Ninja Shodown is a 2-D arcade hack-and-slash by Bitmat Bureau and Rising Star Games. In the game everything, including your character, dies in one hit. What is annoying about this is that running into an enemy counts as being hit by them.
Ninja Showdown can be played solo or locally with up to four players. This game clearly looks like it was meant to be played in multiplayer. When playing with 2-4 people, you are able to revive anyone who has run out of lives and can more easily deal with when there are multiple enemies.
The game has 3 modes: arcade, versus, and endless. Arcade mode has you go through a series of maps and rounds until you reach the end. Endless mode is like arcade, except you stay on one map and the game keeps going until all players run out of lives.
In arcade and endless mode you start with 3 lives and can get more after each round ends. If you get killed, the game taunts you and then you appear at one of the spawn points with one less life. If all players run out of lives, the game ends. Your weapons in the game include a sword and the ability to pick up throwing stars, guns, and thunderbolts to shoot at the enemies. To begin with, the enemies will die in one hit from any of these things. After 2 rounds, the game starts introducing enemies who wear armor. These enemies can’t be harmed by an attack from the front—something which is really annoying because trying to kill them with a sword from the front counts as touching them, which, ironically, gets you killed instead. I wasn’t able to get much further than 3 or 4 rounds because of these enemies.
Versus mode plays differently in that it pits the players against each other instead of against waves of enemies. Since players die in one hit, this mode seems similar to a form of tag—deadly tag with swords, guns, and thunderbolts—since you essentially lose a point each time another player touches your character. Because the player characters are the only characters on the map, each player starts with 9 lives in this mode and the last player standing is the winner.
Overall, I found this game frustrating, but that might be because I don’t normally play arcade-style games or because I was playing it by myself. Since this game is more fun if you own 2 or more controllers, I think a fair rating for this game would be 7/10.