Sega Ages Shinobi

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Sega Ages Shinobi Game Poster Image
Ninja action slashes its way to Nintendo's screen.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Saving kidnapped children and defeating rival ninjas is technically the biggest message of the game, but heightened focus on fast-paced attacks against hordes of enemies reduces positive impact.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players take on role of Joe Musashi, a ninja fighting to defeat terrorists. Nothing is known about him; there's no story from stage to stage.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is easy to understand but gets harder over time. Apart from dodging incoming bullets, ninjas will frequently appear in the middle of your path and become harder to eliminate. Even with new ability to rewind time to undo mistakes, it can be challenging to clear levels without dying repeatedly.

Violence

Players toss throwing stars, ninja magic, kicks, or a katana to eliminate monsters, ninjas, thugs. Enemies fall down and disappear, with some very minor splashes of blood shown during strikes.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sega Ages Shinobi is a downloadable arcade action game for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a remastered version of a 1987 hack-and-slash game, where a ninja faces off against a terrorist organization to save children that have been kidnapped from his clan. Players use ninja magic, throwing stars, kicks, or a katana to kill monsters, rival ninja, or guards. There are slight splashes of blood shown with strikes, and enemies fall down and disappear when defeated. Gameplay is easy to grasp initially, but the game gets much harder over time, requiring fast reflexes to get through later levels. Even with the new ability in the game to rewind time to undo mistakes, it gets tricky to clear some levels without dying repeatedly. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found here. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Sega Ages Shinobi.

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What's it about?

SEGA AGES SHINOBI is a remastered version of a classic arcade hack and slash. Players take on the role of Joe Musashi, a skilled ninja who finds himself tasked to complete a disturbing mission. Children from his own ninja clan are being abducted by a terrorist organization called Zeed for an unknown purpose. Unwilling to leave his clan mates to their fate, Joe travels through five stages (each with their own separate areas), fighting guards, rival ninja, and bosses to free the child hostages scattered across each location. This new version of the game packs in some additional features, such as the ability to rewind time to undo mistakes that could cost a player one of their lives, and the Ages mode, which gives Joe white gear that provides him with extra health and attack strength. Can you save the kids before it's too late?

Is it any good?

This challenging hack-and-slash arcade game cuts a new path onto Nintendo's handheld system with new features to test your reflexes. Sega Ages Shinobi takes the classic arcade game and transfers its fast-paced action seamlessly to the Switch, casting players as a ninja trying to free the kids of his clan from a terrorist group. The original game was a quarter-muncher because it threw lots of enemies at the player as they moved from one side of the screen to the other, often requiring sharp reflexes and a good memory to avoid the on-screen threats. This version is no different, with guards and shield-wielding thugs giving way to suddenly appearing ninjas and creatures in later sections. Even with Joe's ninja magic, his infinite number of throwing stars, and his hand-to-hand skills, it's still possible to lose a lot of lives making your way through each stage.

Fortunately, this version gives players additional content to give them a fighting chance. The most important feature is the rewind ability, which lets you undo any possible attacks that could cause you to lose a life. While you may still find yourself dying over some stages, the rewind is a huge frustration saver. The same can be said for the white ninja gear in the Ages mode, which gives you a few more hits before you fall while strengthening your attacks. Especially for newcomers to this title, this feature is a great way to ease into the side-scrolling action. If you haven't played the original, or if you're looking for a stroll down memory lane, Sega Ages Shinobi is a razor-sharp addition for your Switch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Sega Ages Shinobi affected by the lack of blood and gore in the game? Would the impact be intensified if the remake had more realistic violence? Would that ruin the effect of the classic game?

  • What makes a classic game so enjoyable? Do you need a complex plot if the gameplay is enjoyable? Are graphics important for fun, or does it need to be clever and creative in how it shows on-screen action?

Game details

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For kids who love arcade games

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