IT Magazines, Video Games, and Shinobi

Since the middle of the 80’s I have been buying a lot of magazines concerning all the aspects of computer science and video games (I got interested in the other aspects of IT a little later). At that time, I bought for example Soft & Micro, Hebdogiciel, and the unavoidable Tilt. Later, I read Décision Micro & Réseaux a lot, and Tilt, unfortunately stopped being published. But thanks to Alain Huyghues Lacour (AHL), the console spirit of Tilt could be found in Consoles +. And fortunately, Consoles + still exists. AHL is not its editor in chief anymore, but I am still a subscriber and therefore, I read this magazine every month.

In the March issue, I found a rapid test of the Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection on PS3. I had already checked the list of all the games included in this compilation, and having all the games in their original version in other compilations I had not found anything of real interest in it for me. Except that… Among the illustrations of this test there was a screenshot of Shinobi with this caption: "Finish the first level of Shinobi III in one credit to open Shinobi Arcade."

Shinobi was at first a platform game by Sega released as an arcade game in 1987 on the excellent platform System 16. The game is not based on a particularly original idea and it was not a revolution for this type of games but it ranks among my preferred games beside Tetris, Bubble Bobble, Puzzle Bobble, Final Match Tennis, the Marios, etc. I spent a lot of time on it in arcade rooms and I still play it at home on my own arcade cabinet. I can end the game, play again and again, experiencing the same thrill. I think that Shinobi’s gameplay is just incredibly deep. The player finds a great pleasure in gaining playing fluency through the precision of the game. Shinobi represents for me a real achievement in terms of video games conception, just like Flower, nowadays on PS3.

Unfortunately, none of the versions on consoles and computers has been able to convey the extremely rich gameplay of Shinobi. It seems to me that the least catastrophic version is the one on PC Engine. And it is incredible to note that the game had not yet been published in a compilation based on the emulation technique to reproduce its functions identically. For a long time I have been hoping that Shinobi would come back in its original version and be accessible to all. It is now done even though it is a bit confidential.

In this compilation on PS3, the emulation of the arcade version is excellent and the bonus is that you can save a game to play it again later. But there is a recurring problem concerning emulation: The standard joystick doesn’t offer the same control as the control of an arcade cabinet and the image on a flat screen is quite different from that produced by a cathode ray tube screen (on this subject, see my project of a second book on video games). Moreover, There is no option to make it possible for the player to get near it, and when you plug the PS3 on a cathode ray tube TV the result is rather a catastrophe. Despite all this, the great pleasure linked to gameplay is there to be enjoyed.

Thanks to Consoles + for the info about this version!

Aucun commentaire: