Wind of Shuriken (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

You are a cyber ninja samurai caught up in an interplanetary war across a solar system in the distant future.  Run, jump, climb, and slash your way through 2-D stages and shooter levels reminiscent of classic arcade and console titles like Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden.  Wind of Shuriken is available on PlayStation consoles, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

As a ninja and a samurai (and possibly a robot, I’m not sure), you have a lot of moves at your disposal.  You can jump, dash, climb walls, swing your sword, and use special attacks like throwing stars and a rotating shield.  Special attacks use up a special meter, but you can refill it with potions you find in the stages, as well as health potions, too.  One small problem I had is that they don’t tell you how to do any of these things, you just have to figure them out on your own.  It’s not hard to do that, but some instructions would’ve been nice.  When you travel to another planet, you’ll play a 2D shooter stage where you must shoot a certain number of ships and then a boss.  Only problem is there is no rapid fire button, so you have to hammer on the buttons to shoot, and your special weapons run out too quickly leaving you with just a puny pea shooter.

The game has other problems, too.  The games relies too much on insta-death pits and spikes for challenge.  While you can find safe spots and exploits to the enemy patterns, the game is still very difficult, even on Normal settings.  I also wish you moved a bit more nimbly. As it stands, your ninja lumbers about like he ate a big breakfast that morning.  Even worse, there is no window of invincibility when you get hit, so groups of enemies and bosses can corner you and kill you in seconds if you’re not careful.  At least you get unlimited continues and the music is pretty decent at times.  Fans of classic ninja games like Shinobi may still enjoy this.

Kid Factor:

Wind of Shuriken is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Language.  You slice robots and thugs with your sword and they just explode when defeated.  Spaceships just explode when shot.  Bad language is in the text only but I really didn’t notice too much of that.  Reading skill is still helpful and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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