your recovery, making you vulnerable to attacks in midframe. Eh, it goes along with the Ninja themes used in games (every action has a consequence, that kind of shit) so I can’t complain too much. That’s the funny thing, I haven’t really found anything wrong with the gameplay… sans the lack of a dash function. Jiro is probably the slowest Ninja to date, and only having the ability to move faster via a score multiplayer is the silliest thing out there. The game is very demanding of perfection…. just like a Shinobi game.

You can tell these guys are big Shinobi fans just by level design alone, holy shit. Strategically placed enemy… placement, no shit. You really need to think about how you approach each and every one of them. Unless you’re dealing with those homing rockets, then you have no other means than to rush them as fast as possible, or try the really fucked up parry maneuver which seems to work only when it wants to. Sometimes, I could deflect a million kunais, other times I eat bullets. There’s some strict timing to be had with parries. I wouldn’t bother and would focus on trying to dodge attacks… which doesn’t seem to be a very viable option. A lot of times, you be attacked by enemies off screen without warning, so hitting that parry button would be the normal reaction, although with it’s strict timing, you’ll be getting your ass kicked plenty of times.

I’ve not been a fan of modern boss battles, so this game manages to do even those well enough, that just figuring out their patterns and beating whole sale ass on them feels satisfying. Except that laser mine… thingy with the shark… in mother fucking lava. Fuck those guys infinitely.

This game is probably worth a Bread Slice alone. I’d say get it if you can find a copy. Lucky me, I found one for only 15 bucks.