There’s a tough choice to make for fans of side-scrolling action games during this month’s Clash of the Classics! We need your help in deciding who is most worthy of a spot in the arcade: Aliens or Shinobi?
Aliens is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up game developed and published by Konami in 1990. Players can choose to face the deadly Xenomorphs solo or cooperatively with another player as Ellen Ripley or Corporal Hicks. In order to survive the onslaught of aliens, players must use the a variety of iconic weapons from the films such as the M56 Smartgun, pulse rifles and flamethrowers. Some levels even feature power loaders that the players can control and inflict extra heavy damage with. Although the majority of the game is played as a side-scrolling shooter, certain sections feature vertical shooting (similar to some levels in Contra), adding more variety to the action. Aliens is considered to be one of the goriest arcade games of its time, with well animated creepy graphics that did justice to the well-loved movie series in the arcades.
Shinobi is a side-scrolling hack and slash action game released in arcades by Sega in 1987. The player controls the ninja protagonist Joe Musashi with an eight way joystick and three buttons to attack, jump and use ninjutsu techniques against the evil criminals that lie between him and his captured students. An unlimited supply of shurikens can be used to attack enemies from a distance, but the player can also punch and kick enemies at close-range. Rescuing certain hostages will grant the player attack upgrades in the form of a powerful gun for long-range attacks and a sword for close-range encounters. There are also 3 ninjutsu techniques (also called “ninja magic”) at the player’s disposal: a sandstorm, a tornado and a doppleganger attack. Although Shinobi was not the first ninja video game when it was released in 1987, it remains one of the most popular and highly acclaimed ones from its era, and the original arcade version of Shinobi is still widely considered to be the smoothest playing, finest version of the game.
While Aliens and Shinobi are both great games that deserve the attention of all side-scrolling action game fans, the time has come to give one of them a break from the arcade floor and allow room for a newcomer. You have until the end of Wednesday, December 7th to vote, so grab some quarters and head over to Ground Kontrol to play your favorite today!