Review: Nightshade - PS2

Competitor to Ninja Gaiden this is not

This kinda-sequel to Shinobi dirties the potential franchise with a rushed look, quirkier-than-before movement and a gameplay premise that will and deserves to get lost in the overwhelmingly saturated action genre.

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Okay, we all remember the love-hate relationship with the frustratingly difficult, but cool, Shinobi. Once we got the hang of the control scheme, enjoyment could be attained. In this exercise, the lady Hibana is on a quest to recover the shattered pieces of the Akujiki blade. Like Shinobi, the main point is to string together a series of combos to perfect your slashing skills. This time, the game is much easier, but less rewarding.

The level design really needs a makeover. Jumping from platform to platform gets old quick since there is nothing inspiring going on with the stage layouts. As a result, the trash tons of enemies, move to next section, trash tons of enemies, move to next section monotony is truly tiring.

The blah presentation also makes it unwelcome. Sparse use of color and ugly, repeated textures augment the generic alien designs. It comes across as a smoother PS1 game...really.

I'm confused. Shinobi's sequel should've been overhauled to compete with the forthcoming Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. Instead, we have setback of a promising franchise. Well, at least it's not Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness bad.

Graphics: D
Sound: D
First Play: D-
Last Play: D-
Gameplay: D

Overall: 62% D-

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