Shinobi ninja magics itself into the Sega Ages line-up

Sega's far-from-average Joe coming to Switch

In a couple of day's time (Oct 31st!), Shinobi will be released on the Nintendo Switch eShop in Japan. It's a fairly safe bet that it will be coming to the west, too, and of course we will all be purchasing it on day one, hmm?

If you haven't had the pleasure of playing Shinobi, it's a ninja-adjacent side-scroller from Sega's arcade heyday, starring Joe Mushashi as he quests to defeat the evil Zeed corporation. They've been kidnapping the children from Joe's clan, you see, and he's absolutely had his gutful of the nasty sods. It's a methodical, difficult platformer, but eminently fair throughout. A great-looking game with a superb look, memorable stages and boss battles and awesome music. Plus, you know, ninjas are cool.

M2's Switch version is typically enhanced, with a suite of interesting new features. Stage select has been added, along with a dedicated "melee attack" button to assist with high-scoring (Shinobi gives a bonus for using no shuriken in a stage). There's additional display modes including, humorously, a "cabinet" mode that recreates the ambient sounds of playing in an arcade*. Finally, the new Ages Mode switches Joe to his white-robed Revenge of Shinobi form, offering him permanently powered-up weapons and the ability to withstand an extra hit.

While this is all grand stuff, I'd love it even more if they could somehow implement the superb Sega Master System port of the game, with its fantastic play control and superior difficulty balance. I've always preferred it to the arcade original, but that's not a knock against one of Sega's finest titles of the 80s.

For the record, further announced titles are: Thunder Force AC, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Puyo Puyo 2, G-LOC: Air Battle, Fantasy Zone and Herzog Zwei. Anything in particular you'd like to see? I'm angling for ESWAT and A.B Cop.

*In merrie olde England, this would be the sound of a tattooed man yelling "NO YOU CARN 'AVE TEN PEE. YOU'VE JUST 'AD TEN PEE" at his ugly, ugly children.