Shinobi Keeps On Changing
August 08, 2009
So, once upon a time Sega released a little game called The Revenge of Shinobi for the Sega Genesis. It was a worthy addition to the Shinobi line, but the developers went a little too far with their love of film and comic book lore and included Batman, the Terminator, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and Godzilla as bosses. Not thinly disguised knock-offs of Batman, the Terminator, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and Godzilla, mind you, but the actual characters. As you'd expect, the lawyers did not like that, so the game went through some additional revisions after release to remove the infringed properties. However, considering that Sega had the Spider-Man license at the time as part of releasing another Genesis game, The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Kingpin, everyone's friendly neighborhood hero was allowed to remain locked in combat with Shinobi. Well, time passes and licensing agreements expire, so now that the game is back for the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe, Spider-Man had to go. NintendoLife has screenshots of the pink unSpider-Man.
Y'know, I'm divided on this sort of revision. On the one hand, I understand the licensing implications and that if Spider-Man hadn't been tweaked out of the game, The Revenge of Shinobi would have had to have stayed in the vault with other classic games tied up with legal ropes. On the other hand, the whole point of the Virtual Console was to revisit games as they were originally presented back in the day without alterations or enhancements, and even though this is just a superficial change (and not the first game to change slightly), clearly this isn't the The Revenge of Shinobi that everyone knew from long ago. Still, if this is the only way to bring the game to a new audience, then let Spider-Man be pink. Shinobi will still kick his webbed butt.