When I’m looking for things to play at the Tokyo Game Show, I’m not necessarily thinking of myself. I’m thinking of you, dear reader. And I’m also thinking of the developer, who might want to get their games in front of as many eyes as possible. Sometimes I’m just taken with the sheer novelty of what I’m looking at and want to show as many people as I can. But every once in a while, Shaun sees something that Shaun wants to play and absolutely cannot justify by any other means. Such is the case with Natsume-Atari’s upcoming remake of the NES cult favorite, Shadow of the Ninja. It’s called Shadow of the Ninja Reborn, and it is coming to consoles and Steam in Spring of 2024. Uh, Northern Hemisphere Spring.
This remake is the latest from the team that brought us some amazing remakes of Wild Guns, The Ninja Warriors, and Pocky & Rocky. This is the first such remake from the company that seeks to bring an 8-bit game forward, and as you might expect it is taking more liberties than the previous remakes as a result. Still, fans of the the NES Shadow of the Ninja will find plenty of familiar elements here. Two players can team up, and you’ve got the same two characters coming back. The stage locations, at least from what I played, also throw back to the original game. They’re greatly expanded however, with a lot of extra areas to explore and enemies to fight.
You can pick up some new weapons and items that you’re able to make use of at your leisure, but ammunition and supplies are limited on anything but your basic sword attack and chain. Oh, and yes, you have a chain. Well, a kusari-dama most likely. Anyway, you can whip your chain out at enemies if you get tired of slicing and dicing. Your ninja characters are quite agile too, able to scamper up and along surfaces with ease. It’s similar to the remake of Ninja Warriors in that you have all the familiar elements but with a lot more moves and depth added in.
In the above video I play through the first main area and a little bit into the second one. I kind of cheesed the boss using bombs, but ninjas do what they must. Although I was playing alone, I had a really great time with the game. It looks good, sounds fantastic, and it plays every bit as well as you would expect from this particular developer. I’m a bit sad that I’m going to have to wait several months to play it again, but I’ll be there the minute it’s out with bells on my katana.
Shadow of the Ninja Reborn was one of the games I wanted to make time for myself to play at Tokyo Game Show, but I know many of our readers own the Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Steam Deck, or some type of gaming PC. If you’re one of those readers and you can appreciate a good side-scrolling action game, you’ll want to keep your eyes open for Shadow of the Ninja Reborn when it hits in 2024.