Cyber Shinobi review - Sega Master System

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Cyber Shinobi box artThings are going badly, and only one man can save us. And he's not even a proper man - he's a cyborg. What's that, you may well wonder; it's a cybernetic organism, or in English a mixture of man and machine.

Oddly enough, this strange being is also an expert in the martial arts. He can jump, kick, and slash foes with his sword. He also has access to throwing stars and other special weapons. Best of all is the Ninja magical attack - not quite what you'd expect from a robot, but devastating in its effect on the enemy.

Early levels are set in factories and warehouses, with wooden crates and rising platforms to negotiate as well as baddies to zap. Then the action moves to the Bay area, the Plain, the jungle and the waterfall.

The final two levels are set in a secret base, complete with force fields and tough opponents. Then it's on to meet the final boss, a huge ED209-alike robot with an extendible pincer.

Tokens are liberally scattered throughout the game, giving the metallic black belt extra life, shuriken, bullets and magic, as well as powering his sword up to greater heights of deadliness.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Ninja beat 'em ups can be great - Revenge of Shinobi proved that. I had high hopes for this game, with its blend of magic and technology, but yet again I've been disappointed. The hero's movement is wooden, unresponsive and jerky, destroying any sense of suspended disbelief. As for the music... well, let's just say that Mozart's got nothing to worry about. The only backgrounds of note are those of the final level, when Cyber is wandering through the enemy base. The foes are poorly animated and easily defeated, even though the hero' lack of adequate response causes immense irritation. Do yourself a favour and spend your money elsewhere. "

" When you look at some of the new British Sega software released recently, which really shows what the machine can do, you wonder where some programmers are at. Cyber Shinobi features some rubbish graphics, with gaudy and badly defined backdrops, jerky scrolling and very poor sprites. The music is really naff and the gameplay is very boring. Shinobi-type games should be challenging and fun - this is merely dull, and doesn't have any new and original features to excite and certainly doesn't offer enough thrills or variety to keep you playing for more than a few goes. "


Overall Score58%

Retrospective comments


Our pals at Mean Machines were generous to say the least when they awarded Cyber Shinobi 58%. Matt and Jaz’s comments betray feelings of a much lower score however I feel.

For me to say that Cyber Shinobi is one of the worst Master System games ever might be a bit harsh, but its not far off the mark! How could it have gone so wrong? On paper it sounds great, finally a game combining the awesomeness of ninjas and cyborgs. Unfortunately the result turns out to be a shambling mockery of the Shinobi franchise.

The controls are terrible, your jumping action is pathetic, the animation is choppy, the hit detection is horrid, and your attack has such a short range you will want to cry with frustration. To top all that off the top third of the screen is wasted with a status bar. The combination of all these factors creates one of the most disappointing games I have witnessed on Sega’s 8-bit wonder.

It’s not all bad though you get to fight creative bosses such as a bulldozer! If you are lucky you might also find a few shurikens to prop up your crappy attack move. I thought Alex Kidd in Shinobi World was bad enough but this takes the cake! Stop making Shinobi crap Sega!!

Richy Girth - 04 Dec 2008, 13:59 GMT

I suspect that my memory has blackened out most of my memory of the time I borrowed this for good reason, judging by the review.
Cest tres merde. Tres TRES Merde.

I say one hot poker up the tookas for the CEO of Sega for ever shit shinobi game ever allowed to be released. (backdating, of course) Or perhaps some serious jailtime at 'The Melbourne House repeat offenders prison for the talentless'. Anything to communicate the message further. They could administer their punishment to the tunes and rhythms of Yuzo Koshiro...

Then we all could sleep that bit safer.

michael larkin - 29 Aug 2010, 02:07 GMT

yeah not the best alternative version of shinobi available. not the worst game in the world,just very average. some sprite slowdown and dodgy collision detection let it down. alternatively, pick up alex kidd in shinobi world... AWESOME. but cyber shinobi.... even the story is average. 4/10 from me sorry.

Suds - 17 Sep 2014, 07:10 GMT

Not too bad a game as many people would have you believe.
Yes sprite collision is bad, stiff controls and a window that blocks about
10 percent of the screen is annoying but the music was great, that captured the
Futuristic settings, The weapons were very imaginative and different from other Shinobi games, laser guns etc bosses and stages were thought out well
i.e construction sights, night jungles etc.The plot I believe was set in the 2040's. A lot of potential in this game sadly let down by bad gamplay.

Phelipe - 17 Feb 2016, 00:28 GMT

It's true. Everybody wants would have believe that ''Cyber Shinobi'' is a crap game, a shame for SMS and Shinobi fans and etc... I think it all a nonsense. The game is awesome, nice idea to put a different game of his franchise. The Beat em Up + Platform is a good point of game! Nice graphics, for a 1990 Master System game, soundtrack awesome and it keeps on my mind. The only disadvantage was the slow way as Joe Musashi walks, a bit slow and jump, but it can be solved press jump + up to high jump. The way as he attacks i liked, its not so slow. But what problem to ''Cyber Shinobi''? A nice and classic SMS title ''Golden Axe'' also suffer with slowness, because sometimes the attack commands are slow to respond, Ax Battle walks fast, ok, but slow when screen is crowded of enemies. Too when you use magic with enemies lying on the ground, the magic does not effect, it is true, i confirmed when he played. Even with these disadvantage, ''Golden Axe'' for SMS is a nice game and overestimated by gamers. So judge ''Cyber Shinobi'' as a worst or a shame of SMS or Shinobi games because of slowness is a bit exaggerated Based others of the same console games, that even suffering with the same slowness, are nice by the public.

Mean Machines Issue 5 - February 1991
Platform Game Sega Master System
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Cyber Shinobi

Cyber Shinobi

Cyber Shinobi

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