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Retro Review: Alex Kidd in Shinobi World

Retro Review: Alex Kidd in Shinobi World thumbnail

A game that features Alex Kidd and Shinobi in the same title, but does these two franchises appear in the game as well? Is this game a hybrid or a completely new one? (If you don’t remember those games, read the Alex Kidd in Miracle World and the Shinobi reviews). Well, let’s start by explaining the story of Alex Kidd in Shinobi World.

In this game, the objective of Alex Kidd is to rescue his girlfriend that has been kidnapped by the evil ninja called Hanzo, which is also the name of the villain in Shinobi. The fact that Alex has to rescue someone is the only thing in common with Miracle World and Shinobi plots, meaning that this is a new story, although similar, it is not directly based on those games.

Now, things start to get interesting in the gameplay, because it has elements from both games. In Shinobi World, Alex Kidd moves like his past games, so he jumps with one button and attacks with the other (buttons 1 and 2 respectively), so the basic character actions are more like Alex Kidd in Miracle World than Shinobi. The attacks are based on power-ups collected throughout the game, but unlike Shinobi, they aren’t based on the distance between the controllable character and the enemy.

Alex Kidd Attacking.

Alex Kidd performing his standard sword attack.

There are also new actions that haven’t been in any one of the aforementioned games, such as the wall jump (not present in the original Shinobi) and the ability to transform into a fire ball when swinging on poles.

Alex Kidd jumping off a wall

Alex Kidd jumping off a wall.

Foes in this game die with one hit like previous Alex Kidd games, but their patterns and attacks are definitively from Shinobi. Differently from Miracle World, it takes more than one hit to kill Alex Kidd, so he doesn’t die instantly, much more like Shinobi.

The game steals its progression from the one that features Joe Musashi, as it is also divided in “rounds”, each with 3 levels and a boss in the last one. These levels have their design heavily based on Shinobi, however, they are not exactly as the same, and have nothing to do with previous Alex Kidd games.

Every level looks and feels like Shinobi, but the graphics and art style are from the Alex Kidd franchise, although, they are much more detailed, specially the backgrounds. Other graphical elements like characters, bosses (from Shinobi), animations, interfaces and HUDs all follow the same rule: they are all from Shinobi, except they have Alex Kidd graphics and art style.

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World - Stage 2

It resembles Shinobi, but it has Alex Kidd art style.

Leaving the visual aspect of the game, music and sounds are ‘remixed’ versions of the ones found on Shinobi. The rhythm of the music is faster and effects sound a little clearer than the game it came from, so they’re all very good.

The only aspect of the game that isn’t somehow linked to the other two is the difficulty: the game is much more easier and shorter. This is a video of the first three levels of the game:

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, for as strange as it may be, is exactly what its title describes: it is Alex Kidd (filling the shoes of Joe Musashi) having an adventure in the Shinobi game world. If you haven’t noticed yet, it is a great game, with a good mix of elements from other two excellent ones while bringing some improvements to make the gameplay work.

The below table summarizes this review:

This table shows the similarities between Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, other Alex Kidd games and Shinobi:

Game Element Alex Kidd Shinobi
Graphics X
Art Style X
Gameplay X X
Enemies X
Levels X

And that’s it!

One Comments to “Retro Review: Alex Kidd in Shinobi World”

  1. Motta says:

    Nossa, eu devo ter alugado esse jogo umas 20 vezes quando era criança

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