Game: Nightshade
Platform: PS2
Studio: Sega
Rating: 6.5/10

Game Company’s Description: As menacing demons and monsters fill the city of Tokyo, panicked government officials call upon the extreme cunning and power of a new ninja talent named Hibana. The amazing skills of this young female fighter earned her respect at an early age and she was offered masterful training from one of the Oboro Clan’s most esteemed warriors. With sharp precision and incredible speed, Hibana battles fierce enemies atop a moving fighter jet, trucks, and more, while narrowly dodging enemy missiles. Her mastery of the ancient Tate Attack allows her to slay an unlimited number of enemies at once. With the Stealth Dash, she leaves her shadowy likeness behind as she runs circles around her lumbering enemies, which confuses them and makes them vulnerable to her fatal sword blows. Hibana alone must power through 13 incredible, destructible environments to defeat hordes of Hellspawn newly awakened by the ancient Akujiki curse. Play as Hibana, the sleek and deadly ninja heroine. Intense non-stop combat action with devastating mid-air assaults and defense maneuvers. Test your ninja skills in Story, Time-Attack, and Survival Modes. Destroy evil and restore health with powerful Ninja Magic. Invoke a ghost-image decoy to surprise enemies in the Stealth Dash Attack. Endless enemies will be destroyed instantly with the mighty Tate Attack.

Look: Nightshade looks quite similar to Shinobi. Hibana is nicely detailed-that can’t be said about her enemeies who are inconsistent and often poorly detailed. The environments are much of the same ancient fare. The best are the moving platforms where you have to stay on the move.
Feel: The missions are similar to Shinobi; battled which ultimately result in taking on a boss at the end. There isn’t a lot of imagination in this linear approach. What’s great is how quickly Hibana moves. Her speed comes in hand for movements like dashing along walls and extremely long jumps. My favorite aspect is how you can stay airborne just by kicking enemies-you could go on forever if you had enough bad guys to take out.

Hibana has some great moves to look forward to-when she gets her hands on two shorter blades its amazing how many times you can attack in a short amount of time. If you work on the moves it won’t take you long to realize how you can string moves together.

Hear: The voice acting is okay. The soundtrack is quite good and works well with the action.

Frankly: Nightshade equals the original. It’s a fun game-with the potential to be great-maybe in the sequel.

+ Ralphie White

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