Many of you will remember the Shinobi arcade game, as well as Revenge of Shinobi, Shadow Dancer and Shinobi III for the Genesis. Who didn't thoroughly enjoy Revenge and all of those amazing boss characters? As far as gameplay goes, the Shinobi series can still compete with more recent action games and come out on top.
Shinobi Legions may not live up to every Shinobi fan's expectations, but I thought it very entertaining and was actually impressed by the 2-D graphics and full-motion video. I think that the backgrounds could have looked better--especially since it's a Saturn game--but it's still well worth your time.
As an action game, Shinobi Legions doesn't fail to live up to its name. You play as a Ninja wielding a katana and plenty of shuriken with which to attack enemies--and there are a lot of them. The really cool thing about defeating your enemies with your sword is that when you do, they spurt blood everywhere. It looks as if you've cut them right in half and blood is spraying all over the place.
The characters in the game are digitized from footage of live actors, just like the fighters in the Mortal Kombat series. You play as the ninja Sho, and Sho has plenty of smooth moves. Of course, there's the double jump, which can really put a lot of air between you and the ground. Plus he can swing his sword while spinning in the air or dash toward his enemies and chop their heads. I'm telling you, it's fun. Certain power-ups will even give you Buddha powers, where every time you swing, a huge red Buddha appears in the background and fills up almost the entire screen.
Some of the boss characters look really cool. Like the big, scary Japanese mask with horns in the first stage; I think it's called a "tengu" in Japanese. Some players will think that the boss characters in Revenge of Shinobi were much more inventive, but--despite the fact that it looks a little "flat"--I think Shinobi Legions makes pretty good use of the Saturn's 2-D capabilities. Overall, I thought it a particularly fun game with plenty of action.