Shadow of the Ninja is a 2D ninja platformer similar to Ninja Gaiden in that the player platforms across a stage with ninja abilities while defeating bad guys.
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Pro Great co-op
The game features 2 player simultaneous co-op (much like Contra) where both players go through the stages to defeat bad guys with their Ninja skills. Seeing that other Ninja games for the NES like Ninja Gaiden did not have any co-op, this games makes a great choice for Ninja co-op action on the NES.
Pro High amount of polish
An NES game released later in the consoles life cycle, Shadow of the Ninja has a high amount of polish that pushes the boundaries of the console. The graphics are quite solid with animated backgrounds such as rain as well as worthwhile level design and enemy design. The sound in the game is done quite well too with a great soundtrack and good sound effects. All of this adds up to a game that really shines looks and design.
Pro Useful charge move
There is a weapon charge move in the game which allows the player to hold down the attack button in order to attack all enemies on the screen. This is really useful in stressful situations where there are too many enemies to handle or are close to death.
Con Weapons are limited
Any weapon pickup in the game is limited to just that weapon, which will have to be used until you run out or pick up a different weapon. So that makes for little customization on that front.
Con Difficult game
There are no extra lives and only 5 continues in the game, this becomes trouble as the game is tough. There are enemies that will run at you constantly in order to knock you off a platform, or into other enemies, on top of this the enemies take multiple hits to kill. While not an impossible game, it is tough and can be frustrating. When playing in co-op mode, those 5 continues are shared, which can make the game tougher at the same time of making it easier due to the second players help.