An oriental demon has arrived in New York and recruited a massive army of street thugs to dominate the city. Only you can stop them. And who are you? Well, long ago when Japan was divided by warring states, the Shadow Warriors Secret Ninja Society was formed.
Membership of the society is proved not by a special tie or weird handshake, but by knowing the Five Secret Ninjitsu Techniques: the Triple Blow Combination, Flying Neck Throw, Hang Kick, Phoenix Backflip and Tightrope Technique.
Each Shadow Warrior has four lives, each of which comprises five energy units. One or two players can take on the street thugs in six American neighborhoods before the final Demonic confrontation.
The first level is set in a fairly typical street, with some tightropes to walk along. Level two has the ninja crossing busy roads with hit-and-run drivers zooming along. There's also mad bikers racing across the pavement on their Harleys. The next level takes place in neon-lit Las Vegas, then it's the Grand Canyon! All of the levels have the traditional superbaddie or two at the end, so it's as well there's five continue plays.
Besides the unusual combat moves, Shadow Warriors is distinguished by the players being able to leap onto edges and objects such as telephone boots, barrels and hot dog stands. If you throw a man into these objects they're destroyed, revealing icons for a sword, extra energy, lives and points. The sword is pretty nifty to use, but getting hit results in vanishing!
Our ninja hero has to fight masked men, thugs with clubs, sumo wrestlers, and (gasp) cross a busy road, to defeat the Oriental demon and his army of ghoulish assassins - yes it's walking along hitting people time again.
Mind you, the superior graphics, animation and movement systems make this a far more satisfying version of this particular genre. This only goes to show that it is possible to rehash old games ideas and keep them entertaining. The acrobatics our ninja has mastered are a pleasure to watch, keyboard arrangements are a bit naff, if you're not careful you end up with two players on the one player option, player two trails around like a gormless relative at a party and holds everything up, annoying but not fatal. Various objects along the way explode offering goodies of one sort or another. I very seldom enjoy this sort of game as much as I did this one, a definitive arcade beat 'em up.
An evil messenger terrorizes the land. Only a lonely ninja can destroy the dictator. This game is a sword-fight through 5 stages. Every stage has a boss at the end. It's the Amiga 500 version, the game was also released on Commodore 64/128.
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Shadow of the Beast 2, Shadow of the Beast 1, Shadow of the Beast 3, Speedball, Rick Dangerous, R-Type 2, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, Rick Dangerous 2
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