New York City has fallen into the hands of a group of ninja warriors called Union Lizard, and they have taken people hostage. Kato, Joe Musashi’s former martial arts student, has been mortally wounded while investigating Union Lizard, leaving his faithful dog Yamato. Joe Musashi swore to avenge Kato’s death, and headed for New York.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (3 reviews) - 100% of the 3 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 1, 2010

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Includes 40 items: Alex Kidd™ in the Enchanted Castle, Alien Soldier, Alien Storm, Altered Beast™, Bio-Hazard Battle™, Bonanza Bros.™, Columns™, Columns™ III, Comix Zone™, Crack Down™, Decap Attack™, Ecco the Dolphin™, Ecco™ Jr., Ecco™: The Tides of Time, ESWAT™: City Under Siege, Eternal Champions™, Fatal Labyrinth™, Flicky™, Gain Ground™, Galaxy Force II™, Golden Axe™, Golden Axe™ II, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon™, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Light Crusader, Ristar™, Shadow Dancer™, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining in the Darkness, Shinobi™ III: Return of the Ninja Master, Space Harrier™ II, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Super Thunder Blade™, Sword of Vermilion™, Vectorman™, Virtua Fighter™ 2, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair

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About This Game

New York City has fallen into the hands of a group of ninja warriors called Union Lizard, and they have taken people hostage.
Kato, Joe Musashi’s former martial arts student, has been mortally wounded while investigating Union Lizard, leaving his faithful dog Yamato. Joe Musashi swore to avenge Kato’s death, and headed for New York. Can you guide Joe Musashi and Yamato through the ring of fire and triumph over this evil force?

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® XP or higher
    • Graphics: 32MB or greater graphics card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0 or greater
    • Hard Drive: 50MB free disc space
    System specs for classic launcher.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows® XP or higher
    • Graphics/CPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 280 or ATI Radeon HD 6630 or equivalent DirectX® 9c or higher 1GB VRam / Intel i3-2100 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 or equivalent dual core CPU
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9c or greater
    • Hard Drive: 50MB free disc space
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Positive (3 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi is arcade action game. It's a sequel to original arcade Shinobi, following same core gameplay philosophy instead of redoing it like The Revenge of Shinobi, keeping one-hit deaths. But now with more dog. You might think that it's a direct port of original arcade version of Shadow Dancer, made by Sega of Japan in 1989. But nope, it actually is pretty much "same idea for core gameplay, but made from scratch". Like remake/sequel thing. Different levels for sure. Think of ESWAT, though a bit less drastic. This one was by Sega of Japan as well, albeit I bet it's by different staff, and released around beggining of 1991 on 4 Megabit ROM cartridge.
On another note, Germany apparently still has problems with this game for some reason. Not kid-friendly in their belief. Maybe it's shurikens, from the times when ninjas were hip and all cool guys would try to be just like them, throwing shurikens.

The game that you have here is nothing more than emulation of Sega Genesis version.


Now, for usual technical part about Sega's emulation here:
The Sega Classic games that you purchase on Steam count as DLCs for "Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics" game that should appear in your library.
By default it runs 3D bedroom Hub. Since emulator itself is based on 2006 one made in Java and 3D Hub is made in Unity, both famous for having not-good optimization, the performance in this hub varies from one PC to another. Sound lags as well.
It's recommended to run Simple Launcher, which can be done by Right Mouse Clicking the Sega Classic title in Steam library and selecting it. It still isn't perfectly accurate emulation, but it's acceptable. Sadly, it doesn't have user-friendly access to mods.
However, Simple Launcher has it's fair share of glitches as well. It can crash. And it does the second time you go to main menu, so always quit after saving there so it doesn't crash when you want to save next time! Also, yes, emulator supports quick saves.
As alternative, you can use external emulator to run games that you purchased. Kinda like when people use ZDoom source port to run Doom on Steam. Sega kindly placed in all games that you purchased in "uncompressed ROMs" folder that program itself doesn't use, the file for this one being "ShadowDancer.SGD".
I also demand you to read digital manual of this game first. Go to "manuals" folder of game root and open "SD_MG_EFIGS_US.pdf".


The plot of this game is, well, depends on region. At least when it comes to what is written in manual. In US Joe Musashi's student in New York got murdered by goons from Union Lizard. His name was Kato and now his pet dog, Yamato, joins Joe Musashi in their revenge of shinobi! Again! On Union Lizard boss who is aparently man-lizard who is just following his instincts in ordering to take every blonde person as hostage and sit lazily on a throne. In JP manual they say that they
the hero of a game is estranged son of Joe Musashi, Hayate.
None the less, Joe Musashi rocks more.
Also, anybody knows what the Secret of Shinobi is?

So, it's an action arcade game where you die in one hit. However, Shinobi games had a different playstyle when compared to other one-hit-death games like, say, Contra. Sure it has a lot of action, but it also has a bit of planning involved, like when you see a layout of enemies outside of your reach and think "how am I going to handle this one?". And then the action of handling will be quick and shift. And awesome. And yes, Shadow Dancer keeps what made Shinobi such a hit at a time. Quick, with a bit of planning, enemies cleverly placed around, still rescuing hostages. Still got all-destroying ninjutso for use once per stage. Shooting shurikens and automatically using sword with tall hitbox when enemy is upclose.
Also, to change between lanes/floors you have to hold up or down and press jump. Works with grates as well. Just in case you aren't familar.

Shadow Dancer also adds more to the formula. One word: Yamato. This dog follows you all the time during normal stages, barking when there is enemy in the reach. When you hold down the attack button you also charge your dog and when you release it with enemy in reach it will shoot itself forward at lighting speed and keep the enemy busy by trying to bite their head off. At least this is what I hope that he does, keeping them stunned for short while, before getting kicked. So you have to act fast and kill this enemy. And use him wisely, as, say, charge him in same moment as shield enemy throws one shield away. Otherwise your dog will get punished and will shrink into little tiny cute cuddly puppy. He will regrow if you progress, like by getting hostage, no worries.
It may not completely revolutionate core gameplay and the dog is pretty useless agaisnt enemy ninjas. Hovewer it's enough to make this game more like, well, tactical action arcade game? It sure puts it up into it's own awesome niche.

Boss battles are just usual dog-less Shinobi, yep. Shoot into weak point and don't try to risk too much. They are still fairly cool and final boss will make people rage for a while.

Also, yep, got bonus stage. This time you fly down between two buildings and shoot as many ninjas as possible because this is a thing that shinobis do. It would have been super awesome, but a certain secret kinda ruins it. Have to ignore this secret, yep.
All while awesome music playes. Seriously, this game has awesome music.

Oh yea, and graphics are good and vibrant. It has Statue of Library, what else do you want?
Statue of Liberty, right.

And yep, all levels are completely different from the arcade version. You can see some similarities. The level focused on the bridge theme is there as well, but it's different and has better music as well. Shield guy is there as well. The first boss, albeit he does different things. But all else, including the final boss, are different, pretty much. And I think that it's better done than arcade version for sure.
But then again, you should look at Genesis and Arcade versions like at two different games.

Ooooh, I see that you beat the game already, didn't you. Well, good, good. It is quite easy on default setting. Now, take a look at options. There are usual sound test and control. But there are also "level" and "mode". In mode you can set if you want it to be normal or be more hardcore and go for no-shurikens mode, which will make you think of how to approach more. And difficulty level is much better done than in most other games too! Instead of increasing health of enemies or decreasing your own or lowering lives it instead it changes the layout of enemies through the stages, increasing their number and yep, making you think how to approach more. So now, put Level 3 and No-Shurikens on and let the real Shadow Dancer begin!
Alright, Level 3 and No-Shurikens is a bit of overkill near the end, actually. You really have to use ninjutso wisely and even the fact that if Shinobi touches enemy then both hero and enemy bump away help in some time. So do Level 2 and No-Shurikens or Level 3 with Shurikens.

By the way, game handles difficulty levels weirdly. If you beat the game on Level 1 and 2 then at the end of credits you will see "to be continued" in the corner. What it means is not that the sequel is coming one day but that you need to be it on hard mode, as at Level 3 it will instead show "the end'. And even more, if you choose Level 2 then it will say "Shadow Dancer II" and Level 3 will show "Shadow Dancer III". Just something amusing. Look, I got trilogy, whoop whoop.

Overall, in my opinion, it's one of the best games out there. What an excellent action game. Totally, Sega should make a sequel to this game. Keep the same excellent arcade lenght, same thrill of Shinobi. It will be same but instead of dog you will have a house cat. Going mewmewmewmew.
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