My extent with this game really extends to the Sega Genesis version near exclusively. Outside of that, it was just one of my brother’s friends that really talked a lot about this game. A sequel to Sega’s Shinobi arcade game, Shadow Dancer is another ninja-focused action platformer.
Worth noting, I do not think a true at-home port of the arcade version of this game has been released (correct me if I am wrong though!). The aforementioned Genesis version titled Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi had a lot in common with the arcade game, but featured some differences. Researching online I think just the Sega Master System has an arcade “port” of Shadow Dancer, but I actually have never played the Master System yet.
This particular cabinet I played at California Extreme was in excellent condition. That’s definitely not always the case for arcade games over 30 years old! It’s also a good reminder on how simple games were back then: just three buttons and you immediately knew what they were for and how to play.
The greater Shinobi series as a whole did make it a few generations past the Genesis. The PS2’s titular Shinobi game was ridiculously challenging, but I did enjoy the difficulty and visuals. I also played the early 3DS title Shinobi 3D, but didn’t think much of it. After that game released in 2011 we haven’t heard from Joe Musashi again…
*Played at California Extreme 2019 in Santa Clara, CA