I've heard lots of smacktalk about this one being really hard, but like other Shinobi games (that I've played), the game seems quite generous with extends. By the time I hit a tricky part and start dying, I'll already have close to 10 lives stockpiled, mostly from score and collecting those blue orbs. Plus, if you get the sword magic (whatever it's called), you can kill a lot of enemies by just standing there, slashing your sword, and watching them die as they touch the big red dude.
Speaking of swords, the game doesn't feel like a traditional Shinobi title; I find myself never throwing kunai, which is surprising considering their importance in previous games in the series. The katana finally has its own button (though this is possible with a 6-button controller in TSSII!), as does blocking, so I end up doing both of those throughout the whole game. I still get in on the projectile fun when I occasionally deflect a kunai!
I finally got past that fucking mine cart bullshit, then breezed through the next level and died on the following one. I'll keep pumping away at this because goddam I want to see more of those grainy cutscenes. Maybe they'll show some pixilated puss.
(NOTE: I am playing the European version [Shinobi X] because the music is better!)
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