Shinobi Legions (Shinobi X in PAL regions) is an action platformer video game developed for the Sega Saturn.
Shinobi Legions' protagonist is a ninja by the name of Sho. It has gameplay reminiscent to The Revenge of Shinobi, but relies heavily on the player's katana rather than shuriken. It scraps the four Ninjutsu attacks from previous games, and instead Ninjutsu is performed by finding items hidden throughout the game's levels.
Shinobi Legions uses live-action cutscenes to tell its story, which were critically panned for their poor acting and photography.
Years of civil war have brought the ninjitsu code and its warriors to the brink of extinction. A ninjitsu master selects three children to carry on the ninja traditions for the next generation: two brothers, Kazuma and Sho, and his own daughter Aya. He begins to train them.
Fifteen years pass. The oldest boy, Kazuma, begins to reject all the ninjitsu teachings, save the technique of strength. Obsessed with power, Kazuma demands that the master teach him the ultimate technique. The master refuses, and Kazuma vows to return one day and take revenge. Sho and Aya continue their studies and master the ninjitsu teachings.
Kazuma returns with an army and the resources to build a fortress. Although the old master has died, his pupils contain the secrets of the ultimate technique. Kazuma sets up a trap to lure Sho into his hideout, and kidnaps Aya to use her as a bait.
In the ending, Kazuma sacrifices himself to save Aya and Sho from an explosion.
PAL Version DifferencesEdit
The European version of Shinobi Legions, published by Sega Europe and released as Shinobi X (a revert to the game's original title from when it was first announced at the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1994), was delayed and released in late 1995. It was delayed because Sega Europe's producer David Nulty disliked the original music score and wanted to change it for the European release, in a similar way that Sega of America did years before with the North American release of Sonic CD.
The whole in-game tracks were replaced by noted British video game composer Richard Jacques, while the cutscene music tracks were left intact. Jacques composed the soundtrack in imitation of the style of Yuzo Koshiro's The Revenge of Shinobi. The North American version, published earlier the same year by Vic Tokai, had retained the same music as the Japanese version.
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 26 out of 40. Although Shinobi Legions boasted improved graphics and superior sound, it was unfavourably received because of the limited use of the then new hardware's capabilities and its use of live-action cutscenes was much ridiculed.
Sega Saturn Magazine gave the game 3 out of 5 stars, saying that it plays well but fails to make any real use of the Saturn's capabilities, calling it "another Shinobi game that somehow managed to find its way on to CD instead of cartridge." They suggested that the "tacky" FMV scenes were added simply as an excuse to release the game on the Saturn instead of the Sega Genesis.